Laser projectors make outdoor holiday decor festive

They certainly sound festive and celestial, and they seem to be catching on.
Projected lights decorate a house.
Projected lights decorate a house.

They certainly sound festive and celestial, and they seem to be catching on. Shooting Star, Star Shower, Frozen Fire, Points of Light and others are changing the way we decorate our homes for the holiday season.

Referred to as projection spotlights or outdoor laser projector lights, the items are selling very well at a number of Capital Region department stores.

Instead of spending hours on a ladder or in other places stringing together traditional Christmas lights, home owners can simply place a small box in the front yard, put in a stake to hold it in place, and then run a cord to an outlet somewhere on your property and simply turn it on.

The effect is hologram-like, with colorful lights seemingly hanging in mid-air.

Hewitt’s Garden Center on Charlton Road in Glenville is among the many area stores selling the lights.

“We have one with red and green dots, and we have one with snow flakes,” said one Hewitt’s employee. “We only sold one kind last year, but we have much more of a variety this year. We have another one that says ‘Merry Christmas,’ and that’s the one we have across our building. There’s also some that have a mesh of colors. You just stick them in the ground, plug it in and you’re all set.”

Sales of the lights seem brisk at Home Depot in Schenectady.

“They seem to be becoming more popular this year,” said Raven Suahan, an associate at Home Depot. “They’re very easy. They come with a stake. We were one of the first stores to have what I think is the original, the Star Shower, and now we have four or five different brands.”

The items can cost as much as $50, but there are less expensive options that will run around $15. The Star Shower is made by Bulbhead, a company based in Fairfield, New Jersey, while another popular brand, the Points of Light, is made by Gemmy Industries in Dallas, Texas.

Steven Harris, a vice-president of marketing with Gemmy Industries, said that sales of the Points of Light and other related items have increased dramatically this holiday season.

“I know there have been some form of laser projectors on the market for a while, but we’ve been involved for three years and we feel like we’ve really reinvented the item or maybe really enhanced the evolution of our brand,” said Harris. “We’ve developed some great decorative effects for Christmas and other occasions, and it’s all done very easily. They all come with a stake and you just take it out of the box.”

Easy setup

Along with adding a little pizazz to your Christmas decorations, the lights don’t require nearly as much hazardous duty as stringing up traditional Christmas lights.

“It’s much easier for the consumer,” said Harris. “You can do it all without getting up on your roof or a ladder. It’s a lot safer.”

Along with the increased sales, Harris has also noticed an increase in competitors.

“Yeah, they’ve been coming out of the woodwork,” he said. “The industry is exploding, but we feel like our product is pretty unique. Our Points of Light model has 98 different functions you can use, so you can use different colors or different speeds. And we use LEDs, so we’re doing it in an energy-saving and efficient way. We feel it also gives the lights a softer, warmer look.”

Sales increase

A department manager at Lowe’s in Glenville said the lights have been a popular item this season.

“We had the same amount of inventory as last year, the same amount of boxes, but this year things are selling much better,” he said. “If you come into the store you’ll see a lot of empty shelves where we had stocked them. People really like them.”

At Walmart a bit further north on Freeman’s Bridge Road, the lights were also selling briskly.

“Last year we only had one kind, but this year we have added several more brands and yes, they’re selling very well,” said a store employee. “I think last year was the first year we had them but I’m not sure. But people love them. Especially elderly people who don’t want to get up on the roof or a ladder but still want to have Christmas decorations.”

Categories: Life and Arts

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