February 7, 2023

Some History of LED Christmas Lighting

Today, LED Christmas lights are being purchased every holiday season to replace their old incandescent string lights. They save money and frustration, but where did this holiday decorating phenomenon come from?

A Short History of Christmas String Lights

some history of led xmas lighting 58The tradition of lighting a tree for the celebration of Christmas originates in Germany in the 1600s and was only done by the most wealthy of people. In contrast to today’s electrical holiday lights, the trees were lit with many candles. The main purpose was not to illuminate the tree, but to shed light on the ornaments hung on the tree.

In 1882, while finding new uses for the incandescent light bulb, Thomas Edison’s assistant Howard Johnson conceived the idea of using smaller bulbs to light a Christmas tree. A great feat was accomplished when he lit up a tree in New York City with 80 small bulbs. It took about 20 years before electric Christmas lights were available in stores throughout the country.

LEDs Used in Holiday Lights

Oleg Vladimirovich Losev, a Russian radio technician, was the first to discover the LED (Light-Emitting Diode) technology while working on a radio in 1927. He found that one of the electrical diodes in the radio was emitting a fairly bright light. There was no real practical use for this technology until 1968 when the company Hewlett Packard starting using a small LED in its calculators.

some history of led xmas lighting 58 1Throughout the next three decades, the evolution of LEDs was ongoing. In the ‘70s, LEDs replaced incandescent indicator lights in machinery and electronics and through the ‘80s and ‘90s, different colors were introduced and according to christmas-lights-advice.com, it wasn’t until 1998 when LEDs were implemented into mini Christmas lights. And since then, LED Christmas lights have transformed into a low-energy, long-lasting staple in holiday decorating, saving Americans hundreds of dollars a year.

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