History of Christmas Tree Lights

It is no surprise that the famous inventor, Thomas Edison, hung strings of electric lights in 1880, the year after he invented the incandescent light bulb.  Edward H. Johnson, a friend of Thomas Edison, was the first person known to use electric Christmas lights in a home.  These lights did not become widespread right away due to their cost and the expense to have an electrician install them.

Sometime around 1917, Albert Sadacca (as legend goes) asked his family, who owned a novelty business, to manufacture affordable strings of lights.  Sales were slow at first but as more people embraced household electricity, stringing Christmas lights around the tree became more common.

Improvements in Christmas Lights

Once upon a time we all had to deal with the old-style Christmas light bulbs.  They were huge, had thick cords, generated heat, came in limited colors, and you couldn’t link them together.  In the 60’s, mini lights became the rage but if one bulb blew you had to check each bulb (out of 25-50) to locate the bad one.  The next big improvement allowed one bulb to burn out while the rest remained lit.

During the last few years, LED (light- emitting diode) lights have become the rage.  They are smaller, yet burn brighter.  They don’t get hot so you can combine many strings together.  This also allowed LED’s to be permanently wired on a fake tree so you never had to install or remove the lights each year.  In addition, they come in many colors, shapes, and sizes.

Last, but not least, LED lights use a fraction of the electricity the old lights used.  Since they have been out a few years now, their cost has dropped significantly.

You can find out more information on LED’s from this article “LED Christmas Lights”.

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