Okay, so a lot of people are debating this, and I'd like to bring it here. Courtesy of Eureka's blog post, we have some incentive evidence for it, but still the debate rages. Here I'll reiterate some of the video claims as well as adding my own. If you want to add your own points, for or against, number them like so. If you wish to argue or add on to a point, say the number first. I believe it was a smart move, and here's why.
1. Protection. The blades coming out of the Lightsaber hilt act as a cross guard, like on ME swords. This stops light sabers from sliding down his to cut off his hand. Basically it saves him from the fate that seemed to befall many, many Lightsaber wielders throughout the movies.
2. Appearance. Not only does the Lightsaber work effectively, it looks effective as well. Ever noticed the original Lightsaber style? It looks simple but protective. It's designed to make the Jedi appear as Guardians, not warriors. This is important for the Jedi work, protecting and making peace. However Kylo Ren, as a Sith, has a very different job. His main work is as a savage warrior, intimidating his subjects into everything. when the Lightsaber appears like a fiery red sword instead of a glow stick, it adds to his intimidation factor. The same thing with the sound. Many people have complained that the crackling sound his saber makes is terrible as well, but the effect of a firy blade is once again more intimidating than the sound effects of a kid playing with his race car. Vroom! Vroom!
3. Danger factor? Many people state that it's much too dangerous. And he's more likely to kill himself than kill enemies. Well let's stop for a moment. As proved in the video on Eureka's blog post, (I'll post a link if you need one,) an average person with a little training can complete all the same movements as Kylo Ren at the same speed, with a model Lightsaber the exact same proportions. He also had hand guards, to prevent his hands from sliding up and being cut by the side blades. Also, aren't you forgetting something? Darth Maul! How in the world does Kylo's Lightsaber push your buttons when Darth Maul's little battle staff of doom doesn't. It's the same, if not more dangerous.