Are Your Christmas Lights Endangering Pilots?


“Star Shower” is an easy way to decorate your home, but if used incorrectly, it can be dangerous for airplane pilots. (Photo: Star Shower/Youtube)

Decorating your house with Christmas lights is an easy way to spread holiday cheer.

It might also be a safety hazard for aircraft pilots.

Officials in Sacramento are urging homeowners to follow directions when using a popular laser light projector called “Star Shower.” The kit decorates your home with sparking lights, but if pointed towards the sky, the lasers can become dangerous for pilots.

According to NBC 4, on Nov. 18, lights from a “Star Shower” projector entered the cockpit of a C-130 Coast Guard plane.

After the incident, the Coast Guard alerted the police, who contacted the homeowners and told them to be careful.

Laser beams, even those from a small laser pen, can cause momentary blindness in pilots. A person caught intentionally pointing a laser at a plane could face prison time and fines.

Related: These Off-the-Beaten-Path Holiday Light Displays Will Blow Your Mind

Sgt. Morrie Zager flies helicopters for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and suggests homeowners take caution if they choose to buy the projector.

“I would be very wary of having that item pointed into the sky because it could conceivably have the same negative affects to pilots as one of the single pen light lasers,” Zager told NBC 4.

On their website, “Star Shower” warns that “lasers should not be projected at or within the flight path of an aircraft within ten nautical miles of airport.”

Additionally, they confirm that their product is compliant with FDA regulations governing lasers and with Consumer Product Safety standards — and emphasize that all lights should be pointed at the house, not the sky.

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