Introduction: Laser Christmas Tree

Picture of Laser Christmas Tree
This Instructable works off the same idea we used for the Laser Pumpkin. We used assorted products at our disposal from and to create a festive laser display all coming from a Christmas Tree.

Step 1: Prepare Your Lasers.

Picture of Prepare Your Lasers.

For this project we used an assortment of continuous operation lasers from's Brightline Series. The lasers ranged in power outputs of 25 mW to 40 mW, but you can use lowered powered units, but it won't be as awesome.

We removed the mounting brackets and prepared them with matching power supplies to be placed on the tree. If you don't have access to continuous operation lasers you can use a regular laser pointers by taping the button so it stays on. Your battery will die eventually, but you'll have a temporary solution to create your own display. Green laser pointers can be purchased from both and

Step 2: Attach Diffraction Gratings to Your Lasers.

Picture of Attach Diffraction Gratings to Your Lasers.

As we did in the Laser Pumpkin Instructable, we used electrical tape to attach Diffraction Gratings to the end of our lasers. Diffraction Gratings that give multiple beams are the best for this project. We tried to use a wide variety of Diffraction Gratings to show how different ones create different displays. Diffraction Gratings can be purchased from under the Shop Nova section.

Step 3: Attach Lasers to the Christmas Tree.

Picture of Attach Lasers to the Christmas Tree.

We used black twist ties to attach each laser module to a different branch on the tree. Twist ties allowed us to easily move the lasers to create better displays and they did a great job of holding the unit to the branch. You can use string or tape, but I think twist ties would be the best bet.

We spread out the lasers to have contrasting colours between the red and the green lasers, and we also tried to have a variety of Diffraction Gratings to create a more dynamic display.

Step 4: Adjust the Lasers

Picture of Adjust the Lasers

After the lasers are attached and you've connected power you may not be immediately satisfied with the display. Once the lasers were active we were able to decide how they should be spread out to effectively create an interesting display. It's important to note that lasers displays appear more dynamic when colours are contrasting each other. Two green lasers beside each other did not look as impressive as a red and a green nearby each other.

Step 5: Add Your Star.

Picture of Add Your Star.

We used's 2.4 Watt Laser Projector that we were lucky enough to have out our disposal. Naturally, you can use whatever you'd like for the star/angel, but I would suggest using something that appears drastically different from the rest of the tree. If you are using primarily green and red lasers, than a yellow or a blue might be a good idea for your star. If you happen to have a yellow or a blue laser at your disposal than try it with a diffraction grating pointing up and you should be able to create a unique star for the top of your tree.

Step 6: Add Some Fog or Smoke.

Picture of Add Some Fog or Smoke.
And you're done! You should have yourself an impressive looking Laser Tree. To add uniqueness to your tree it would be ideal to add ornaments, garland, and all the other traditional decorations.

Keep in mind that your tree will look best when all the lights are completely off, so if you wish to add ornaments be sure to showcase the ones that reflect laser beams and are visible in the dark. Adding smoke or fog now will reveal all beams projecting from the tree and truly make your Laser Tree come to life. Fog can be purchased from

Be sure to check out our Flickr page for more photos and other laser related stuff!


Kitty2011 (author)2011-12-06

great job, the laser show is beautiful

joe57005 (author)2007-12-11

this must be what the borg would put up if they were Christian.

Nanette (author)joe570052007-12-14

Hi Joe,
Christmas isn't a Christian holiday - it's really very pagan. _

ironman0104 (author)Nanette2009-01-03

Christmas was the MASS of Christ. The Son of God. There is no Christmas without Jesus. Anyone who can read basic words would know this. One day God will prove that Jesus is the reason for the season.

zvillesurfer (author)ironman01042009-11-03

Jesus wasn't even born on December 25. There was a pagan holiday on December 25 and the christians adopted that date.

FrozenIce (author)zvillesurfer2011-11-25

yeah actually he was born on the25th :P if not then when??

hjjusa (author)FrozenIce2011-11-25

in april

komecake (author)zvillesurfer2009-11-16

  I can't believe it took 11 months for someone to respond to that comment. So thank you. I can't stand people who don't research anything and just believe what's right in front of them.

joe57005 (author)Nanette2007-12-14

it started as a pegan holiday but was adapted to a more religious christian version by the roman catholic church during the reformation. (the day means different things depending on the religious beliefs of the person.)

pdub77 (author)joe570052010-01-01

You are confusing "Christmas" with whatever they called their pagan holiday.  I'll readily admit that the early church appropriated some pagan dates in order to help convert people.  But if it is called "Christmas" we are referring to the birth of Christ, and therefore the Christmas holiday celebrates just that.  Commercialism, different religious (or nonreligious) traditions falling on the same date and Santa Claus notwithstanding.

I hope this was timely enough for komecake.

Happy New Year, btw. . .

brad (author)joe570052007-12-13

I thought that was the point of the Borg - they were Christian. "Your culture will become our culture, free thinking will be sacrificed for the good of the many, refusing to give up your culture to ours is futile, as we will overwhelm you with more advanced technology..."

DeusXMachina (author)brad2007-12-14

Hehehe that tickles me.....

"ONE OF US!!!"

I'm pagan but I don't mind Christmas because it gives the Italian side of my family an excuse to make the best food on the planet and eat continuously over a 48 hour period . That is the meaning of Christmas right, feast? Feasting and new stuff and cutting down pine trees so they can slowly die in your living room. Ahhh, America.

acherman (author)DeusXMachina2010-08-01

2 1/2 years for me to read this, but I hate when people bring religion into my Christmas! haha

mischka (author)acherman2011-11-25


joe57005 (author)brad2007-12-14

if you look at startrek cannon, the borg's assimilation is in the interests of promoting their own evolution, taking on the advantageous aspects of each species they assimilate.

FrozenIce (author)2011-11-25

lol mom mom mom mom mom mom mom mom

riffraff (author)2009-08-14

why is the video down because of copywrong?

riff raff (author)riffraff2011-11-13

I wouldn't say that.

Whoa! I did!

No, wait...

mechcem (author)2007-12-18

pretty ......AAAHHH MY EYE!!!!

The_Black_Hole (author)mechcem2009-11-08


bigfootduck (author)2008-06-01

This is for the damaged eye comments: Where sunglasses!

LRMNmeyer (author)bigfootduck2008-12-26

Old comment, yes, but sunglasses will do nothing to protect your vision from lasers. If anything, they make it worse by making your pupils dilate. Eyes+lasers+sunglasses=blind spot.
Anyone who is thinking of using sunglasses as laser protection- buy some certified glasses! (author)2008-07-03

i thought the tree would burst into flame

IamTheCreator (author)2007-12-15

In the video, I expected it to break in out in techno music and have lasers flash all over, guess I was wrong :(. But I think you'll win the holidays contest :)

DeriemD (author)IamTheCreator2008-06-28

yhea it kinda gives that impression

I thought that too. Like it would be all quiet and slow, and suddenly the lasers would turn on in techno or something. lol

same lol

Heliosphan (author)2007-12-22

Yeah first thing springs to mind are young eyes staring unknowingly at a beautiful tree ***And I spy not a single WARNING label anywhere on this Instructable*** Perhaps you should just put the idea up on some kind of a website, lots of pictures and videos, and a how-to, then leave it at that? May I suggest nobody builds this at home lest some poor so and so thinks its not incredibly dangerous, which it appears to be. Incidentally is that a WHITE laser I see in that picture? How do that?

Insaneisfun (author)Heliosphan2008-04-30

Go suck tree.

Hawaii00000 (author)2007-12-18

Quite random. Still, anything with lasers is cool.

royalestel (author)2007-12-17

Could you also add a couple lasers to one of those fiber optic trees that came out a few years ago and get a similar effect?

buterSBob29 (author)2007-12-15

i love nova lasers

Doctor What (author)2007-12-15

Well, looks kindov dangerous to me. If someone looking at it took a laser in the eye....

Kiteman (author)2007-12-11

You used "a selection" of lasers that start at $189.

Any chance of producing an 'ible that requires rather less than $1000 of your lasers?

Maybe a single laser plus a load of beam-splitters?

gwrober (author)Kiteman2007-12-15

Mirrors? That was my first thought -

fegundez1 (author)2007-12-15

a project for after my first million!

led235 (author)2007-12-14

OMG it looks like its a version of Transiberian Orchestra Laser show! TSO is awsome This idea is perfect for my tree wickedly foshizzle!

michaelrbellis (author)2007-12-14

I think this is brilliant, but surely not very practical. You can just imagine your grandparents sitting there on Christmas day. 'ooo they're nice light *Wooaaww* where did everyone go, erm.... I hate to alarm anyone but I can't see'

How do you stop yourself and others getting blinded?

krash63 (author)2007-12-14

My kids love this. Will have to play with the idea. So, not just for grownups!!! Good post.

HeWantsRevenge (author)2007-12-11

love the cat in the vid*hahaha great job, kinda wish pink floyd was playing in the background +1

Nanette (author)HeWantsRevenge2007-12-14


No way is anything PF did as awesome as music by the late great Vince Guaraldi Trio for Christmas eve music.

You will find this to be true when you are old enough & get married (great smooching music!)


klillestol (author)2007-12-13

ok... I have a 35 foot Norwegian pine in my front yard AND I live just south of LAX. How quickly will homeland security be knocking on my door? What's the throw on these lasers. Bob (the tree) would look too cool and my neighbors are sooooo competitive.

VengefulLlama (author)2007-12-13

lasers beams are the true meaning of Christmas.

things (author)2007-12-13

WOWOWOW! Nice work nova! Geesh i wish i could afford some of those lasers you have! Great job!

llamafur (author)2007-12-12

nice, hope a laser tracking missile doesn't follow it :)

xmasvoodoostyle (author)llamafur2007-12-13

lmfao! hey didn't think of that. we can't point lasers at the sky where i live so this is a useless idea. we'd have to keep it inside and well that's not as fun.

xmasvoodoostyle (author)2007-12-13

neat but we couldn't have this outside.. we are near airports and having any laser outside pointing anywhere specifially at the sky is a call for a knock at the door by the feds. :(

slambo (author)2007-12-11

While looking cool, this is very dangerous to your eyes without proper protection!! Very disappointed that a company would peddle there high price items in this way.

Hosaki (author)slambo2007-12-12

Proper eye protection was worn during the setup, and with the beam-splitting diffection gratings in place each laser beam was verified to be less than 4mW total power. It looks a lot more powerful than it is because we used lots of hazer and long exposure photography. No one was at risk during this instructable.

zaro12345 (author)2007-12-12

This is really cool. too bad I don't have the money to purchase this many lasers.

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