Ever since my granddaughter visited Disney World, she’s been asking when I was going to put “Fairy Lights” in the trees around the house. I’ve been able to deflect, usually with the promise of ice cream, but now I can answer her request using the Night Stars light. Although my initial thoughts were “who needs this?”, after setting it up and showing my friends, I actually like it.
The Night Stars Lighting is a laser projector that projects colored dots in a 25′ by 25′ area. These can be used to enhance the visual appeal of your building or, as in my case, give the illusion of lights in trees and bushes.
- Class IIIa Laser
- Maximum laser power less than 5mw
- Green Wavelength
- 5 watt power consumption
- 120V power input
- Indoor/Outdoor rated
- Operates from -4°F to 86°F
- Coverage area is 25ft x 25ft
- 1 year warranty
Because this is a laser, it is important that you take notice of the safety precautions for using the device. The following is excerpted from the instruction pamphlet.
While the Class IIIa laser in this device may be hazardous on its own, it is encased in a protective housing and uses diffractive holographic optics, therefore the laser radiation is not directly exposed to during operation or maintenance. Each individual laser beam is less than 5mW, which is about the same as an average laser pointer.
In practical terms, I’ve found that while the beams do not appear to be dangerous, they carry a great distance and can be annoying, so insure that the Night Stars are not pointed at areas where people might pass through.
The device comes complete with the laser light, a power supply, a ground stake, about 20ft of cable and even an allen wrench to install the ground stake and adjust the positioning of the lamp.
I used the supplied allen wrench to attach the ground stake. The light could also be mounted on a flat surface without the use of the ground stake.
Again, using the supplied allen wrench, the swivel brackets can be adjusted. A set of thumbscrews would have been preferable, because I’m sure I’ll misplace the allen wrench at some point.
Before I went outside, I fired up the laser light and projected it on a wall. Unfortunately, I found it difficult to get a decent photo of the effects and the pictures I have don’t do the Night Stars justice.
Although it’s normally not part of my testing protocol, I had the opportunity to destructive test the light within 15 minutes of placing it in my yard. I had just informed my twin grandsons that they were to avoid the area where the light was placed and immediately after I turned my back, one of them ran over it with his bicycle. There was no damage. Believe me, these two can wreak havoc on anything in their way, so I have to give the Night Stars a rating of 5-year-old proof.
Projected on a small tree, the laser emulates the “fairy” lights my granddaughter likes, however, there is a major difference. Because the light is projected, it can’t be seen equally from all perspectives and the apparent brightness dims appreciably depending upon the viewing distance.
We also brought the Night Stars to our cabin in the woods and aimed it at the tree canopy on our property. This had the effect of drawing our neighbors, some of whom are skeptics to say the least, to comment positively on the device and ask where they could purchase one. I told them to read the review 🙂
The Night Stars Landscape Lighting is something that I may not need, but it’s something I want. Viatek also sells versions that project red and blue in addition to the green unit I have and they can be remote-controlled. My wife wants me to get the red/green unit so we can project the lighting on the snow around Christmas time.
A couple of things to keep in mind before your purchase. You will need someplace to plug it in. It is powered by 120v. I measured the power consumption at 4 watts and that’s so small that I leave it on all the time. And please point it in a safe direction. At our cabin, we found that the laser could be seen across the lake and was annoying to those on the other side. We adjusted it to point up into the trees, instead of straight across from the deck, but that begs the question: could it interfere with aircraft flying overhead?
After 18 months the unit no longer works. There are no replaceable parts, so it has been relegated to the trash bin. Too bad, because it was an attention getter.
Source: The sample for this review was provided by Viatek. Please visit their site for more info.