Christmas lights have been one of the most popular Christmas decorations for the past century. In 1882, three years after Edison invented the first sensible light bulb, Edward H. Johnson created the first Christmas lights in his home in New York City. The tree was hand-wired and lit with 80 red, white, and blue globes. The lights blinked and twinkled while the tree slowly revolved.
Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. Last year, we picked our favorite Christmas lights, but this year, we decided to go deeper on all kinds of string and holiday lighting. Below, the best in Christmas light shows. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Add a fun and festive holiday touch to Add a fun and festive holiday touch to your yard with this adorable Airblown Inflatable featuring Mickey Mouse flying a plane stocked with Christmas presents. Easily installs - it self-inflates in seconds and includes energy-efficient LED lighting for nighttime visibility. No assembly required. Plug it in stake it down and ...  More + Product Details Close
Adamax's Heavy Duty Metal Lamp Guard is the Adamax's Heavy Duty Metal Lamp Guard is the perfect replacement for flimsy or melted plastic socket guards on your temporary and string lighting. Adamax's metal cage is constructed from heavy gauge steel and then coated in heat resistant vinyl to provide. 5 in. product width.  More + Product Details Close

Cotton batting Christmas ornaments were popular during the years of the German Christmas toy and decoration boom at the turn of the century. They were exported in large numbers to the United States. These decorations suggested puffs of snow. Fruits and vegetables were popular subjects and often had a realistic appearance. African American and patriotic characters were fashioned for the American market. Some ornaments were used to hide boxes of candy.
You can buy these in strands of 25 bulbs or larger strands of 100 bulbs. The 25-bulb strands can be connected together (daisy chained) up to a maximum of three strands; 100-bulb strands should be connected separately. Don't connect them together! The C7 and C9 strands use a standard screw-in candelabra base for easy bulb replacement. The strands are connected so if one bulb fails it only affects itself. Buying light strands with inner fuses is a great idea to prevent excess current on the strands.
From the 1960s, beginning with tract housing in the U.S., it became increasingly common to completely outline the house (but particularly the eaves) with weatherproof Christmas lights. The Holiday Trail of Lights is a joint effort by cities in east Texas and northwest Louisiana that had its origins in the Festival of Lights and Christmas Festival in Natchitoches, started in 1927, making it one of the oldest light festivals in the United States. Fulton Street in Palo Alto, California, has the nickname "Christmas Tree Lane" due to the display of lighted Christmas trees on the sides of the street.[26]
A clear glass tube is heated over an open flame. It is then inserted into a mold. The glassblower then blows into the end of the tube. The glass expands to fill the mold. The glass takes on the shape of the mold. It is cooled. A silver nitrate solution is swirled about inside the ornament. This gives the ornament a silver glow. The outside of the ornament is painted or decorated with metal trims, paper clippings, etc.[11]
In England, it was customary to burn the decorations in the hearth, however this tradition has fallen out of favour as reusable and imperishable decorations made of plastics, wood, glass and metal became more popular. If a Yule Log has been kept alight since Christmas Day, it is put out and the ashes kept to include in the fire on the following Christmas Day.[19] A superstition exists which suggests that if decorations are kept up after Twelfth Night, they must be kept up until the following Twelfth Night, but also that if the decorations for the current Christmas are taken down before the New Year begins, bad luck shall befall the house for a whole year.[20]
Our waterfall lights are completely self-contained, meaning all you need to do is plug them in and watch the custom controller sequence of the lights in a soothing manner. There are 8 sequences of animation with the controller. Each waterfall set made up of ten strands of lights wired. A strand is made of clear wire, each spaced six inches apart for a total of 960 LEDs in a waterfall set. They are great for animated displays in your home, business, or light park. UL listed for indoor and...
“I can’t believe how bright these tiny little lights are. I initially bought them for my kids’ room because their Christmas lights burned out. I wanted just enough light to help them sleep at night without being scared. As beautiful as these are, they were too bright for bedroom night-lights. They lit up the whole room. They were so pretty, though! I got the multicolored ones. I am going to use these inside during Christmas instead. The wire makes it so easy to wrap around anything. Great buy!”
Christmas lighting does lead to some extensive recycling issues. Every year, more than 20 million pounds of discarded holiday lights are shipped to Shijiao, China (near Guangzhou), which has been referred to as "the world capital for recycling Christmas lights".[27] The region began importing discarded lights around 1990 in part because of its cheap labor and low environmental standards.[27] As late as 2009, many factories would simply burn the lights to melt the plastic and retrieve the copper wire, releasing toxic fumes into the local environment.[27] A safer technique was then developed that involved chopping the lights into a fine sand-like consistency, mixing it with water and vibrating the slurry on a table causing the different elements to separate out, similar to the process of panning for gold.[27] Everything is recycled: copper, brass, plastic and glass.
Tired of downsizing? Throw political correctness to the wind with giant-size outdoor ornaments for your eaves, porch and trees. Up to 4 feet tall and featuring a high-gloss finish, unbreakable plastic and polyresin ornaments mimic glass in Paul Bunyonesque proportions. Some have built-in lights. Lots of styles and colors are available for $100 to $150.
Use a good ladder when installing your lights. Secure them with insulated holders (never use tacks or nails). Don't install your lights on trees that come in contact with power lines. Before installing your Christmas lights, plug them in to make sure all of your bulbs are working. Make sure to turn your lights off when you leave or go to bed at night.
Wreaths are made from real or artificial conifer branches, or sometimes other broadleaf evergreens or holly. Several types of evergreen or even deciduous branches may be used in the same wreath, along with pinecones and sprays of berries, and Christmas ornaments including jingle bells. A bow is usually used at the top or bottom, and an electric or unlit candle may be placed in the middle. Christmas lights are often used, and they may be hung from door or windows, and sometimes walls, lampposts and light fixtures, or even statuary. Since the 19th century, the poinsettia, a native plant from Mexico, has been associated with Christmas.
“Very happy with these lights. They look great on our tree! And all four that I purchased worked right out of the box — no dead LEDs. They’ll probably pay for themselves in energy savings within a couple of years, since we like to keep our tree lights on nonstop throughout December. And no worries about fires since these babies put out zero heat. My only dislike is that they contain some white LEDs. Call me old-fashioned, but I don’t think they belong on a color strand. But they are hardly noticeable unless you look for them.”
Ready to outdo all of your neighbors? New on the market and sure to be an amazing addition to your Christmas display, these lasers allow for quick décor that draws the eye of every passerby! Projector stakes into the ground and casts and amazing light display on trees, houses, or even patios. Power adapter and remote control included. Prepare to be blown away with these incredible laser projectors!
Over a period of time,[clarification needed] strings of Christmas lights found their way into use in places other than Christmas trees. Soon, strings of lights adorned mantles and doorways inside homes, and ran along the rafters, roof lines, and porch railings of homes and businesses. In recent times, many city skyscrapers are decorated with long mostly-vertical strings of a common theme, and are activated simultaneously in Grand Illumination ceremonies.
This Penguins Family Playing on Ice Yard Christmas Inflatable is great for decor in and out of the home. The lighted design makes it perfect for your nighttime display. It can also be a great addition to your family photo. The lightweight material and self-inflating design make it easy for anyone in the family to set up and take down. Once deflated, its compact design makes storage easy and allows it to be stored not for use in temperatures below 14°F or 10°C almost anywhere. Do not inflate...
The first known electrically illuminated Christmas tree was the creation of Edward H. Johnson, an associate of inventor Thomas Edison. While he was vice president of the Edison Electric Light Company, a predecessor of today's Con Edison electric utility, he had Christmas tree light bulbs especially made for him. He proudly displayed his Christmas tree, which was hand-wired with 80 red, white and blue electric incandescent light bulbs the size of walnuts, on December 22, 1882 at his home on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Local newspapers ignored the story, seeing it as a publicity stunt. However, it was published by a Detroit newspaper reporter, and Johnson has become widely regarded as the Father of Electric Christmas Tree Lights. By 1900, businesses started stringing up Christmas lights behind their windows.[14] Christmas lights were too expensive for the average person; as such, electric Christmas lights did not become the majority replacement for candles until 1930.[15]

Welcome to the snow tube — a 15-inch-long plastic cylinder with a light that travels the length of the tube. Hang it vertically and the effect is like a giant glowing snowflake falling, albeit it only "falls" 15 inches. You’ll need five to 10 tubes to get any visual traction. At $30 each, it's doubtful they'll take the place of those ubiquitous icicle lights, but we can hope
Light sculptures can be either flat (most common) or three-dimensional. Flat sculptures are the motifs, and are often on metal frames, but garland can also be attached to outdoor motifs. Indoor motifs often have a multicolored plastic backing sheet, sometimes holographic. 3D sculptures include deer or reindeer (even moose) in various positions, and with or without antlers, often with a motor to move the head up and down or side to side as if grazing. These and other 3D displays may be bare-frame, or be covered with garland, looped and woven transparent plastic cord or acrylic, or natural or goldtone-painted vines. Snowflakes are a popular design for municipal displays, so as not to be misconstrued as a government endorsement of religion, or so they can be left up all winter.
Christmas lights using incandescent bulbs are somewhat notorious for being difficult to troubleshoot and repair. In the 1950s and 1960s, the series circuit connected light sets would go completely dark when a single bulb failed. So in the fairly recent past, the mini-lights have come with shunts to allow a set to continue to operate with a burned out bulb. However, if there are multiple bulb failures or a shunt is bad, the string can still fail. There are two basic ways to troubleshoot this: a one by one replacement with a known good bulb, or by using a test light to find out where the voltage gets interrupted. One example made specifically for Christmas lights is the LightKeeper Pro. For additional information, see the troubleshooting section of the Holiday lighting technology article.
Celebrate the season in elegant style with Christmas decorations from Frontgate. Our artificial Christmas trees are modeled after Mother Nature's most beautiful varieties, and then meticulously pre-strung with the industry's brightest lights. Their sturdy needles and boughs are perfect for hanging Christmas ornaments of every shape and size – from traditional hand-blown globes to whimsical artisan-made collectibles. This Christmas, deck your halls with heirloom-worthy holiday decorations that will bring joy and cheer for years to come.
“We wanted to do a candy-cane column for the holidays, and finding solid-red LED strands that were as bright as our cool white lights was a challenge. There are tons of ‘fairy’ strands out there, but they are very dim when placed near normal LED strands and have a high failure rating outside in our experience. These lights are PERFECT! Very bright, solid construction. Highly recommend these lights!”
At Christmas Central, Christmas decorating is our specialty. We carry everything you need to transform your home into your ideal winter wonderland. We offer holiday items for residential and commercial holiday decorating. Our selection includes window silhouettes and holiday lawn ornaments, colorful Santa hats and costumes, gift boxes, Christmas stockings and stocking holders, candles, and holiday greeting cards.
Bring a festive atmosphere to your indoor or Bring a festive atmosphere to your indoor or outdoor event with weather resistant battery operated string light nylon lanterns. They are an economical way to add color and dimension to your event. Hang them on tree branches a patio umbrella a party tent or above a table setting. Any way ...  More + Product Details Close
In the United Kingdom, electrically powered Christmas lights are generally known as fairy lights. In 1881, the Savoy Theatre, London was the first building in the world to be lit entirely by electricity.[10] Sir Joseph Swan, pioneer of the incandescent light bulb, supplied about 1,200 Swan incandescent lamps, and a year later, the Savoy owner Richard D'Oyly Carte equipped the principal fairies with miniature lighting supplied by the Swan United Electric Lamp Company, for the opening night of the Gilbert and Sullivan opera Iolanthe on 25 November 1882.[11] The term 'fairy lights', describing 'a small coloured light used in illuminations' had already entered English:[12] its usage for a string of electrically powered Christmas lights has been common in the UK ever since.[13]
×

Have the Most Beautiful House on your Street this Year!