The history of Christmas lights goes back to the 1600s. Slowly, since the late 1800s, people have come to welcome these lights into their homes. Today, the annual lighting of the trees in Washington, DC and Rockefeller Center are so popular, they are televised.
Candles as Christmas Lights
Christmas lights were originally candles that were placed on the branches of Christmas trees.
Let There Be Light
In the late 1880s, Edward Johnson, Thomas Edison's business partner, attached red, white and blue bulbs to his personal Christmas tree.
The Presidential Tree
President Grover Cleveland gained the attention of the public by placing lights on his Christmas tree in 1895.
American Eveready Company
Around 1903, the American Eveready Company and the General Electric company developed a set of light bulbs for Christmas trees that people could attach themselves along with a plug for the wall socket.
In 1917, Albert Sadacca and his family started selling strings of lights designed especially for Christmas trees.
Lighting Up the National Christmas Tree
In 1923, the National Christmas Tree had 3,000 electric lights on it, popularizing Christmas tree lights even further.
Present Day Trends
Today, Christmas tree light trends include icicles, LEDs and flashing Christmas lights.
About this Author
Jeanne Baird is a freelance writer with a decade of experience as a proofreader, editor and writer. She has been the associate editor for an engineering society handbook and a project manager for an independent publishing company. Baird also has edited business and entertainment news from several international newswires.