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The History of Christmas Lights


<img src="edison Christmas lights.png" alt="the invention of Christmas lights">
What Christmas Lights Once Looked Like



When Christmas Light installation began I can only image they didn’t anticipate in the 21st Century over 64% of Houston would hang Christmas lights on their home each season which truly kicks off right after Thanksgiving and last until December 24th, yes customers still call Houston Christmas Lights on Christmas Eve but where did all this originate from? While it was Thomas Edison who invented the light bulb it was his trusted lieutenant Edward Hibberd Johnson who had the idea for Christmas lights that would change the way we celebrate this festive season.

While we tend to think of Christmas as an old tradition let’s look at how recent these events actually are:


· 1823: Stores began to advertise Christmas shopping with images of Santa except he resembled an elf not the jolly old man in a red suit children think of today


· 1822: The poem Twas the Night Before Christmas was the inspiration for Santa the poem was first called and penned as A visit from Saint Nicolas


· 1841: The Christmas tree was introduced in Britain by Queen Victoria’s husband Albert and the idea spread


· 1856: The 1st Christmas tree as chopped down and put up at the White House and Macys was of course the first store to sale ornaments


· 1890: The live Santa arrived because the Salvation Army needed money to provide low income and needy families a free meal today the men leave the mall Santa’s to dress up and instead of corners of city sidewalks, they stand outside stores ringing bell


Christmas Lights The Greatest of Inventions


But what about the invention of Christmas lights? Well, when the trees went up Johnson decided to wire bulbs together to outfit the tree in colors of red, white, and blue to replace the candles that were a safety concern. He placed the tree trunk of a stand that turned and everything including the Christmas lights were ran off a generator. For those days as one reported the use of those eight lights in a glass egg was the prettiest thing, they had ever seen can you imagine what they would think if they saw todays Christmas light and holiday displays in River Oaks, Pean Grove, and Pin Oak? However just as commercial Christmas lights do today, they stopped traffic at the retail store that could afford such a luxury. In 1903 General Electric released the first Christmas light kits

they sold a string of 16 lights for $12.00 which would be equivalent to $350.00 or $ 21.87 per each Christmas bulb. In 1914 the price decreased as the bulbs were changed to string filament Xmas lights sold on a 16-foot strand costing $1.75


Also in 1920 was the debut of Christmas displays such as snowman and Santa that light up. It was also the dawn of Christmas light shows. The first neighborhood to have Christmas lights for residents was found about 1500 miles away from Houston in California. Today we have squabbles in Legislation over Christmas light displays and HA that regulate holiday decorating. In 1925 NOMA became the largest Christmas light company but the cost was still too much for low-income families so a teen with a rebel spirit decided to change the white lights we still see widely installed every Christmas in Houston to colored Christmas light and the price lowered. NOMA took over the light business for forty years and in 1946 released bubble lights into the United States from the United Kingdom. The lights could be what we think of when we drive by a Christmas light installation in Houston that has a thousand twinkling lights synchronized to music. By 1978 just forty-five years ago all United States Christmas light manufactures went out of business and light ere foreign made. The results were again less expensive lights and new inventions such as the mini lights we see wrapped around trees todays. Between the 1970s era and the 1990 with the massive expansion Americans went crazy for holiday light installation in Houston and around the country. The largest light display according to the Guinness World Book of Record is held in Lagrangeville by the Gay Family, what an appropriate name for a homeowner who has 602,736 Christmas lights and has donated over a quarter of a million dollars to local charities. How long do these Christmas lights take to install? Thousands of hours but thanks to commercial grade LED lights only $350.00 to run all holiday season.


Best Christmas Light Displays in Houston


While most of us don’t have the luxury of booking a flight to go check out the elaborate display the Gay family has in Lagrangeville there are plenty of amazing local displays that will lift your spirits. Here is our top 5 must visit Holiday light displays in the greater Houston area.

1. Preston Wood Forest

2. Pecan Grove in Richmond

3. Candyland Display in North Houston

4. River Oaks

5. Pin Oaks in Katy

If you want your own holiday lights for 2021 contact our Christmas lights installers at Houston Christmas Lights 281-545-7740.




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