No one is really sure how Christmas lights migrated from trees to our houses, but it’s rumored that American businesses had lights in their store windows as early as 1900. Back then, lights were too expensive for the average home, but General Electric still sponsored community lighting competitions during the roaring twenties. The 1950s saw a massive explosion of Christmas lights in neighborhoods around America. Perhaps it was the spirit of prosperity and the consumerist “Keeping up with the Joneses” mentality that transformed a modest tradition into a holiday craze.
Types of Outdoor Christmas Decorations
Traditional C7 (smaller) and C9 lights (larger) are popular for their durability and versatility. The C7 and C9 kits are the least expensive option for outdoor lighting, which adds to their classic appeal. You may buy in sets of 25, with up to 6 sets strung together. These lights may be transparent, opaque or faceted, and they can twinkle or remain lit.
However, many consumers are looking into LED Christmas lights this year, which are more expensive upfront but save 70 to 80 percent in electric bills. Furthermore, they last up to 50,000 hours and one light can blow out, without compromising the whole string. In the past, LED lights only came in bluish-purple, but this year, you can find all the colors of the rainbow.
If you have bushes to cover, consider Christmas net lights, which will blanket your shrubs with 150 mini-lights. Try a 150-foot roll of blinking rope lights for windows, railings, doors, or outlining the structure of your house. Icicle lights hang from gutters, fences and railings and come in white, blue or rainbow. Christmas spotlights that come in red, blue, green, or white can accent wreaths, trees, windows, doors or trees. Some spotlights come with nylon structures that will shine an image onto your house – a Santa face, reindeer, a “Happy Holidays,” or some other seasonal image. In addition to Christmas lights, there are wreaths, inflatable Christmas characters, and light up figurines – some of which are animatronics.
Christmas Light Tips
- Test all your lights inside before hanging them to avoid senseless aggravation later.
- Be sure to buy a heavy duty extension cord and plugs into a 120-volt outlet.
- Always put up lights with a partner to hold the ladder.
- Use plastic clips or zip-ties (instead of nails) to hang lights to your gutter.
- To hang lights from brick, use cement nails or hooks.
- Coil your lights into circles and use plastic zip-ties to hold them in place for easy unraveling next year.