Christmas is around the corner and that means it’s time to start decorating! If you’re looking for an easy and festive way to light up your home, a Christmas light projector might be just what you need. In this post, I’ll show you How to Set Up a Christmas Light Projector and give you a few tips on where to place it for the best effect.
Christmas light projectors are a great way to decorate the exterior of your house. This type of projector casts moving patterns on your front window using an opaque tube filled with string lights. There’s very little setup involved, and you can easily remove the projector from the window if you want or need to. Christmas light projectors come in various shapes and sizes at a variety of price points so there’s certainly something to fit your needs.
How to Set Up a Christmas Light Projector?
Step 1: Choose the Location
Placing the projector in the right spot is crucial for getting the best effect. Here are some tips on where you should place it:
- Front Door – If you have a front door on the side of your house it’s definitely the best place to put the projector. This will cast images of jolly elves, wreaths, bells, and more onto your door. If you don’t have a door on that side of the house, try placing it beside a window or at least near where you can see the projection clearly.
- Front Window – This is my personal favorite place to put the projector because you can see the patterns most clearly this way. If you have two windows facing each other with an equal distance between them, projecting onto both at the same time actually makes really cool symmetrical patterns.
- Rear Window – You can put a projector on the backside of your house, even if there isn’t a door. This way you can project images on your garage or an outbuilding behind your home.
- Front Porch – If you have a front porch, why not try projecting onto it? You could put Christmas lights up instead (and actually turn them on) but if you want to save some energy this is the perfect way to do it.
- Windows – I recommend putting one on each side of your house if you’re projecting onto both. If you’re only doing one, make sure it’s on the side you want. With the projector shining through, open or blinds (or drapes) can give you some additional ambiance.
Step 2: Decide on a Projector
There are several types of Christmas light projectors and they all work a little differently. Here’s an overview of the most common options and their pros and cons:
- Projector with LED lights – These offer some of the best quality images, but use up battery power really quickly.
- Projector with string lights – These are the most common type of projectors. You don’t need to plug them in, but they can drain your battery if you’re using LED lights (unplug the white wire).
- Shoebox projector – This is my new favorite option because no power cord means no batteries! However, the quality isn’t as good as the other types.
Step 3: Plug it In
Once you hang the projector in your preferred sport, you need to plug it in. You can do this by simply inserting an extension cord into the back of the projector or hanging Christmas lights up first, then running them through the tube. If you have a shoebox projector, you’ll need to either use batteries or plug it into the wall.
Step 4: Aim the Light
This step is easy – just aim for your projector! You can turn it on now, but make sure you have a clear shot of the window you want to project onto. Outdoors is easiest because you don’t have to worry about hitting anything.
Step 5: Set the Timer
This is optional, but if you don’t want your lights on all day or night (even without anyone using them), set a timer to turn them off after a few hours. This is also great for saving power.
Step 6: Enjoy Your Projection! Once you’ve plugged it in, aimed the light, and set your timer (if you want), sit back and enjoy! You can use this projector with or without Christmas lights. If you want to decorate too, here are some placement tips:
- Roses – Roses are probably the most common projection pattern you’ll see. It’s easy to make one in a circle or a square.
- Bow – This is an elegant pattern you can make in a straight line.
- Snowflakes and snowmen – These aren’t very common, but if you want something different, try projecting these onto your house.
- Christmas Tree – If you have two projectors, put one on each side of your house to make a Christmas tree. Not only is it festive, but if you’re using LED lights they’ll look like real ones.
Happy Holidays – You can make a Happy Holidays pattern by projecting the word onto your house, or projecting a picture of Santa Claus holding up “Merry Christmas.” It’s all up to you!
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
What’s the difference between a shoebox projector with LED lights and one with string lights?
Answer: A projector with LED lights uses a lot of battery power, so it’s best used with a timer. The light will also be dimmer and keep the battery from draining as quickly. The one with string lights is generally more common and can use regular batteries (if they’re included). You’ll need to unplug the white wire if you don’t want your LED lights to drain your battery. However, this projector won’t give you the same image quality as one with LED lights.
Where should I put my Christmas light projector?
Answer: When you’re projecting onto a window, try to find an area that’s far enough away where your lights will be clear and bright. It’s best to go somewhere with tall trees or other objects behind you. If your projector isn’t powerful enough, the best place to put it is on the roof of your house or car. It can be difficult if you’re projecting onto a window because sometimes trees are too short to allow for good projection.
What’s the difference between Christmas light projectors and laser lights?
Answer: Laser lights project a single red or green line onto your house, while Christmas light projectors can project images and words. They’re both really easy to set up and turn on, but laser lights are more expensive than Christmas light projectors.
What types of images can I make with my projector?
Answer: You can make roses, bows, snowflakes, snowmen, Christmas trees, or just the word “Merry Christmas” if you want to be festive. You can also create your own images using scrapbooking supplies.
What are some common mistakes people make when using their projector?
Answer: Place your lights too close to a window or tree will block the projection. Also, make sure your window is clear of obstacles before projecting.
What happens if the batteries die while I’m using my projector?
Answer: You can always use it like a regular light with the white wire unplugged. This will allow for some light to go through, but you won’t be able to see your projection clearly. However, if your projector doesn’t have LED lights, it will also drain the batteries quickly. Try using rechargeable batteries to prevent this from happening.
James, the D.I.Y Expert, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Horticulture from Colorado State University. Love writing blog posts and guides to help others learn how to garden!