Christmas lights (33758)

One of the most enchanting sights to behold during the Christmas season is the beauty of the Christmas lights everywhere. Did you ever wonder how these Christmas lights came to be? Let us trace back its roots in Menlo Park, New Jersey - to the man named Thomas Edison.

It was Thomas Alva Edison who invented and introduced the electric light bulb in 1879 and its commercial potential, an event that paved the way for the mass use of electrical energy and lights including those used in our Christmas trees today.

Prior to the discovery electricity and its use for lighting, Christmas trees were lit by candles. That practice developed into placing glass covers with candles inside or metallic lanterns with small wicks. These were hung as ornaments on Christmas trees. It took several years before the mass production of Christmas tree lights was established after Edison came up the invention of the electric light bulb.

The idea of Christmas lights was said to have come from Edward Johnson, one of Edison's assistants. In 1882, Johnson designed Christmas tree bulbs especially for his own use. He used these electric bulbs on his Christmas tree at his Fifth Avenue home in New York City and it drew a lot of attention. Eventually, Christmas tree lights went through many changes and modifications before General Electric Co. mass produced Christmas lights for commercial scale. An example of the earlier lights used on Christmas trees were those night-lights that were threaded together to produce light strings. After the commercial launching of Christmas lights, sales and varieties of uses of them soared.

It was in the 1970s that the decorative mini-lights were introduced for use in Christmas tree lighting. Since then, these have remained popular and are still the prevailing types of Christmas tree lights in the market. Earlier, icicle lights were innovated as decoration for rooflines. Those ornamental lights are popularly used for outdoor lighting design during the holidays.

Outdoor Christmas lighting design has evolved from Christmas tree lights to the now popular colorful lighting decoration set up during the holidays creating spectacular scenes.

Another development in light decorations at Christmas time is the use of candles. People still appreciate the classic beauty of real candles which are still used, but electric candles also gained popularity because they are safer present less fire hazard risk. Nowadays that threat has also diminished with the introduction of fireless battery candles. The battery operation makes the use of this decorative item more flexible since they can be set in places where electrical outlets are unavailable. Battery-operated candles can also be used for outdoor Christmas activities such as caroling, plays, and school or church activities. Candles are commonly displayed at house windows during the holidays. The look they bring out is very appealing especially when set in pairs on several windows.

Christmas lights have now become an important feature of the holidays, used in fresh and novel ways that have considerably differed from their early beginnings. Outdoor Christmas lighting design is now just as common as indoor decorative lighting. The icicle lights that used to only light up rooflines and frames of houses are also used to decorate shrubs. Christmas lights also come in the shape of trees and other embellishes that can be placed on the yard to bring out the total holiday look and ambiance.

Many lawns are decorated during the holiday season with well-lighted statuettes and several other items associated with the Christmas. In some towns and communities, entire streets are elaborately designed that leave passersby and even tourists in awe captivated by the outstanding visual presentations of the landscaped holiday lighting designs.