There's a house on my street that I couldn't help but notice this year as all the holiday lights displays were popping up around my neighborhood. Among a sea of houses boasting those tired once-trendy icicle LEDs of yesteryear, this place shone like a diamond. A cascade of red and green lights fell beautifully over the doorway, perfectly spaced and distributed. Man, that guy really knows a thing or two about Christmas lights, I thought, jealous as I returned to my own family's sparse, Charlie Brown-esque light display.
A few weeks passed before I finally figured out my neighbor's dirty little secret: What I thought were strings of perfectly positioned holiday lights turned out to be a spotlight that projected thousands of red and green laser light beams onto the house in perfect, symmetrical harmony.
My God, I thought. That's brilliant, and somebody's got to be getting rich off of it.
And sure enough, they are. New Jersey-based television marketing giant TeleBrands, known for catchy infomercial products like Hurricane Mop and Windshield Wonder, has long invested in small home solutions. This product, StarShower, is their holiday pot of gold. Units are flying off the shelves at places like Bed Bath & Beyond and WalMart. Inventor and TeleBrands founder A.J. Khubani has said that the product started selling out as early as July of this year. This close to Christmas, it's nearly impossible to get one.
Khubani has managed to solve a problem that has dogged holiday aficionados since the invention of stringed Christmas lights. Who wants to risk life and limb for the sake of a Clark Griswold-worthy light display? Why do it if you can get the same effect--arguably, in my opinion, a better effect--through the magic of technology? It's nothing short of a complete game-changer in the way families do the holidays. My money's on Santa delivering new solutions in this niche market in 2016.
So this Christmas, I'm stuck with sad icicles. 2016, though, will be a horse of a different LED color.