When the suburbs started to grow in the 60s and 70s, Americans got competitive and creative with their holiday lights, coming up with new and interesting displays each year. The tradition continues, and many cities hold lighting competitions each year, and even national television programs like the Today Show have yearly holiday light features, showing houses decked to the gills with thousands of strings of Christmas lights.
The varieties and availability of twinkle lights has allowed for even the novice decorator to create amazing holiday displays from year to year. One simply needs to dream up their scheme, or sculpture, and then simply purchase the right colors combinations. The way modern lights are strung has virtually eliminated the problem of an entire string going dark when a single bulb burns out. String lights can now light up the night, even with one or more bulbs aren’t working. Most string lights are still sold with replacement bulbs, in case one does burn out and needs to be replaced, but now you just need to look for the dark bulb. Gone are the days of testing each socket for the culprit.
In the past few years, Christmas lights have become increasingly environmentally friendly and easier to use, with the arrival of LED lights. LED uses a Light Emitting Diode (LED) to produce light, instead of the filament used in traditional holiday lights. LED lights can last an incredibly long time, some as long as 100,000 hours, and also use less electricity than other types of Christmas lights.
In addition to various colored lights, Christmas lights now come on a variety of different colored strings, allowing them to blend into the background when unlit. With the huge selection of colors, sizes, and strings, holiday lights are now used for lighting and decorating far beyond Christmas. Halloween, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Independence Day, and family celebrations are now commonly accented by strings of twinkle lights.
Holiday lights have been around for a long time, and have changed a lot since Grover Cleveland first lit a tree at the White House with electric Christmas lights. With new technology, and the increased versatility and ease of use, holiday lights are sure to be around for generations to come.