What is the origin of Christmas lights?

Christmas lights

There is something rather mesmerizing about the twinkle that is embellished from outdoor Christmas lights. Not only do they have the power to create a warm, welcoming environment, but they also are a nice added touch around the holiday season. However, have you ever wondered where the tradition of decorating your home with bright, outdoor lighting came from? Well, let’s untangle the history.

Early history

Historically, Christmas lights have only been used since electricity became the everyday norm, but dating back as far as the 17th century, eastern European families, particularly German, possessed light displays outside their homes that consisted of burning candles. Their trees at Christmas time were also delicately decorated with small candles that were attached using pins or melted wax. Only lit for a few minutes per night, traditionally this was a Christian custom to signal to other Christians that they were welcome to come worship inside their home. A far different expression for the use of lights when compared to our extravagant, modern-day displays.

The rise of electric bulbs

Then Thomas Edison changed the world with his fantastic advancement in technology, the lightbulb. In 1880, Edison introduced the world to the lights displayed on the outside of his laboratory compound, marking the first outdoor display of Christmas lights. Edward Johnson, an inventor under the supervision of Edison, also created the first string of Christmas lights a couple of years later. It was made out of 80 small electric light bulbs and went on to be mass produced in 1890.

Public displays of lights in retail stores and on government buildings started to become popular in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century. However, they weren’t very affordable until many years later. That being said, outdoor light displays are now a symbol of the holiday season.

Today’s Christmas lights

Many people, government buildings and municipalities now use incandescent Christmas lights, rather than candles, to offer a twinkling display around the holidays. Light-emitting diode, or LED, lights are more energy-efficient light options that help to reduce your carbon emission and electric bill. So, why not enjoy your festive Christmas lights and save a little money in the process.

Do you know any other interesting facts about the history of Christmas lights? Tell us in the comments section below.


5 ways to decorate your porch for the holidays

 directional lighting

Decorating for the holiday season is an incredibly exciting way to embellish your stylish taste in home decor. So, when you’re preparing your setup of unique, festive touches, don’t forget to deck out your front porch in order to really make it feel like a home for the holidays. Shake things up by mixing in a few natural elements in with your lighthearted, jolly Christmas accents and make the front of your home is a heartwarming invitation for all your joyous guests. That being said, you have the rest of December to take advantage of these decorating tips and to let the holiday cheer spill out of your home by making your front porch extra merry and bright.

Decorate an outdoor Christmas tree

Although your holiday resources, such as ornaments and tinsel, are most likely all used up after decorating your meticulous, indoor Christmas tree, if you have any left over, a second tree on your front porch would be an easy way to embellish the outdoor of your home. Not only does an outdoor Christmas tree curb the appeal of twinkling lights, but it also adds to the festive spirit and draws attention to your beautifully decorated home.

Now, if you don’t want the hassle of dragging out a secondary tree, perhaps consider decorating the trees directly in front of your porch instead in order to provide a contrasting balance of lights and decorations.

Use symmetry to your advantage

To achieve an element of cohesive style, decorate your porch considering the use of symmetry. Match the wreaths and garlands on each side so that spectators can easily follow a visual pathway through your outdoor design.

Fill the outside of your home with warm lighting

Directional lighting is one of the best additions that you can add to any outdoor illumination project. You can use it as a way to direct light from your home into the darker corners of your property or simply allow it to up light a garden feature. Directional lighting would work well to highlight all of your Christmas decorations that you have spread across your porch and lawn. While path and area lighting would also be a good addition to brighten up your outdoor walkways. After all, how are your guests supposed to make their way to your beautifully illuminated porch if they can’t see where they are stepping in the first place. Outdoor lighting plays a huge role in decorating for the upcoming winter season and for the holidays.

Get crafty with your decor

A decorative lantern can serve as a perfect centerpiece to your outdoor porch decor. Fill the lantern(s) with some shiny ornaments and bulbs and top it off with a little greenery, a bow or some ribbons. This is a fun, easy and unique way to add a pop of cheer to your front door.

Wrap Christmas lights tastefully

Swaddle your porch with some added Christmas glee when you wrap Christmas lights around the banister or the outline of your front door and windows. Not only does it provide an aesthetic visual framework, but it also lights up your outdoor area so it can be seen from further away. How cool is that?

How do you plan to use Christmas decorations and directional lighting to dress up your front porch for the holidays? Tell us in the comments section below.