(Photo used by permission of Wikimedia Commons)
Christmas decorations are projected onto the facade of Melbourne Town Hall in 2013.

Decorating houses with electric Christmas lights has been a holiday tradition in the United States since the 1960’s.

But recently busy schedules and chaotic lives have caused a variation of the traditional holiday decoration to become very popular.

This new decoration is a projector that shines festive designs onto the fronts of houses.

Projectors require 99-percent less electricity than Christmas lights and are less expensive ($15 to $50) than the installation of traditional lights. (According to Manta, a website that estimates home service costs, the 2016 average cost homeowners paid for holiday lighting installation in Sacramento County was between $161 and $1,081.)

Simple and accessible, Christmas projectors are being seen more often around Sacramento.

Multiple companies, such as Laser Christmas Lights (LCL) (founded in 2009) and Star Shower Laser Light (founded in 2015) make these new decorations. Some varieties project simple red and green dots, either stationary or moving back and forth across the house. Others project classic holiday symbols such as Santa, snowmen or Christmas trees.

The projectors are sold online or at most drug, department and hardware stores, including Target, Walmart and Home Depot.

According to LCL, the demand for their product is astonishing, even  referring to it in their website as “the next generation of Christmas light decor.”

But Polar Lights, a holiday decor installation company, has a different view. According to an employee, this new decoration is not affecting their business of putting up traditional lights.

The employee said that the projectors are no more than a trend. The appeal of flashing, moving lights has caused them to become common. However, he claimed that like most trends, in a few years they will no longer be popular.

In a Dec. 13 Octagon poll, 10 high-school students said that their families now have Christmas light projectors.

Most got them because they are so easy to use. They come assembled, ready to be plugged in and placed in front of the house.

Sophomore Harrison Moon bought his projector in 2009. It shines alternating red and green dots. However, his family didn’t like it.

It supposedly didn’t look good, (so it) hasn’t been touched since,” Moon said.

Both freshman John Snyder and sophomore Mehdi Lacombe got their projectors this year.

Snyder said that his mother purchased them as a replacement for Christmas lights. His projectors also shine simple red and green dots onto his house.

Snyder’s only problem with the projectors is that they shine through his bedroom windows at night.

Lacombe’s family recently moved to the United States and never put  up lights before. They bought their projector because they wanted to be festive but didn’t have time to set up traditional Christmas lights.

His projector shines lights that transform into Christmas trees and snowflakes.

Lacombe said he likes the decoration but still thinks that traditional lights look better.

By Anna Frankel

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