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Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
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Top Of The Best Holiday Lights Reviewed In 2018Last Updated November 1, 2018
№1 – LED Light Projector Outdoor Night Light – Coolmade Upgarded Version Bright Led Landscape Spotlight with 16 Slides Dynamic Lighting Landscape Show for Halloween, Party, Holiday Decoration
№2 – ApexPower Christmas Solar String Lights 200 LED 72ft 8 Modes Waterproof Outdoor Indoor Decorative Lights for Thanksgiving Day Patio Lawn Garden Home Holiday Party Xmas Tree (Multicolor)
№3 – LED Concepts 300 LED Icicle Curtain String Lights with 8 Lighting Modes and UL Listed Power Supply, Warm White
Outdoor light display
We also offer outdoor lights to decorate your garden all the way to the street. These lights can decorate the porch, pathway, walls of the house, or your roof. It is best to get a timer if you want to get outdoor lights. Timers automatically turn on the lights at night. It also turns them off in the morning. You will save on utility expenses using a timer. Extension cords for outdoor use may also be needed. Be careful not to use indoor lights outside the house. These lights are not as heavy-duty or strong enough for outdoor use.
Christmas lights are ideal for decorating the house during the holiday season. They also enhance your home during parties or simply leave the kids in awe at the brightness they provide during Christmas.
After spending over 60 hours researching Christmas lights, interviewing experts, and testing 20 strands of lights side by side, we’ve found that GE’s Energy Smart Colorite LED Miniature Lights (available in multicolor strands of 50 bulbs or 100 bulbs and in warm white strands of 50 bulbs or 100 bulbs) are the best all-around indoor Christmas lights. This is the third year we’ve named these GE lights as our pick, and we can’t find any lights that match their color quality and their ready availability at Home Depot.
We’re working on an update for the holiday season, and we plan to add our thoughts on smartphone-app light sets such as Home Depot’s AppLights. For now, we’re confident that our current picks, all of which are currently in stock, remain the best lights for most people.
How we picked and tested
We concentrated our research and testing strictly on nonblinking miniature lights, the traditional, small, stranded Christmas lights with a clear or semiclear bulb and a candle shape.
An article at DIY Network says that even though larger bulbs are growing in popularity, “mini lights have been by far the most popular during the past decade.” They’re the standard, and we wanted to focus on the lights that most people will be using, rather than those with a lesser following. Still, we do have some thoughts on the larger-bulb lights, and on other bulb sizes that didn’t make the cut. During our research, we also found that blinking lights are a very small minority of available lights, so we stayed with the type that remains lit at all times.
Once we dug into our options, we soon realized that our recommended lights would be fully rectified LEDs and not traditional incandescents. As Northern Seasonal’s Ben Orr, the lighting installer, told us, “LED lights allow you to do more with less.” They’re more durable, they’re safer, and you can connect together a much higher number of strands without any risk of tripping a breaker or a GFCI outlet. They also just plain ol’ last longer and use a fraction of the electricity that incandescents use.
In an article on the Christmas Designers website, Jason Woodward writes that “the benefits offered by LEDs are almost as significant as the benefits that incandescents provided over candles.” There’s no question that LEDs cost more than incandescents (they’re at least twice the price), but we believe that the long-term benefits are worth that added cost.
Some LEDs are better than others, however. All LED Christmas lights blink on and off many times per second, like a fluorescent light. The ones that are fully rectified, or full-wave, light up at a rate of 120 times per second, which is faster than the eye can detect. Lights that are known as half-wave, sometimes called non-rectified, blink 60 times per second, which can create a dizzying flickering effect. Orr told us that when a non-rectified strand is moving, the flickering becomes more apparent, and we confirmed this effect during our testing: Just by giving a non-rectified strand a slight jiggle, we made the lights take on a strobe effect that was very unpleasant to look at. In our tests, even when they were not moving, those lights seemed to have a harshness, an electronic feel, that the rectified lights didn’t have.
For outdoor lights, our experts directed us toward a specific style of LED, 5-millimeter wide-angle conicals. The bulbs on these lights are stubby and don’t have the homespun look of the small glass candle found on other mini lights. They are much brighter than regular mini lights (both LED and incandescent), and the unique shape of the bulb adds depth and complexity to the lights’ appearance. As Orr told us, this shape allows the strand to “refract the light and create a cool look depending on the angle of view. It appears that some are brighter than others and it adds contrast.” Orr, who specializes in exterior displays, added that mm wide-angle lights are generally his favorite light. And Christmas Designers, in a video dedicated to the bulbs, says these lights are “by far the most popular set we sell.”
But as with regular LED bulbs, the color of the light is a concern. We figure that if you’re reading this guide, you’re probably interested in replacing an old set of incandescent lights—but even if you want something more efficient and durable, you don’t want to give up the traditional lights’ familiar warm glow. Unfortunately, that is a big issue with LEDs.
Both Orr and Woodward warned us that LEDs simply do not look like incandescents. Due to improvements in the technology, many companies manufacture a “warm white” color that, depending on the quality of the LED, can closely mimic, but not fully achieve, the pinpoint sparkle of an incandescent. Orr stressed that “LED technology varies throughout the industry, and a warm white from one supplier can vary in hues and color drastically from another.” He even suggested buying strands from a few different manufacturers to compare them and see which hue you like best before making a large purchase. Once you find something you like, he said, buy from only that manufacturer. Our testing confirmed that there is a tremendous variety in LED color hues, from the fantastic to the terrible.
We dismissed companies that had overall poor reviews (Holiday Time), strange or incomplete bulb selections (EcoSmart), or suspiciously low pricing (Home Accents). Other companies, like Hometown Evolution, AGPtek, and Deneve, fall more into general exterior decor and don’t have a very good selection of Christmas lights. AGPtek, in particular, deals only in solar-powered or battery lights, which are more of a specialty item, and we wanted to concentrate on general tree and exterior lighting.
Our original testing consisted of 1sets, including colored and white mini lights, both LED and incandescent. We also tested a number of mm wide-angle conical LEDs, since our experts recommended them for exterior use. Then, in 2015, we looked at two new sets from Christmas Designers, the TSmooth LED Lights in both warm white and multicolor.
Ready to begin testing.
To evaluate the lights, we wound and unwound them, draped them over and into Christmas trees and rhododendrons, and tucked them in and out of deck railings. Basically, we tried to use the lights how they’re intended to be used. We tested the weather impermeability of the exterior lights by plugging them in and sinking the strands of lights into a 3-gallon bucket of water. While this test was a bit extreme, it’s certainly possible that any set of exterior lights will end up in a puddle or draped in a gutter.
Overall, we found that the wire quality has a lot to do with the success of a strand of lights. Some of the tested lights had tidy, close-knit strands of wire, while others were loose and messy. Some wires needed untwisting before use, like an old phone cord, and still others continued to accordion back on themselves no matter how we tried to stretch them out and lay them flat.
We also assessed each strand for color quality, using the incandescent strands as a benchmark, with the input of Susan Moriarty, executive creative director and founder of The Soapbox Studio. She’s a die-hard fan of the warmth that incandescent Christmas lights emit, so we asked her to compare the classics against new LEDs. Even though Moriarty did her evaluations in a blind fashion, she consistently chose along brand lines, a result that backed up Orr’s suggestion to select a single manufacturer and stick with it.
Long-term test notes
After two seasons of having the GE Energy Smart Colorite LED Miniature Lights on my tree, I have no complaints. Just recently (fall 2016) I took them out of storage for the holidays, and all of the bulbs work fine. I’ve noticed that the wire stranding has loosened a little, but the lights are still fairly well organized, and I don’t foresee any issues with putting them around a tree.
GKI/Bethlehem’s LEDs are nice lights, but we found that their color and wire quality didn’t match that of the GE or Christmas Designers lights.
The multicolor LED lights sold by Noma (known as Holiday Wonderland in the US) had a nice hue in our tests, but they’re non-rectified, so they have the potential for flicker—and if you merely jiggle them, they produce a dizzying strobe effect.
We also tested Noma’s mm wide-angle multicolored LEDs. Like the other Noma lights, this set is non-rectified. And because these lights employ a two-piece bulb and socket design, there is a chance of water infiltration, making them less than ideal for exterior applications.
GKI/Bethlehem’s wide-angle LEDs had a tidy wire but lacked the color quality of the wide-angle LEDs from the specialty stores. The whites had a far whiter hue. Even though this strand is sold as a warm white, in our tests The Soapbox Studio’s Susan Moriarty didn’t see a whole lot of warmth to it.
Wide-angle conical lights from Christmas Designers (top) and Christmas Light Source (bottom). Notice what a disaster the wiring is on the CLS lights. The best of the tested lights had nice, organized wires like the ones from Christmas Designers.
The wide-angle LEDs from Christmas Light Source had the most frustrating wire of all the lights we tested. Each bulb needed twisting and turning for the strand to lie flat, and even then it kept trying to spring back to how it was. The individual wires were loose from one another and had uneven loops. It was a nightmare to feed them through a tight spot like a railing or even between two branches.
The Brite Star clear incandescents we tested were very nice, and in light quality they were on a par with the strands from Christmas Designers and GE. We didn’t make them a recommendation because they have a 2½-inch spacing, which seems a little tight for most people. As we mention above, inches is the standard.
While the Brite Star incandescents were a success in our tests, the company’s LED Mini Ice Lights were a total failure. Everything bad about LEDs was on display with these lights. When we plugged them in, the result was like having 50 small computer screens lit up on a wire strand. It was just awful. They’re non-rectified, and the effect is not a positive one. The light that these LEDs emit is about as natural as the ingredients list on a Twinkie.
Cluster lights offer a unique and hazy look, but because they have so many bulbs per strand, they quickly get expensive.
In 2016, we tested two different styles of cluster lights. Such strands, which have been popular in Europe for years, have much smaller bulbs (either mm or mm conicals) and a vastly higher bulb density—a 10-foot strand has almost 450 bulbs on it, in contrast to traditional mini lights, which might have only 50 bulbs on a 16-foot strand. With regular mini lights, the bulb is attached to the main wire, but on a cluster strand, the bulb sits on the end of a 2½-inch extension coming off the main wire. The spacing on these extensions can be as little as ⅛ inch. On a tree, cluster lights offer a hazy, almost fairy-tale effect.
We found them available in two styles: straight strands and tree ready. The straight strands are self-explanatory, but the tree style is a little more complicated. This design—consisting of a central (non-lit) wire with a series of cluster strands coming off it, each one longer than the last—allows you to hang the main line vertically from the top of the tree (with the shortest cluster at the top) and then unravel each cluster around the tree. Lighting a tree this way takes hardly any time at all (this video shows the process). The lights are available for either 6-foot or 6.75-foot trees in warm or cool white.
If you are interested in cluster lights, we recommend sticking with a trusted retailer due to the variances we’ve seen with LED light quality. The ones we tested were from Christmas Designers, and these bulbs have the same warm incandescent-like look as the company’s other LED products.
To save time putting lights up and taking them down, without the help of a lift or cherry picker, closely wrap just the trunk and the first couple of feet of a deciduous tree—up into the main branches. McGowan suggests using strings of lights with six inches or less between bulbs, and then wrapping the trunk and limbs with no more than three inches between the layers of wrapped wiring.
Another neighborhood where residents go all out for Christmas is Medfield. Many streets in this neighborhood have yards full of lights. Head north of Hampden and just south of Roland Park to admire the displays.
244Chestnut Rd. has synchronized lights and music using 87.FM. 122Graylynn Drive and 256Mountain Woods Drive also have light shows tuned to music to make the holidays shine.
Crown Point Parkway Festival of Lights is the place you want to check out if you’re looking for a holiday display dressed to impress with lights and moving decorations. It is a walkable and drivable display which includes trains, lighted walking paths and a merry-go-round. It’s no surprise that this neighborhood made our top five favorites AGAIN this year. We also recommend checking out the
City of Strongsville Winter Wonderland, which has a 40-inch Christmas tree and beautifully lit clock tower.
Walker’s Winter Wonderland has lights, magical displays and photo opportunities with Santa and Mrs. Claus. There’s also great light displays at 155Elberta Ave. SW, 5220 Grandvale Ave. NE and drive-thru holiday lights at
The residents of Highland Park get into the holiday spirit with extravagant displays and many of them are installed by professionals. The entrance is at Armstrong Pkwy. and Preston Rd. Swing by the area south of Preston and Mockingbird for more light displays.
If you’re heading to Rochester to admire Christmas lights, a great place to start is downtown. Every business is painted in lights and comes to life during
The Big Bright Light Show, which runs from Nov. 2to Jan. from p.m. to midnight. Kristi Trevarrow, the Executive Director of Rochester DDA, says the 1.million-light display takes two crews working seven days a week for eight straight weeks to set it up.
Deacon Dave strives to outdo himself by topping the number of lights he strung the year before. This year, at Casa del Pomba (House of the Dove), the Deacon has done it again! Decked out with over 500,000 twinkling lights, this historical home in the easternmost part of the East Bay also has a theme each year. This year the House of the Dove has been transformed into a giant gingerbread house and dubbed “Gingerbread Division, North Pole.” There’s plenty of other light shows to take in while in Livermore. Another must see is located at in the Portola Glen neighborhood. New for 201is a a coin operated (25¢) on-demand snow machine!
You might recognize this street because it was a contender on ABC’s “The Great Christmas Light Fight”, but even if you have, it’s worth seeing it in person! Multiple homes on participate in a coordinated light show complete with holiday-themed music.
Take a drive north to Kokomo and you’ll find the
Sharpsville Light Display, which boasts 120,000 lights, a 45-minute show synchronized to music, free hot chocolate and cookies (weekend only) at the church down the street, and a large veterans memorial display with 50 flags. It’s worth the drive!
The holidays are here and Chino is here to celebrate.
1260Cypress Avenue features hundreds of holiday lights. Another must see is
Operation Christmas Lights. This holiday extravaganza has been going since 201It’s only one house, but it’s worth the drive. With thousands of lights and choreographed carols, this house is the definition of festive.
The Plaza Lights
How can you miss this? With fifteen blocks decorated to the nines, this tradition is classic KC. Also, don’t forget the Mayor’s Christmas Tree at Crown Center, with its 7,200 bulbs and the display splashed across the 22-story Downtown Marriot Hotel’s exterior.
On the way out to
Christmas Card Lane in the Mission Ridge Subdivision, stop by the Simpson Family Christmas Lights, at 108S Wcykford Street. Santa pops by for a “surprise” visit between p.m. and p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, while viewers are treated to a synchronized 20,000-lights program. Another unique Olathe tradition is
Paulie’s Penguin Playground, which is an inflatable holiday ornament extravaganza that delights small children, while raising tens of thousands of dollars for the Leukemia Lymphoma Society.
Sherwood’s Enchanted Forest Trail of Lights is a mile-long trail of holiday lights synchronized with trains, motion lighting and, of course, Santa and his reindeer. There’s also free candy canes for all! There are many great homes to see in Crossett, but be sure to catch
There are over one million lights, two bubble machines, two snow machines and a laser projector to help spread the holiday cheer.
Gill’s Bright Lights is an incredible display of over 50,000 synchronized lights, about a dozen Christmas trees and one ENORMOUS tree. Visitors are encouraged to bring a canned food donation, which benefits Second Harvest. Be sure to check out the website before heading over to this attraction as bad weather could impact the light display.
This historic neighborhood goes all out every year with beautiful lights and decorations. Make sure to take in the sights on Royal Street to see how homeowners ornament their brightly lit homes. While in the area, check out the
Roosevelt Hotel’s lobby, which is adorned with ice-covered trees and over 1,000 twinkling lights transforming it into a true winter wonderland.
Dyker Heights in Brooklyn topped our list of the five best neighborhoods for holiday lights for a fourth year in a row, and it’s no surprise why! This neighborhood never fails to impress with their holiday light displays, which draws thousands of visitors every holiday season. It just wouldn’t be Christmas without lights in Dyker Heights! We hear the best lights are on 11th avenue between 83rd and 86th street. Stay up to date on everything going on at this holiday spectacular at the community’s Facebook page,
Dyker Heights Christmas Lights. Plan ahead, so you don’t have to worry about traffic dampening that holiday cheer!
This is one display you probably already know about if you live in this area. The home is on the corner of 166th Street and 23rd Avenue and it is known as “
Santa’s Corner.” The home includes thousands of lights, hundreds of figurines and plenty of families who come out to see it every year. In 2013, it took home the top prize on the ABC reality TV show “The Great Christmas Light Fight.”
San Tan Valley
Loop of Lights is another must-see Christmas lights display in Phoenix. Approximately 9to 1homes participate in the lights event – with decorations ranging from small to totally covered in lights. This display will be open from December to December 25.
Glendale Glitters is another location known for making spirits bright. The 1.million-bulb display lights up 1blocks of downtown Glendale. It’s the largest free holiday light display in the state of Arizona. If you’re in the area, you should also swing by
423W. State Ave where you can see a display that includes 50 Christmas trees, 6,000 ornaments and more than 70,000 lights inside and out.
West End has lots of noteworthy homes to see, none more than the Phifer family display at 960and 960Asbury Court. 921Holbrook Drive is another not-to-be-missed home with scenes that visitors can explore on foot. Pine Grove Drive offers a double whammy with extravagant displays at 250and 251921Venetian Way is a stunner with 100,000 lights twinkling in the reflection of the lake behind the home. This display can be viewed from Maybuery Drive.
Many of the iconic mansions along Monument Avenue are dressed for the holidays. While you’re in the neighborhood, don’t miss the standouts at 15Grove Avenue and 281W. Grace Street.
Every year, the Wright family puts on an impressive FREE light show with accompanying music in their front yard. The show is on a loop and features songs by Mariah Carey, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Elmo, as well as songs from “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “The Polar Express,” broadcast through 97.FM. The home is located at Burning Tree Lane, Penfield. The display is open from 5:1p.m. until p.m. Sunday to Thursday; and 5:1p.m. to 1p.m. Friday and Saturday. Head to their
One fantastically decorated house is great but Irondequoit has an entire street of residents dedicated to decking out their homes each year in the best and brightest displays. The families on Endicar Drive put in tons of effort (and cheer!) into their Christmas Lights display each year, so be sure to take that drive to check it out. You can get to this display from HWY 590 or RTE 104.
If you live in the Sacramento area and choose just one neighborhood to take in the holiday cheer, Elk Grove is it. Although there are over a dozen homes in neighborhood that go all out for the season, 331Lake Terrace Drive is the must-see of the season. Yes, there are over 100,000 lights. Yes, there’s a 50-foot tall redwood tree covered with 25,000 lights. But the star on top of the proverbial tree can be experienced this year on December 17th and Christmas Eve when the hot cider will be flowing freely and the snow machines will be working overtime because everyone deserves to experience a white Christmas at least once.
Here is why
The body of this projector is weatherproof and made out of plastic. The benefit of it having a plastic body is that this allowed the price of this unit to be cut significantly; you’re getting a great quality light at a budget price. Because it is made to be used only when your Christmas decorations are out, it will most likely get only one month of use each year. For this reason, the plastic won’t wear down as quickly on this one as compared to others which are made for usage year-round on different occasions. This is especially true if you decide to use it indoors with the base it is packaged with. Also, since it’s waterproof, you won’t have any issues with it sitting out in bad weather.
There are a couple of key reasons.
First of all, it shoots out green and red lasers (the traditional Christmas colors). Secondly, the two patterns which it is capable of producing are both variations of Christmas trees. One pattern uses only green and shows many Christmas trees wherever the projector is pointed. The other one shows green Christmas trees with red stars sparkling on and all around them. Aside from the patterns, it also has ten different lighting effects that can be controlled directly from the unit.
There is no remote controller included, but this isn’t too much of an inconvenience. This light is meant to be one that you can set up and forget about. Once you find the settings you like, it will remember them. And best of all, this projector has a light sensor that tells the unit to turn on at dusk and off at dawn. The simplicity of the 1byone Magical Laser Projector is top-notch and great for anyone wanting to add a little somethin’ somethin’ to their Christmas setup.
TaoTronics Outdoor Laser Projector (Top Outdoor Christmas Laser Light)
The TaoTronics Outdoor Laser Projector takes all of the best elements of the projectors mentioned above and packs them all into one. You get all of the best features of other top-of-the-line products at a bargain price. If you want a projector that gives you a lot to toy around without leaving you completely broke, you should check this one out.
This is one of the cheapest lasers out there that features a waterproof, aluminum body. Though the aluminum might be a little thinner than more expensive competitors, it is still much better than plastic. It definitely won’t break in half from misuse like cheap plastic sometimes does. Plus, it is waterproof, and as we have previously discussed, this will extend its longevity.
One of the beauties of this projector is that it can display six different patterns in red and green coloration with five of them being specific to the Christmas holiday. These include snowflakes, trees, snowmen, bells, and Santa Claus. And, if you’d rather not use one of these patterns, the sixth pattern is the generic twinkling green and red stars that most laser projectors have. With so many options, you can plan on using this for many occasions.
And, to top it all off, this budget laser light comes with a remote. You can control the patterns, flash speed, auto-off timer, and more. As I mentioned from the start, this combines the best features of the Christmas laser projects I discussed above and puts them in a product that is actually cheaper than the Star Shower. This is a great deal!
The minor foibles aren’t deal breakers for us
All things considered, for the durable build and bright lights, you should give this one a go.
Demeao Christmas/Halloween Laser Light with Colors: Red, Green, Blue
Let the vivid colors flow into your garden and all over your house this Halloween with the Demeao Christmas Laser Light, Halloween Projector Red Green Blue Color.
The projector gives star-spangled colors: red, green, blue, and you may set it on one of the three patterns. The three modes (motion, static and flash) are fun to use and you may play with them for a various appearance on your house.
The wide area coverage of the projector is great (up to 2,100sq.ft) and the projector works even when placed far. It has a 180-degree adjustable angle and you get all around control with a 50ft. radius.
The versatility of the projector is pretty good and you may install it in many ways. The projector comes with a long spike, a holder, and a wall base so you may have the best setting for your needs.
The lighting effects are great and you may easily create a romantic or a magical, or both, atmosphere in your garden with the projector.
The construction of the projector explains and sustains its lifespan. The projector has a waterproof metal housing and you may confidently use it from -1to 90F degrees. The projector has an IP6waterproof design, taking rain and snow quite well.
The projector has a well thought out design as it has a built-in Auto-timer so it starts at specific hours, just the way you want it. Additionally, the projector comes with its very own remote control so you get to change the setting from the comfort of your house.
The inherent flaws shouldn’t be a deal breaker
Apart from the minor problems, we still like the projector for its effects, build, mounting and, we have to admit, its very good price.
LaserXplore Red and Green Star Projector, Moving with Lighting Modes for Christmas, Holiday, Parties, Landscape and Garden Decoration
If you’re not really into lighting up your house for Christmas, but still kind of want to; take a leap of faith with the LaserXplore Laser Christmas Lights, Red and Green Star Projector.
The laser projector has lighting modes so you get plenty of options to choose from for you home. You may go with the moving/static/blinking with red and green stars, or just go with a simple display of your favorite lighting modes instead. Don’t be shy and try the “Blinking Effect” that is quite new and creates a realistic starry sky effect.
This is one projector easy to use and it comes with a built-in timer. This means it automatically powers off after 6hrs and power on after 18hrs.
The projector covers impressive areas as it has more than 4000 red&green pinpoints, presenting up to 1550sq.ft. coverage at 26.2ft.
As for use, that’s a breeze: simply stick it in the ground and plug it in.
The build is great for the outdoors and the projector is sun proof, snow proof, rainproof and even dustproof. It has an IP6lamp body that takes all sorts of weather conditions.
Let’s list the most important pros
The projector isn’t far from being perfect, but we do have some cons:
For the nice lighting modes and impressive coverage, the laser projector may be a good choice for anyone who doesn’t want to go traditional this Christmas.
Starry Full Color Motion Laser Light Star Projector
Very easy to install and offering you so many options to light up you residence, give it a go with the Starry Full Color Motion Laser Light Star Projector.
The laser projector is well made and FDA approved so you may safely use it for your pool, camping, wedding and all sorts of holidays, including Christmas.
You get no less than colors to use on the projector and go with one of the brightness levels and patterns to play with for decoration. The laser projector also presents speed options and you may also set it for the static or the motion mode
Here are the colors to choose from: green, teal, pink, white, blue, yellow, and white. The moving patterns are various and look nice: fade, twinkle, pulse or chasing and the speed is adjustable for a better decoration.
The laser projector comes with Auto Timer modes and you may press the 4/or 8H button to set the time when you want it to turn on automatically. Just that you know, the laser projector has a default time mode of hours on and 18hours off.
Don’t worry about using the projector outdoor as its IP6casing make it safe on rain and snow. It works in temperatures ranging from to 86F degrees. Additionally, the power adapter has an IP4waterproof grade so it can take a splash. Let’s not forget about the intruders and tell you about the security hole that locks the laser light, minimizing risk for getting stolen.
We also like the wide coverage of the laser projector: up to 1,600 sq.ft. from a 26ft. distance.
The laser projector comes with extension stakes to use if mounting outdoor. You may also use the base though when you want to use it indoor.
The remote control is pretty user friendly and works from a nice distance.
Give your residence a whimsical feel this winter with the Fiery Youth Laser Light Christmas Laser Show Halloween Projector.
The projector gives red and green patterns on a nice blue LED background, creating a magical atmosphere every time.
The RF remote control is responsive and user friendly so you may easily operate the light from your comfortable couch inside your living room. The projector also comes with a built-in timer, so you may customize it on for 2/4/8hours.
The projector covers a pretty wide area, up to 2100sq.ft. and it’s made for the outdoor use. It has an IP6waterproof grade so it’s waterproof and snow proof. It’s also sun proof, so it takes some strong sunlight.
Not only the metal body is waterproof, but its power adapter also with its IP4waterproof grade.
The projector has a tough metal shell with improved heat dissipation, which extends the lifespan of the projector.
Last but not least, the projector comes with a multi-mount stand and it’s multi-directional adjustable from any angle you like.
Don’t stress over the inherent flaws
Nevertheless, for the good build and nice lighting effects, the laser projector stands out as a reliable tool for improving your holidays.
1Cheriee Star Laser Laser Show, Blue & Red & Green, Bronze Aluminum
The more you’re paying for your laser projector, the more you may expect from it when it comes to its performances or build. It’s the case of the Cheriee Laser Christmas Lights Outdoor Projector Light that isn’t going to let you down for a good amount of time.
The laser projector stands out with its build and body as it’s made with high quality materials, handling well challenging weather conditions. It works even in snow, rain or intense sun. Its IP6degree makes it functional even on a light rainy day.
It uses laser holographic technology and covers more than 800 sq.ft., projecting up to 300ft. away. It displays thousands of green, red and blue star combination, but you may also try the red/green/blue stars static.
You may use the projector both indoor and outdoor, on any special occasion, not only on Christmas time.
Its remote control is fast and responsive even from 4ft. away. The power cord is 4.5ft. long and the projector works well.
Here are some downsides
Well-made and versatile, the lights are worth every single penny.
1Imbeang Pattern Garden Laser Light, Moving Red, Green and Blue with RF Remote Control and Security Lock
Festive and bright, the Imbeang Pattern Garden Laser Light, Moving Red,Green and Blue Light is going to let everyone in your neighborhood know you’re ready for Christmas.
The laser projector gives you patterns to use: moving green, blue and red light and speed models (static, slow and fast). The patterns may change quite fast and there are more than 1000+ to decorate your home in a colorful and bright way.
The smart RF controller saves you the trouble of going outside for setting the projector. You may set the colors and the speed using the remote control.
The projector covers a pretty wide area and the power cable is 20ft. long.
The aluminum metal case and the IP6waterproof grade make it for the outdoor use, but you may confidently use it indoor as well. Additionally, the projector handles the extreme temperatures also.
Let’s not forget about the security lock that prevents it from being stolen by some intruder.
The cons aren’t that big of a deal
All in all, for the money you pay, you get some colorful, waterproof lights that create a nice lighting for your outdoors on Christmas.
11byone Magical Laser Light with Green Christmas Tree
Giving precise and sharp lights, the 1byone Magical Laser Light with Green Christmas Tree and Red Star Patterns are a great option on Christmas on years to come.
The lights are designed and made for the indoor and outdoor use, being versatile and reliable. You simply place them in the ground outside or on your floor inside and enjoy the show.
They are able to cover up to 2,100 sq. ft. from a distance of 20ft and come with many useful features. The lights turn on/off automatically depending on the light intensity, but also present an Automatic Timers function. This means they automatically turn off after 6H and on after 18H.
The lights have colors, patterns and go through lighting effects. They have one all-purpose single button control and the built-in light sensor is sensitive and fast.
The lights rotate and move, creating nice lighting effects for your outdoors.
We also like the lights as they have an adjustable angle function.
The downsides aren’t deal breakers for us
Easy to use and great with their patterns, the lights are a great investment to make for your Christmas.
20. Starry Laser Lights Projection Christmas Lights Moving Laser
If you would like to add some blue into your Christmas decorations this year, don’t hesitate to get these lights. They give you green and blue light, which is both nice and refreshing also.
The lights take less than minutes to install and are waterproof. They give you several patterns to choose from. The patterns are moving and you can set the moving mode or the stationary one simply using the remote.
The lights also come with automatic timers so this is great when it comes to energy saving. You can set the lights to turn on the same time each day or night and turn off again 2, 4, 6, hours later. The lights may cover almost 3900 square feet, 2feet away and you can set several modes: twinkle, simple or stationary.
The lights have a good built and the price is good for the quality you get. You can place the lights anywhere you like, with no stress about tangling in wires or challenges to reach the hard places. You don’t need to hang it or a ladder to climb. Each unit is independent so you can have as many as you like.
2Christmas Laser Lights Halloween Outdoor Projector Waterproof Star
The more you are willing to pay for your Christmas lights, the better quality you get and these lights are the proof of that. The lights are for the heavy duty use and the high quality of the aluminum stake is a reason for it.
The laser lights are waterproof and may be used in cold temperatures also. the lights are red, green, blue and you can set various combinations of these colors for the lights. You can choose moving pattern or the stationary mode with the remote control.
You can set the lights to turn on at dawn/dusk and having it turn off 2, 4, or hours later. The lights are efficient on energy saving also.
You can cover almost 3900 square feet from 2feet away and the lights may be used on Christmas, but on various occasions just as well.
The lights are easy to install, wherever you want. The lights are made of aluminum, just as the stake and are long lasting.
As they give you so many color combinations, various modes to choose from, the lights make a reliable and fun option for many Christmases, not just for this year.
2Escolite Landscape Lights Laser Spotlights RGB Patio Christmas Light Waterproof
The lights are a solid, fun option for your Christmas any year. There are many settings for the lights, going from simple colors (red/green/blue), to RGB, moving, flash or static mode.
The lights cover a big space and can create more than 1000 points. They are big enough to replace 4-standard landscape lights or hundreds of feet of rope lighting.
You can use the lights on various special occasions, not only for Christmas. The wireless remote controller is useful and easy to use. You can also use the control timer with pressing 2/4/6/hours on.
The lights are safe to use (spotlight classification is class 2). They have a waterproof design and may be used on heavy rain, snow or on intense sun just as well. The unit may create safety light points, each point less than 1mw.
The lights have a good, metal build and are made to last for quite some time. They give you many options of colors combinations and setting modes, which makes them easy to use and highly versatile.
2BAXIA TECHNOLOGY Waterproof Garden Laser Christmas Light
Easy to use and versatile, the BAXIA TECHNOLOGY Waterproof Garden Laser Christmas Light are a popular option that you shouldn’t skip on if ever in need.
You don’t need any instruction for installing and using the lights as you only have to plug them in and play them.
Even though they’re not the brightest lights out there, they are a cozy light stationary red and green laser light. You don’t get too dizzy because of the lights as they have no blinking points.
Covering a distance of 40ft. and including a 2224-in cord, the lights are easy to mount and have a nice range.
The build of the lights doesn’t disappoint either as they have a high-quality aluminum casing, but the stake and the stand are also made with aluminum alloy. The tempered glass lens is good quality and gives a nice light.
Ucharge Snowflake Led Spotlight Landscape Projector
The lase spotlight has pcs slides and gives you the chance to choose one of the three modes, with laser lighting up around seconds or so. You may also go for the snowflake that lights up seconds or the laser and snowflake lights up seconds.
The lights have thousands of dots displaying snowman, snowflakes, stars, and Christmas tree. You may use the lights on Halloween also as they display also ghost, pumpkin, and skull.
The construction of the lights recommends them for the outdoors and they are waterproof.
The built in timer makes the use easy and the lights automatically turn on and off.
The moving patterns and the versatility of the lights make them a reliable choice for many occasions, not only for Christmas.
The flaws are minor
Nevertheless, for the versatility and multiple patterns, these lights are a great option all year round.
2Remote Controllable RGB Laser Outdoor Garden Landscape Light Red, Green and Blue By Ledmall
For those of you who don’t look in their wallet when Christmas shopping, this is a great option for decoration.
Apart from the price, this projector will impress you with the power of its lights and the combination of colors: single green, single red, single blur. And, if you really want a colorful Christmas, you can go for the combinations of these colors and also change the mode from flash to static, whenever you feel like it.
This product comes with a timer and you can set it for 2, 4, or hours cycles.
You’d better read and apply the instructions before plugging it in, so that you enable the remote to sync.
Your Christmas lighting will be easier and brighter with this laser installation. Just give it a try!
2Laser Christmas Lights, eLander™ Red and Green Outdoor Waterproof IP6Star Projector
You know how some people are men of few words? This goes also for these laser lights.
Easy to install, this light is waterproof and made of solid aluminum. It can snow for days and this projector will still do its job on your yard and house.
The remote of this laser light lets you choose from modes: static red, static green, static green and red, and flashing.
It covers a 25ft*25ft area with 1000 laser points of various sizes.
You can make this a Christmas gift as it comes also gift wrapped and you can use it on any other holiday as well!
2Starry RED and Green Color Laser Landscape Projector Light w/ Remote. Holiday Lighting, Christmas Lights
To obtain the traditional red&green look on your yard and house, go for this laser projector light. You can choose from modes and the remote will allow you to do that without going outside.
This laser projector has a hour timer and it’s made of sturdy waterproof aluminum.
You may use it both indoor and outdoor and the 1000 points of light cover a huge area. You can also mount it in various ways, so you can get creative when decorating the house and the yard!
This product comes well packaged and the instructions are clear and concise.
Laser light projectors
This type of projectors are saving you tons of trouble, effort and time when it comes to decorating your house, inside and outside.
Typically, they come with the hardware you need for the installation. That is if you consider a ground stick as hardware.
You simply stick the projector into the ground, plug it in and…enjoy the show. The patterns you may get from the laser light projectors are impressive and you may get models that go for a specific theme, or pay the extra buck for something more sophisticated that is going to save you on any occasion over the year.
However, wait, the best this is still ahead. Many laser light projectors out there come with remote control so you may change the modes (static, flashing, moving- your call) from the comfortable couch in your home.
Needless to say, many laser lights projectors are waterproof and may be used indoor as well.
The Oregon Zoo illuminates walkways and animal-themed displays with a million and a half lights. Grab some hot cocoa and take a romantic stroll along ZooLights or bring the kids for this annual tradition, which gets brighter every year. (Photos)
Where: The Oregon Zoo, SW Canyon Road in Washington Park.
First things first…
Lets talk about budget, perhaps the most important factor in starting to plan any large commercial lighting display.
There are always options and alternatives: our outdoor curtain lights are amazing for dramatic impact, and might well be your first choice for lighting up a length of wall or a hedge, but perhaps our lovely icicle lights might help your budget equations! Look at your budget and figure out how to spend it in the most efficient way to create the biggest wow factor. Whether you have been asked to light up a shopping centre, hotel gardens, monument or high street, by following our simple tips and guidelines the minefield that is commercial lighting should hopefully become a lot clearer.
The vast majority of our lights are interconnectable, and can be forked in different directions:
This means you can run many hundreds, even thousands of LED bulbs from a single power source and extend your capacity bit by bit – ideal for parish councils or similar who have a limited budget, but fundraise each year.
I have set my budget, I’ve bought my lights, now how do I install them? This is perhaps a consideration you should make before the purchase of the lights. How you will install your lights may even come into play when setting your budget depending on whether you require any specialist machinery. For many larger displays a cherry picker or scaffolding could be necessary. Many local hire centres around the country have this equipment available. Bear in mind that the equipment will have to be hired twice – once for installation and then again when Christmas is over and the lights come down.
Another consideration will be where your power is coming from. Are you using mains power, generators, wiring into lampposts or council supply. Many forms of commercial lighting comes supplied with a standard UK socket, you may require the services of an electrician depending on the installation. Along with such requirements come the inevitable health and safety constraints. It’s always worth checking in advance whether there are any restrictions or limitations in place in the area of your installation or put in place by the venue, local or parish council. All of our team are knowledgeable about the technical spec of all of our lights, as well as having a good depth of experience in dealing with the requirements of electricians and councils.
The internet is jam packed full of handy guides, tips and tricks on the actual securing of your lights to the structure they are decorating. In our experience the ever faithful cable tie takes a lot of beating. Strong and resilient they are extendable and flexible, easily removable and a key plus point, cheap. S hooks and gutter hooks are invaluable for using to decorating guttering.
It should be kept in mind that LED’s produce no heat so are ideal for use indoors when used with material and voile, filament bulbs can get very warm when left on for a long time.
Rest Easy With No Risk Of Fire
As opposed to traditional Christmas lights, LED’s are cool to the touch.
If you’re going green this holiday season by bringing a live tree into your home, that means that LED lights will propose NO risk of fire.
As an added bonus, the lack of heat from those Christmas lights will keep your tree from drying out, requiring less water and longer life of the tree (…if you choose a live Christmas tree vs. an artificial one).
Yeah, I said the entire string! Do the math on that one.
We are quickly going to break into two different paths. We’ll start with the original ‘Christmas Light’ technology first: mains voltage incandescent lights.
These are the lights everyone knows and loves, available at most stores around you. In order to control them, you need a controller or dimmer to regulate power to them. The first popular mains voltage DIY light dimmers are called ‘Renard’ dimmers.
Then the addressable LED came about. The affectionate ws281was one of the first to become very popular in the hacker world as much as the Christmas light world. Some standardized form factors were created, namely the 12mm ‘bullet’ node as well as some interesting rectangular/square modules.
But 12mm node is king for usage and availability. As many people enjoyed the form of old Cbulbs, there are also a few offerings of pixels with plastic diffusers meant to look like C9s. If you are familiar with GE’s commercial pixel product, ‘Color Effects’ you know what I mean. My go to DIY product in this category is PixaBulbs.
Two voltage ‘standards’ were created: 5V pixels and 12V pixels. The biggest hurdle in building your display is fighting the voltage drop over power wires. 5V are the cheaper and more efficient pixel, but 12V affords more pixels per run. Some types of pixels will put two or three LEDs in series to allow for better efficiency while operating at 12V.
To drive these pixels, controllers had to be created that could receiver data from the playback device and convert it to the pixel protocol. The first few controllers took in Renard or DMX data and converted it to pixel data, but the channel limits of both serial based protocols quickly became a limiting factor. DMX was only good for 170 pixels and Renard less than that. Soon the scene adopted an IP based protocol and started to see IP based pixel controllers. The first few were powered by Propeller MCUs and had some interesting limitations like grouping outputs into a logical ‘port’ that had to be set as one pixel type. I suspect this is due to how the cores were assigned to do the bit banging of the protocols. Pixel limits started at 1000 to 2000 pixels per controller and started off an arms race to the next new limit.
Then David Pitts came along. He designed a board based that partnered an MCU with an FPGA and raised the bar. 10,000 pixel output at 40Hz update rate was possible. The MCU handles the math and Ethernet communication while the FPGA generated the pixel protocols. His Falcon controller seems to be the supreme controller on the scene right now, in my opinion. Better yet, he gives out his cell phone number to any members having issues and is a regular in the forums where he is still one of the few that openly discusses some design aspects and future improvements. Not quite open source/development, but still pretty close.
With the explosion of channel counts brought on by the pixel age, they were some rumblings of a way to offload the show scheduling and playback from a full blown computer to something a little more, tasty. The Raspberry Pi could more than handle just reading back values and sending them over IP, right? Right! The new idea of offloading playback changed our workflow and system diagram a bit:
Now after sequencing a new step of export is added to take the native sequencer files and convert them to a format the Raspberry Pi can playback.
The software that runs on the Pi is aptly named FPP (Falcon Pi Player) though now that ports exist for BeagleBones they are trying to get us to adopt ‘Falcon Player’ as the new name.
The very latest trend now with even more 100k+ channel counts is to have multiple FPPs each serving up a section of the display and staying synchronized with each other over the network. This is called master/slave mode. The next generation of pixel controllers will likely have SD cards on board and act as an FPP slave themselves, only requiring a sync packet over the network opposed to raw pixel data.
Early controllers used either the well-known DMX protocol, or the community created Renard protocol for the Renard dimmers (easy to remember, right?) Renard is a dead simple binary serial protocol with addressing. It has a header byte, an address byte and an escape byte. I’ve written a few Arduino libraries to talk Renard.
When the shift to IP communications came about, the lighting control over IP standard sACN or e1.3was adopted. This protocol borrows the idea of a group (or universe) of 51channels from the DMX scheme and packs it into a UDP packet. A numerical ‘universe ID’ is assigned for each group of 51channels. There is a max of 6399universes allowed for a total of 3million channels. I don’t think we’ll hit that limit for a long while. The protocol can be used as a multicast packet or unicast. Since most consumer network switches aren’t multicast aware, multicast is effectively treated as broadcast and floods the network. Hence most of the community uses it in unicast mode, however with the advent of small cheap wifi pixel controllers multicast usage can be used for an advantage of efficient airwave usage.
The community as a whole seems to have adopted these and pin waterproof plugs as a standard for connecting pixels. Though depending on if you buy pre-terminated pixel strands and from whom you buy them, the pinout can be different. Oi.
The common go to cable for Data is Cat We use it for DMX, Renard, networking (duh) and pixel data itself. There’s been a recent introduction of ‘long range’ pixel controllers that use 48or 42transceivers to send pixel data longer distances. This of course requires a ‘receiver’ board at the end of the run before connecting to the pixels.
I prefer wiring with these type controllers as normal pixel communications is only good for 10-1feet before noise becomes an issue.
When you build elements such as grids and pixel trees, most sequencing software assumes pixel is the lower left pixel, pixel right above it, and so on. So if you adopt this as a standard wiring scheme, it will make patching channels to pixels much easier. Don’t worry about zig-zag wiring, as most controllers can logically flip the data around to correct for you, making patching dead simple.
There are a few major camps here for sequencing software. The top two are Xlights and Vixen. Vixen has been around longer, it was an early free alternative to Light-o-Rama product line. Early versions were for AC lights only, and the onset of pixels bought about major design changes.
Xlights, originally called Nutcracker, was written as a plugin to add early pixel support to sequencers like Vixen. It eventually became its own sequencer, and it seems to be more popular now among people who are heavily into pixels.
There are many, many other sequencers out there, HLS deserves a mention. However I don’t know much about it.
Open Source and Other Drama
When I jumped in feet first, it took me a while to feel out the community in regards to being Open Source. By the strictest definition, it’s not open source at all. Though some common elements, like Renard dimmers, have schematics and board layouts all posted in wikis. Firmware updates are distributed in code and binary form. And like the OSHW community, there seems to be a set of unspoken guidelines. And just like the OSHW community, they seem to be broken all too often. Some industrious members will come up with innovative products to improve the community, working publically on the forum to improve their product idea only to see another ‘member’ steal the design and beat them to production. As a result, I’ve seen much fewer public design collaborations on the forum the past years than I did my first year lurking the scene.
I have contributed some of my own designs to the community. I designed my own ESP826based WIFI pixel controllers and Renard adapters. I stared working on the firmware for said adapters, but was pleasantly surprised to find another member doing the same and scrapped my code for his, and contributed to his code base where I saw fit. So not all is lost in respect to Open Source in the community.
Websites and Other Drama
As much as I saw drama over the theft of open collaboration designs, I’ve heard there is history of drama over websites. I’ve found a good handful of forums all about DIY Christmas lights, more than are needed and some more active than others. I’ve heard from long time community members that forums would rise, something would cause a schism, people would join sides and part of the community would split off into another new forum.
The advent of pixels saw an explosion of supporting material. The best source is Boscoyo Studio. This is another good case of an industrious forum member who had some good ideas and turned it into a small business. He sells pixel strips, mega tree kits, and a whole bunch of other elements that streamlines display creation.
Pixel strips were/are a major milestone in the community.
They made it much easier to create pixel grids, pixel trees, pixel poles, etc. Boscoyo sells strips and all the hardware needed to create any of these elements. They wisely designed their products to use EMT conduit from your local hardware store to make part sourcing much easier.
He also sells various cutouts made from coroplast or corrugated plastic sheets. This includes things like stars, snowflakes, tombstones (Halloween) etc. All pre-cut and ready for pixels. Seriously, one of the first things you should do is browse around Boscoyo Studio and start picking out what elements you want to build using his kits.
Design Approaches and other Terminology
The name of the game with pixels is combatting voltage drop and noise on the data lines. Most of my display is 5V and I use the common pin 1AWG connector as data in/out connections on my elements. But I also piggy back a large 1AWG gauge power connector too. My mini trees are a good example. Each tree has 70 pixels, 50 in the tree and 20 in the star. I split the power wires at the interface between pixel 50 and 5on the star and ‘inject’ power there. This premise is aptly called ‘power injecting’. But power can also enter from the input pin connector and output pin connector. The result, logically, is a strand of 280 pixels that is fed power from the first pixel, and has power ‘injected’ after the first 50 pixels and again every 70 pixels. A good rule of thumb for 5V is to never have more than 50 pixels away in either direction from a power injection point.
The length of the data wire can become an issue too. Longer runs can see glitching from noise on the data line. To combat this, a ‘null pixel’ is used. This works because every pixel receives and retransmits the data line, so each pixel acts as a buffer. Most controllers will have provisions to add these null pixels to the beginning of a strand of pixels without requiring channels to be transmitted to that controller from the sequencer. Controllers will also have provisions to ‘zig-zag’ or flip sub groups of pixel data to account for the fact it’s easier to wire grids as an up-down zig zag, but the sequencer expects the start of each column to be at the bottom of the grid.
Audio and the FCC
O boy, this is one where a lot of the community can get in trouble. To make sure your neighbors don’t go crazy, it’s common to transmit your audio over FM instead of using PA speakers. There isn’t a great category for regulations that allow us to do this, but no one seems to have ever gotten in trouble. Just try to find a dead channel and be reasonable with your transmit power.
Admission is free
Six Flags Fiesta Texas: Combine all the fun and thrills of a theme park with the Christmas spirit during Holiday in the Park at Fiesta Texas. All the park rides remain open as visitors take in the festive decorations (complete with a 60-foot Christmas tree) and over million brilliant, sparkling lights.
Windcrest Light-up: Almost 80 residents of the Windcrest neighborhood have entered the 56th annual Windcrest Light-up. With categories such as best cul-de-sac, most creative lighting, and best elegant creation, the neighborhood provides stunning sights.
Light of Tejas prides itself on its sensational million light display and indoor light show. The theme at this camp has a religious focus, and highlights include the multicolored Christmas tree forest and the huge light tunnel. Additionally, the camp offers hay rides, concession stands, zip lines, bounce houses, and “Texas sledding.” There is also a fireworks show every night at pm.
Nestled less than two hours away from Austin is the small charming town of
Goldthwaite. During the holiday season, it lights up its courthouse, surrounding downtown area, and city park in thousands of Christmas lights. Visitors can have a relaxing, quiet evening and enjoy the various drive-thru Christmas displays throughout the town.
Historic Downtown New Braunfels is covered in Christmas lights. The courthouse is draped in glimmering white lights while Main Plaza is equally decorated and holds a magnificent Christmas tree. Elsewhere in New Braunfels, the drive-thru display features almost miles of Christmas lights, complemented by hot cocoa and kettle corn.
Trail of Lights at the EmilyAnn Theatre. This Christmas attraction is truly a community effort. Each year, community organizations, businesses, and schools create more than 100 spectacular displays. The Trail of Lights also features a Yule log burning every night, weather permitting.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your Holiday Lights wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of Holiday Lights
- №1 — LED Light Projector Outdoor Night Light – Coolmade Upgarded Version Bright Led Landscape Spotlight with 16 Slides Dynamic Lighting Landscape Show for Halloween, Party, Holiday Decoration
- №2 — ApexPower Christmas Solar String Lights 200 LED 72ft 8 Modes Waterproof Outdoor Indoor Decorative Lights for Thanksgiving Day Patio Lawn Garden Home Holiday Party Xmas Tree (Multicolor)
- №3 — LED Concepts 300 LED Icicle Curtain String Lights with 8 Lighting Modes and UL Listed Power Supply, Warm White