I was thinking about this topic while lounging in the sun today, and have the following thoughts: First, I think DocH is correct that if the tie is an intermediate shade, then you can just treat it (more or less) as a dark tie and it can work fine with a large range of outfits. You might need slightly paler tones than a really dark tie, but it's essentially the same thing. The much more tricky ties are the genuinely light one. There's are basically 4 ways to use these:
1) Light suit/jacket + light shirt + light tie
2) Dark suit/jacket + light shirt + light tie
3) Dark suit/jacket + mid/dark shirt + light tie
4) Light suit/jacket + mid/dark shirt + light tie
Each tends to create a certain vibe:
2 creates a very specific kind of look which verges on the "formal but festive": races, weddings, garden party, church, etc. (think navy suit, white shirt, silvery macclesfield tie). Several pics in this thread illustrate this look quite well esp. CEP's.
4 can be quite an English-in-the-tropics type of look, depending on the exact shades (think cream suit, blue shirt, pale tie). It can also segue into a garden party type of combo.
Both the above are potentially not that hard for an average guy to pull off, provided they want to create said effect.
3, for want of a better phrase, tends to look a bit tony montana-ish and is exceptionally hard for mere mortals to manage well. Probably could look cool in the right hands though (a peacock-dressing uber-master perhaps ;) )
1 is the most tempting to try because it has potential to a very cool, very chilled out casual summer chic, able to function in a workplace and out. However it really is very, very hard to manage. I think it works best when the tones chosen are warm neutrals (beiges, soft greys, creams, etc). I can only see one outfit in the thread so far that comes close to this kind of look (see below) and these colours also risks feeling a bit mid-90s in terms of palette.
Will continue following hte thread with interest.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)