The Illuminating History of Christmas Lights

The history of Christmas lights is a rather interesting one. This year, before you begin the battle to untangle your Christmas lights, take a moment to appreciate where this tradition started and how far we have come since then. It may change your attitude about this holiday hassle.

The Illuminating History of Christmas Lights

Before we had light-emitting diode (LED) Christmas lights, there were incandescent lights. Before electric stringed lights, our dedicated predecessors used wax candles to light their indoor Christmas trees. As you can imagine, a bunch of lit candle on a dead pine tree was a super dangerous practice. Thank goodness for the invention of electricity and the first string of mini lights.

Such an invention has helped to prevent many a Christmas tree from catching fire. In fact, that was such a real danger that insurance companies back then, refused to cover house fires caused by Christmas trees. The tradition of lighting the tree back around the turn of the century meant that someone had to stand nearby with buckets of water and sand, ready to dowse the tree at any moment. Because of this fire hazard, the tree would only be up for a couple of days before Christmas. Seems like a lot of trouble and risk to go through for a Christmas tradition that you can only enjoy for a few days.

The History Channel as a great video briefly explaining the history of Christmas lights. Take a look.


The first string of incandescent lights made available to the public were so expensive that people would rent out the lights rather than buy them. If one light went out on these short light strands, they all did. Fortunately, the strands were pretty short, so narrowing down the problem, I imagine, would have been faster.

Take a look at what 100-year-old Christmas lights looked like back-in-the-day.


The Very American History of Christmas Lights” is an interesting take on the tradition of Christmas tree lighting.

LED Christmas lights are brighter and more energy efficient, using one-tenth the energy required by incandescent bulbs, and last much longer than their incandescent predecessor. Although they are more expensive than incandescent lights, they will save you money and time in the long run.

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Five Star Holiday Décor is a full service company of holiday lighting specialists. Their expertise will have your home lit up and fabulous for the holiday season giving your home holiday style without the hassle. Click here for a free estimate.

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