I really like Christmas lights, but I get dizzy with simple things like climbing on the roof. My husband equates putting up Christmas lights with a 4 hour commute in heavy traffic. In the rain. He also is less than enthused about spending money on them, but has been okay with me buying a few. For a few years, it worked out to hire my kids to put them up, but I knew this year that was coming to an end.
I was resolved to maintaining a stiff upper lip about all of this and threw some of my Christmas cheer into making fresh loaves of sour dough bread for the neighbors. The process was running later into the evening than I had planned and I felt some trepidation about showing up on neighbors doorsteps at 9PM. But the bread was ready! So I risked their disapproval.
Not only was I received by everyone with repeated exclamations of gratefulness for such a timely bedtime snack, but I saw Christmas laser lights for the first time in a couple of yards. I had no idea these decorative lights existed for the average consumer, let alone that people were buying these wonderfully convenient lights on amazon! If I had not been walking up to their houses, I don’t think I would have noticed them the same way.
Trying not to have too much hope for Christmas lights in my future, I researched them. They were available in white, blue, green, and red, and some combinations of those. Some would make snow flakes swirl around. Reviews were positive for function, but unclear about longterm life of the laser light units. I decided to give them a try.
Being late on the scene, mine wouldn’t arrive until a few days before Christmas. It was easier to be okay with that knowing that it wouldn’t take hours to set them up and take them down. I ordered two different brands. (click on any photo to enlarge, but keep in mind that they are brighter in person than what I was able to capture with my camera.)
The first laser lights that came were the easiest to set up. Sold by LuckLED and called MagicPrime Wireless Control Laser Christmas Lights, ($79.99) they were more assembled on arrival and had clearer instructions. My only complaints about them were that the remote control was pretty much worthless, and the electrical cords were ultra short.
If I hadn’t had them first, I would have been much more frustrated by the second ones to arrive. This Outdoor Laser Landscape Projector Light from Erligpowht ($45.99) had light bases that looked almost identical, but there were a couple of unexplained pieces and issues that made set-up much more confusing. In the end, my personal electrical engineer helped me put it together.
Setting it up outside was still my job. While I did that, my engineer got online to research his concerns about the lights accidentally blinding us if we opened the front door, or beams made it in through windows. He was satisfied with explanations that the individual beams were not dangerous. There might be an issue if someone looked full on into the light projector, though, so he created barricades to vision to block them from the major pathways to the house.
I initially had one shining on the front of the house, but limitations with how many timers I had (the one on the laser light unit not working) and the view from the street led to me moving one of them to shine on a large pine tree at the entrance to our longish driveway. It was pretty amazing to see that huge, tall tree covered in sparkling lights. The other projector was aimed at the end of the house more visible from the street. If it hadn’t been so cold out and so late in the holiday season, I may have taken time to set them up side by side and compare brightness, but I didn’t. All I can say is that the first set seemed to cover more area and more densely.
The lights made me smile any time I saw the house and yard at night. I also had a few ground and fence level lights, some large Christmas bulbs on the perimeter of the driveway fence, as well as an army of hard plastic snowmen lining the walkway. I’m sure it could have been designed better, but on such short notice, I was happy enough with my festive touches.
Later in the month, we drove by another house that had a very simple line of white lights along the roadside roofline and a spray of laser lights on the side of the house directly under that. It was very pretty. For next year, I may have to see if I can handle a little ladder time and do that.
The one draw back to the laser light set up was that the ground froze to rock hard right around Christmas time. One of the stakes under a laser light projector, which was simply stuck into the ground is simply stuck there until the ground thaws. The other stake happened to be in a thick enough layer of bark chips, so wiggled free quickly. The snowmen are also there to stay until sufficient thaw. I guess I have the longed for snowmen that never melt.
I tell you about all of this now, in January, because it takes a little more planning to try something new. It could be useful to read about them and order them well before December next. I had looked for them at Walmart, but this year they had very limited supplies and had sold out long before I knew about the option. You might also want to think of ways to work around having them permanently stuck in the ground until spring. I know I’m thinking about that!