12 Questions Answered About Christmas Lights

Christmas tree lights

History of Christmas Lights

As most of us know, the first celebration of Tannenbaum or Christmas tree began in Deutschland. GOOGLE search said the first Christmas tree dates back to 1610 A.D.

Sure the first Christmas tree has its roots in Germany but when did the lighting of the first Christmas tree begin?

Did you know that the lighting of the Christmas tree is all American? That’s right, Thomas Edison was working on making good on a promise he made.  To use his light bulbs to light up the town of Manhatten.

Thomas EdisonMr. Edison’s to light up Christmas started out as a brilliant marketing strategy involving Carson Williams’ viral “Wizards of Winter” display.

Thomas Edison wanted to bring more attention to his invention of the incandescent light bulb back in 1880. As the Christmas season got underway, he decided to start with his New Jersey Laboratory.

He aligned himself The Wizard of Menlo Park, known for public relation shrewdness. Using eight miles of underground wire cable to electrify strings of lights around the New Jersy Laboratory.

The Wizard of Menlo Park determined that the commuters traveling by train between New York and Philadelphia would have the bird’s eye view of the light display. Giving the passengers a fantastic experience of the illuminated fields as they passed.

The result of the Christmas display branded Thomas Edison by a reporter “the Enchanter” and the fields “a fairy-land of lights.”

In 1882, after completing the central power plant on Pearl Street in Manhatten. The following Holiday season Mr. Edison and his compatriot Edward Johnson embellished the first Christmas tree with eighty red, white and blue flashing lights. And the tree was crowned with a box that orbits every ten seconds. The tree also revolved around an unexposed crank run by electricity below the floor.

Can you imagine how beautiful the first historical Christmas tree might have looked?

Santa workshop

In 1889, Benjamin Harrison, was the first President, to have a Christmas tree in the White House. It wasn’t until 1895 when the White House installed wiring for electricity. When the twenty-fourth President Grover Cleveland, asked to have the first family’s Christmas tree decorated with hundreds of varicolored light bulbs.

Grover Cleveland is noted for the acceptance of electric lighted Christmas trees. Because in his time the public’s reception of electricity use wasn’t well received. People at that time believed lights and wires emitted dangerous vapors that would infiltrate their homes. Similar to the same mistrust people have about light emitting diodes (LED).

In 1900, the cost of installing wiring for electric lighting was expensive. Back then it would have cost $300. You would have to buy the lights, generator, and the electrician’s services. By today standards an expense of around $2000.

Consumers didn’t get a break until 1903. General Electric offered the consumer an eight-socket, pre-wired string of lights. G.E. tried to patent their invention but was turned down. Leaving other inventors and companies to manufacture their own Christmas tree light sets.  And the American Christmas Light industry sprung into existence.

The first Christmas lights produced were from blown molds of glass ornaments. The light bulbs hand-painted by the toy makers at the time. The issue came when the painted lights turned on.

The expansion and contraction of the heat created by the illumination of the bulb. Caused the paint to crack and flake off. To solve this issue milk glass was predominately used to conceal the paint imperfections.


Other issues that were born using the incandescent Christmas light bulbs. Early traditional light bulbs produced so much heat that could cause a fire. Had a short life-span, are not energy efficient and are very fragile.

 

If You Want to be a Winner, Change Your Christmas Lights Philosophy Now!

Unlike the LED Christmas lights of today. LEDs are energy efficient, have a long life and are incredibly durable, come in a variety of colors.

Similarities to yesteryears incandescents inception LEDs are a bit more costly on the front end but will pay for themselves year after year.

light bulb chart

From the above chart, you can see that using old traditional Christmas lights use more electricity than LED light bulbs. The sizeable c9 light bulbs use 175-watts of electric which can cost you $15 plus too (12 hours) operate during the Holiday season.

Why LED Christmas Lights Succeed 

In comparison to a LED string of  c9 equivalent light bulbs that consumes only 2.4-watts and runs mere .21 cents to operate for the same amount of time.

Do you want to see real savings? Let’s say you have four twenty-five (c9) count strands of incandescent lights burning. They will cost you around $60 for the Holiday season. Using the same amount LEDs will reduce your power usage to .80 cents. That’s a significant saving don’t you agree?

Do you want to light up your home? You could decorate your home with 1,800 LED light bulbs for the same amount of operating four twenty-five strands of incandescent Christmas lights. Without breaking the family budget.

Merry Christmas!

Kevin

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4 thoughts on “12 Questions Answered About Christmas Lights”

  1. Hi Kevin,

    I enjoyed reading the historical part of your article. Thanks for sharing!

    My family has been using LED Christmas light for some years now and it does contribute to the savings. Our tree was up 1st week of Dec and will be there until after New Year celebration. That is one month of savings.

    Have a blessed Christmas and Happy Holidays!

    1. Hello, Sharon, I’m happy to hear you have joined the ranks of the informed consumer. LED light bulbs are safe to use on a live tree and you can plug several LED light strands together without fear of causing an issue. 

      Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

      Kevin

  2. Kevin; my memory is greatly refresh by reading your post. This post brings out the historical abilities that is in you. It is a fact that the LED light bulbs is in deed an energy savior. As also it save on our pockets. I use the led light bulbs in and around my house. I finds it by amazing, after being in service for twenty four hours I can hold the led light bulbs to my face rub it on my jaw and I feel no heat whatsoever from it. I believed that the led light bulbs is one of the best things that ever come to consumers energy wise. DorcasW

    1. Hello, DorcasW, Thank you!  I’m so happy that you enjoyed my post. You are right about LED light bulbs. Not only are the safe to touch, they are energy efficient. You start saving money as soon as you flip the switch. LEds are the smart choice for smart consumers today. Happy Holiday’s to you and your family.

      Kevin

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