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article imageOp-Ed: High-Tech Holidays, wireless Christmas lights are coming

By Nicole Weddington     Dec 9, 2014 in Technology
When it comes to solving one of the most aggravating Christmas problems, a Kickstarter campaign for wireless Christmas lights may have the best answer.
Checking Christmas lights and untangling cords can be a time-consuming and frustrating part of the decorating process, but a Kickstarter campaign for Aura, the first wireless Christmas lights, may make that particular irritant a thing of the past. The campaign has already passed its $50,000 goal needed to fund the project and the lights should be available in time for Christmas 2015.
The LED lighting set comes with a power ring and bulbs. The power ring circles the base of the tree, for Christmas trees under 5 feet tall, or you can snap one around the middle of the tree for Christmas trees between 5 feet and 10 feet tall. The power rings create a magnetic field that powers the LED lights in the Aura ornaments. Each power ring can generate the power to light up to 100 wireless lights.
The power ring generates power out to about 5 feet and it gets plugged into an outlet. The bulbs used by Aura look like ornaments and can be hung on the tree in the same way. The lights allow you to be more creative in your placement. Your only restriction on lighting placement is that the lights have to be within 5 feet of the power ring. The creators of the system claim that the lights will last up to 20 years.
Because the Aura lighting system uses low-energy LEDs and there are no wires, it is safer than traditional lights. There are no bulbs to break or wires to wear and cause fires. The ring can be hidden underneath the tree skirt for shorter trees or in the middle of the tree for larger ones. It comes in a green color to blend in with the tree.
The bulbs come in three versions of white and multicolor. Clear, frosted or crackle versions allow you to individualize your tree. The limited Kickstarter pledge gets you one power ring and a box of 12 lights for $65. According to the creators of Aura, this is less than half the price they will retail for when they are released in October 2015.
Even though wireless power isn’t new, the Aura system is the first time it has been applied to Christmas lights. Removing the problems of wired lighting will remove that particular holiday stress. To make it even easier, the designers of Aura have also created iPhone and Android apps to control your lights from your smartphone.
Aura is not the cheapest way to light up your Christmas tree, but it will be the high-tech way to decorate in 2015. If the creators of Aura deliver on the promises they have made in the Kickstarter presentation, it will be worth the higher cost for peace of mind, ease of use and longevity. The hardest part of Aura may be waiting for it to be released in October.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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