Best Christmas Light Projectors

Updated December 2019
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

32 Models Considered
9 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
484 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best Christmas light projectors

Last Updated December 2019

It’s time to get festive! If you’re looking for a fun new way to decorate the outside of your home for the holidays, it may be time to try out a Christmas light projector.

A Christmas light projector is a device you put in your yard that has ultra-bright LEDs or low-power lasers for displaying colorful patterns and lights against the side or front of the house. Some projectors have remote controls and options galore; others project just one design, like giant snowflakes that move randomly across your house.

Most Christmas light projectors come with a stake that goes in the ground. You simply position the projector in the yard, plug it in (or insert the batteries), and turn it on. Voilà! Instant Christmas decorations.

There are a lot of projectors available on the market today. We can help you find the right one to brighten your holiday season.

Pay attention to your projector and where you place it. A single leaf could cover the front of the projector, distorting your image.

Key considerations

Projection area

A Christmas light projector is easy to install and remove. However, you need to consider just how much real estate you have to cover.

Use a tape measure or measuring wheel to determine how long your house is. Then, measure how tall it is from the ground to the roof. A standard ranch-style house is 65 to 70 feet long and 8 to 9 feet high to the gutters. That would be 520 to 630 square feet. Read the description carefully to ensure the projector will cover the surface from end to end, top to bottom.

The roof will add more square footage to that, but the slant of the roof will distort the shapes or patterns. The steeper the roof is, the less distortion there will be. The flatter the roof, the more the pattern will be distorted.

Cord or battery

Lithium batteries have come a long way, and many of them can power a projector all night, but in the morning, the batteries will have to be recharged. A projector that runs off an A/C outlet doesn’t suffer from that requirement, but you will have to run an extension cord out across the yard to it. Some people don’t like cords snaking back and forth across the grass, so this is a matter of personal taste. You’ll want to give some thought to which style you prefer.

Laser safety

The lights in many of these projectors are low-power lasers. They won’t injure anyone, but they can dazzle a person’s eyes for a few seconds if they look directly into them. For this reason, you need to make sure that you only aim them at your house, not at the road where drivers could be momentarily blinded by them and have an accident.

It’s also a fact that low-power lasers have a range that is measured in the tens of miles. If your projector is aimed too high, the lights could miss the top of your roof and continue up into the sky to airline jets and other aircraft. When those lights hit the windows of the cockpit, they can create a smear of light obscures the pilot’s vision until they get out of the laser’s path.

The FAA takes a dim view of people who interfere with the safe operation of an aircraft, so make sure that your projector doesn’t go past your roofline when you’re setting it up.

EXPERT TIP

Star patterns tend to disappear in shrubbery, whereas large patterns remain more visible.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Waterproof

Christmas light projectors are meant to be used outdoors; you’ll see an international “IPXX” code on the box or in the description. That code informs you if the device in question has been tested for solid objection penetration (the first X) and moisture penetration (the second X). An X in either location means the manufacturer didn’t test it.

The first number refers to anything from being able to stick a finger in a device to it being airtight against microscopic particles of dust. The range is from 0 to 6, with 0 being no protection and 6 being the greatest possible protection.

The second number refers to the ability of any kind of moisture to penetrate the device. The range is from 0 to 9, with 0 being no protection and 9 being total protection against complete submersion for extended periods and against pressurized steam.

For example, a code of IP65 would mean the device is completely protected from dust getting into it (6) and from rain splashing against it from any direction (5). A code of IPX5 would mean the manufacturer didn’t test the device for solid object penetration but did test it against moisture exposure from multiple directions.

Cord length

The length of the cord is important. Most of these devices have an optimal distance they need to be set back from the projection area in order to create a good image. If the projector has to be 25 feet from your house for best results but the power cord is only eight feet long, you’re going to need an extension cord.

Color options

Green, red, and white are popular color options for Christmas light projectors. Blue is also common. Some offer other colors, as well; a few offer a full spectrum of colors so they can be used for holidays other than Christmas. If you’re thinking about using a light projector for several holidays, it might be worth it to purchase a pricier projector with more colors available.

Pattern options

Some projectors have light programs built in; others use slides with pictures on them.

Programmed light projectors come with patterns of Santa Claus, Christmas trees, or other designs built into them. The patterns can’t be changed, so these projectors are for Christmas only.

Projectors that use slides are a bit more versatile. Depending on the manufacturer, they may offer slides for holidays like the 4th of July, Easter, Veteran’s Day, and so on.

Moving vs. stationary

Do you want moving lights or stationary ones? (Note that stationary lights that don’t move may still blink.) There’s no right or wrong answer to this question; it’s a matter of personal preference.

Temperature range

Christmas light projectors can be located inside your home or outside, but since they were originally intended for cooler temperatures outside, some have upper limits as to the temperature they can withstand. If the temperature inside (or outside in the summer) exceeds that limit, you the projector could sustain some damage.

Remote control

If there are multiple options on your light projector, you probably don’t want to have run outside to select them. Some Christmas light projectors come with remote controls for convenience. It adds a few dollars to the price, but many find the expenditure to be worth it.

EXPERT TIP

Overlapping or side-by-side Christmas light projectors can create unusual and beautiful mosaics.


Staff  | BestReviews

Christmas light projector prices

Inexpensive: The low price range for Christmas light projectors is from $6 to $20. These projectors will have limited colors or slides available on them.

Mid-range: The medium price range is from $20 to $40. This is where you’ll find the greatest range of options for color, pattern, cord length, projection area, and remote controls.

Expensive: The high price range runs from $40 to over $90. The main difference in product here: you get extended controls and movements along with extra sharpness in the projected images.

EXPERT TIP

Christmas light projectors work best against a solid backdrop composed of one color.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

●     Christmas light projectors can be placed in trees as well as on the ground. This is helpful if you’ve got a lot of concrete, hard clay, or gravel in your yard and find it difficult to anchor a projector in the soil.

●     Keep the curtains closed when your light projector is on. Otherwise, you could end up with a laser poking you in the eyes.

●     If you happen to look into one of the LEDs or lasers on these lights, the effect is similar to the afterimages you see when a flashbulb goes off in your face. It’s dazzling for a moment, but that’s it.

Other products we considered

We like the Yinuo Mirror Christmas Laser Lights Waterproof Projector. It projects five patterns: Christmas tree, jingling bells, Santa Claus, snowflakes, and a starry field. The red and green lights blink and rotate, covering an area of 3,500 square feet when the projector is placed 49 feet away. It comes with an RF remote to control the lights without leaving the comfort of your chair. The head rotates up to 300 degrees for maximum flexibility, and the power cord is a generous 14 feet long.

We also like the KOXUIUF Moving Snowflake Lights White Christmas Projector. The elegant simplicity of these white snowflakes can't be overstated. The 12 x 12-foot projection area is filled with gently moving snowflakes crisscrossing each other. It is UL listed and comes with a 5m (16.4 feet) power cord. It is water-resistant to IP67, so it can be used even in rainy weather. We like the low price but having only one color seems a bit limiting.

Projectors that cover a 12 x 12-foot area are intended to cover a section of your house rather than all of it. If you choose, you could get a different projector for each section.

FAQ

Q. How powerful are the lasers in these projectors?
A.
Actually, they’re not all lasers; some are LEDs. However, they are typically classified as Class 2 lasers or lower, meaning they are safe for general use in public.
 

Q. How far out in the yard should Christmas light projectors be placed?
A.
It depends on the manufacturer, but 20 to 30 feet seems to be the average.
 

Q. Are Christmas light projectors waterproof?

A. Very few of them are actually waterproof, but many have a rating of at least IPX5, which means they can resist rain splashing on them from above, below, and the sides.

The team that worked on this review
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor

BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.

Take Survey