Holiday Lighting Tech Has Come a Long Way

Those of you who always have to be on the cutting edge, and will spare no expense to be there, will twinkle with excitement when you hear about the latest in holiday lighting technology.  With 16 million color options and a smart phone app, you will have hours of entertainment (and frustration)!

 

RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) Lights


lumenplay holiday lighting app

The latest in holiday lights are called RGB lights because they have a red, green, and blue LED in each bulb.  With this comes the flexibility to custom mix your color selection, much like you do on a computer screen.  Colors are controlled through a smart phone app.  Their color flexibility means they can be left up, and used,  year round (think Halloween, Easter, 4th of July).

Lumenplay boasts the most colors by far at more than 16 million.  The exotic lighting system doesn’t come cheap ($79.99 for a starter pack) and is only available in 10-foot strands.  You can string as many as 500 lights together on one controller, though, and it comes with the starter pack.

GE also offers RGB lighting technology with its new iTwinkle light sets and pre-lit Christmas trees.  They offer 2,000 different colors through the app and also offer an icicle-style light set.

 

There’s an App For That


Both the Lumenplay and iTwinkle systems are operated via apps available for Apple and Android phones.  With just a swipe of your screen, you can dim or brighten outdoor lights, set them to music, or choose new colors and patterns.

With iTwinkle, you can even record a greeting to play, like “Happy Holidays” or “Merry Christmas,” spokeswoman Amanda Hayes says.

Most of these apps have a range of up to 150 feet, meaning you can control the action from across the yard or while plopped on your couch watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” (or the Griswolds in “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”) for the 10th time.

 

Projected Laser Lights


These are just too cool!  Instead of spending all your time untangling and hanging strings of lights, plug in a laser light generator and enjoy!  The lights are projected onto the surface in front of them – house, bushes, driveway, whatever.

California-based BlissLights offers them for $179 or $199 each, depending on whether the lights are in motion.  “At first glance, they look like traditional holiday rope lights, but actually they float freely across the house’s exterior, plants and more to create a display that neighbors will think took hours to design and hang,” BlissLights spokeswoman Natalia Barclay says.

 

Battery-Powered LED Lights


These have been around for a while, but new lights requiring less energy and increased battery power have led to some significant size and brightness increases.  Some strands are now up to 30 feet long and offer timers and pattern options.

At online retailer Lights.com, you can connect up to six strands of battery-powered lights for a total of 600 LED lights on one battery pack, spokeswoman Aimee Majoros says.

 

As with any cutting-edge technology, the buyer should “beware”, as the bugs get worked out.  Check out the FAQs (frequently asked questions) on the manufacturer’s website to see what the limitations are.  Enjoy and Happy Holidays!

 

Source | Images: Salt Lake Tribune, iTwinkle, Lights.com.


About the Author

has over 15 years experience in the construction industry and is the author of Green Building Design 101, an e-book available from Amazon. She is a LEED AP and Certified Green Building Advisor, and has worked on the LEED Certification of three projects in Salem, Oregon. She is currently a Contract Administrator at Rich Duncan Construction.