By now you’ve probably seen one of the many laser lights that have been set up in the yards of neighborhoods throughout America, especially during the holidays. Thousands of sparkling lights projected outward, twinkling across the home, all from one small device you stake in the front lawn.
Homeowners from California to Maine are ditching their bulky bulbs and strings for the new laser Christmas lights projector, and people everywhere are asking the same question, “How does it work?”
The technology may be new to the mass market, but it has taken decades of development to produce the As Seen on TV marvels. Here’s the science behind your new Night Stars laser light system.
Be warned: things may get a wee bit technical, but bear with us.
What Exactly Are Lasers?
The first step in understanding the mechanics of holiday laser lights is to understand the nature of lasers and how they work.
According to Oregon State University, the scientific definition of a laser is “light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation”. Theodore H. Maiman was the scientist who first created the laser in the 1960’s. Since then, the laser has become an important part of our everyday lives. From CD’s to corrective eye surgery, many industries and modern day devices are reliant on laser technology.
Light is made up of photons, which acts with the properties of both particles and waves. The visibility of photons is dependent on its wavelength. Shorter wavelengths such as x-rays have more energy, while longer wavelengths will have less energy. Visible light is made up of medium wavelength.
When atoms are excited, they can emit photons, and create light.
Spontaneous and Stimulated Emissions
Normal light sources such as those found in a traditional lightbulb or flashlight will have scattered forms of photons that are released at varying wavelengths. Otherwise known as spontaneous emissions, this kind of light will create incoherent wavelengths and will spread rapidly and lose energy.
When an atom emits a photon, and comes into direct contact with other excited atoms, the first photon will affect the other photons emitted and create a phenomenon known as stimulated emissions.
This means that all photons emitted in an enclosed or controlled area will be the same wavelength. When all of the emitted photons are in the same wavelength, it is known to be monochromatic.
Making the Light More Powerful with Mirrors
By adding precisely measured mirrors to both sides of the tube the light travels, the reaction between electrons and photons is amplified and directed. Interference begins to occur as the wave patterns of all the photons match up and create a more powerful light. By controlling where the light escapes, you can effectively create a highly concentrated beam of light, or laser beam.
Making the Laser Light Beam Scatter
While understanding how laser beams work is interesting, it’s only half of the story.
The next question to answer is, “how do you turn a single stream of light into a beautiful array of thousands of twinkling lights?” It involves a technique known as diffraction grating.
In physics class, you likely learned about the famous double slit experiment, where a light source passed through two parallel slits, causing the waves to create an interference pattern on the screen. Over time, this concept was refined into what is known as diffraction grating.
Diffraction grating allows you to split a single beam of light into many dots by placing slits strategically at precise locations and angles to break apart the light into several beams of light traveling in different directions.
It has many different applications in a variety of industries, but in this particular case it is what helps transform a few lasers into a beautiful array of holiday laser lights capable of spanning an area of 6,000 square feet or more.
Are You Ready to Embrace the Future of Laser Lights?
The laser lights available here at Night Stars Landscape Lighting are the most advanced on the market today. Our lights are up to 5x brighter than competitors with more features and effects. From laser projectors to LED holiday landscape lighting, the products at Night Stars Landscape Lighting will help you have the best decorated home in the community. If you’re tired of dealing with a tangled mess of old fashioned bulbs, step into the future and get an easy to use, energy efficient LED laser light projector for your next holiday season.
Skip the headache and let the latest innovations in laser technology take your decorating to the next level.