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Wirelessly powered tree lights deliver high-tech holiday magic

Look Santa, no wires! The Aura project on Kickstarter is aiming to deliver a set of Christmas lights without wires that are powered by a magnetic-field ring at the base of the tree.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
2 min read

Aura ornament
Reduce the cord clutter on your Christmas tree. Aura

What should be a mirthful process of decorating your Christmas can quickly go south if you get sucked into a nightmare of tangled wires with lights clinging to each other like desperate barnacles. The Aura Kickstarter project dreams of a world where wires are a thing of the past and all you have to do is hang your lights on the tree, plug in a round power ring sitting on the floor and turn it on to see your tree glow merrily throughout the holidays.

Geek the halls with nerdy Christmas ornaments (pictures)

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The magnetic-field power ring can run up to 100 lights, which look like glass globes with circuit boards and LED lights inside. For trees five 5 tall and under, you set the ring on the floor. Taller trees will require placing the ring higher up in the branches in order to power lights scattered around the whole tree.

Santa won't be delivering Aura lights in time for this holiday season, but the product is expected to ship in the fall of 2015 if funding is reached. Currently, Aura has attracted $41,151 in pledges towards a $50,000 goal with 44 days to go. An Aura ring with a box of 12 wireless lights is going for a $69 (about £44, AU$82) pledge.

The Aura team has released a demonstration video of an early prototype version of the technology if you're interested in taking a peek behind the scenes. The LEDs are expected to deliver 20 years of service and the finalized ornaments will be available in either white or multicolor packs.

If you don't mind paying more, you can pick up a Wi-Fi-enabled version of Aura for a $99 (about £63, AU$118) pledge. Aura's creators say a control app will be available for Android, iOS and Windows phones and tablets. This gives you the power to turn the lights off and on and set timers and schedules.

Aura may cost quite a bit more than a standard string of LED lights, but tech geeks will get a kick out of the innovative holiday technology. Assuming Aura can deliver on its promises, the hardest part will be waiting nearly a year to get your high-tech lights.