Your ‘Star Shower’ Christmas Lights Could Cause a Plane Crash
In recent years, the 'Star Shower' laser light has become a trend in Christmas decorations. The unit uses lasers to cover your home in an array of lights and makes it easy to be festive without having to get out the ladder and climb on your roof. There are many different varieties of the lights available in stores and online.
What many people may not realize is that while they are getting in the Yuletide spirit, they could also be creating a potential hazard for pilots in their vicinity. According to The Consumerist, the product even says that it shouldn't be used by homeowners in close vicinity to an airport.
The problem is when the lasers end up not hitting the house. When they end up projected into the sky, there's potential for it to keep going and cause something called “flash blindness” for a pilot. This could cause anything from a little bit of an annoyance for the pilot, to complete blindness resulting in a plane crash.
The makers of the Star Shower issued this statement, “Lasers must meet rigorous FDA regulations and Consumer Product Safety standards. Star Shower Motion should be pointed directly at your home and never directly into the sky. Lasers should not be projected at or within the flight path of an aircraft within 10 nautical miles of an airport. If your intended surface is within 10 nautical miles of an airport, lower the angle of the Star Shower Motion so that no lasers point into the sky.”
With Wichita Falls being home to Sheppard Air Force Base, Wichita Falls Municipal Airport and Kickapoo Downtown Airport, almost all of the city falls within the distance that could be dangerous to a pilot.
If you are using a Star Shower or similar project on your house this holiday season, take a couple of minutes and make sure that your lights are all hitting the house. A little extra effort on your end could be what stops a major catastrophe from happening.