The Mind-blowing Ways Motion Lights Work

March 27, 2017


Have you ever been to a great laser light show and were struck by the question of just how those amazing laser lights do what they do? We know we have and, even though we market these amazing laser and LED motion lights, the science and technology behind them never ceases to amaze us.

We know our customers love our laser and LED light projectors and we’re always excited to help them understand a little bit better how they work. So we’re going to look at some of the intricacies of laser motion lights and give you some insight into how they work! 

Flashing Laser Lights

As you might imagine, it all begins with a light source. The kind of laser controls the color of the light projected and, subsequently, the brightness. Interestingly, the brightness of the laser light is measured in Watts, and the color by wavelength.

For instance, if you purchase one of our green laser lights, it is operating on a completely different wavelength than a red or a blue light, and will appear most vivid and bright because green is the easiest color for the human eye to recognize!

Faster than the Human Eye 

Our projectors are the most important determinants of the way the lights will move. Using very small, rotating mirrors, a single beam of laser light can be moved so fast the human eye fails to see a single beam.

Instead, your guests will see moving sparks of light and glowing rotating dots flying and flitting around the walls of your home or patio!

Ways Laser Lights Move

There are a few different functions of laser motion lighting and here we’ll briefly look over each!

Static beams

Continuous immobile beams from laser projectors are used to create floating effects, which can be switched off and on at times in rhythm to music or to just create a party atmosphere! This is a simple form of laser light production and might now be considered “old hat” for more dynamic shows but still works great for home use! 


In diffraction, grates split the light into numerous rays, and with the help of holograms, the beams can be split into various patterns.

Diffraction is the principal manner that many simple laser projectors work as light is projected out toward multiple points. This is one of the primary ways our Night Stars light projectors work!


In this method, the laser beam is reflected on small mirrors, which are affixed to galvanometers and then a control voltage is applied. The beam is then repelled correlating to the sum of the voltage applied to the galvanometer scanner. Two galvanometer scanners can facilitate X-Y voltages to point the beam to any point on a square or rectangle. This might seem elaborate (and it is) but it looks very cool in action! 

The laser lighting designer can then create patterns such as Lissajous figures, letters, shapes, and amazingly intricate and elaborate pictures or the "laser tunnel" effect. This is a bit more advanced than what our lights are capable of but is still a very cool effect used by theme parks and concerts around the world! 


Of course, we always like to remind our customers that, while our laser lights are completely safe, it pays to use them smartly. The FDA has put out an abundance of information regarding the safety of laser lights. Their handbook is mostly in regards to concerts and was penned in the 80’s so it’s full of well-research information and some very fun 80’s graphics and clipart.

Nowadays, the most important thing to remember is to keep your lights pointed at your house or you may have some trouble with the FAA!


We hope you’ve learned a little something about our laser motion lights and how they move but don’t feel like you’ve been sent back to high school science class! The fact is that it’s our pleasure to give our customers as much information as we have about laser and LED lights and we remain ready, willing, and able to answer any questions folks might have about our lights! It’s all part of our Night Stars goals!

So when it comes time to purchase your outdoor laser lights for the holidays, make them move, make them dance, and make them Night Stars!

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