The tradition of decorating with Christmas lights dates back to early 1800s Germany. Christian based towns would light their religious symbols on Christmas Eve with lanterns made of paper or cloth. The use of Christmas lights quickly spread throughout Europe, America to the rest of the world. Families now decorate their homes with increasingly attractive displays of festive lights. The tradition has also become a holiday symbol that is observed in countries around the world, not just at Christmas, lights are used to illuminate streets, public buildings, bridges, and churches as well as homes. Decorating with strings of lights is thought to have begun with an Englishman named Thomas, who created a string of lights to decorate his home on Radio Avenue, London.
The first electrically-lit tree was created by an American, Edward Johnson in the 1890s following the invention of the electric lightbulb by Thomas Edison. They started to become more popular in the 1910s, when electricity became more widespread, and by the 1920s there was practically a Christmas light revolution. Neighbourhoods and towns across North America would compete in “lighting wars” and a competitive element entered into displays for a while – though some might say it is still there!
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Early Christmas lights were not always the safest, but modern lights are a very different proposition, especially with the advent of LED lights which are low in power usage and less likely to fail. Because of their flexibility it is now possible to create beautiful displays and sculptures that are safe to use both indoors and out.
Thanks to these modern developments Christmas lights are an ideal way to really express your personality in your decorations. There is almost no limit to the styles, shapes and colours that are available – often the hardest thing is to know when to stop!