January 18, 2019

Share in the Spirit–Hang Outdoor Christmas Lighting


snowflakeCreate a Winter Wonderland with Snowflake Lights in Your Yard

Whether big white puffs of freshly fallen snow have just fallen in your yard or not, hanging snowflake lights can help set a mood for a white wintry festive holiday season.  The anticipation of a powdery light and airy snowfall helps create great excitement during the festive holidays.  Snowflake lights can help stir great imagination and wonder of the season.  Use snowflakes lights in your yard to share the anticipation of the season with family, friends, and neighbors.  Snowflake lights come in many lighting types and sizes.  A search through retail stores, magazines, or the internet will yield a plethora of all sorts of snowflake lights.  There are snowflake lights for “green” minded people.  A few manufacturers produce LED snowflake lights for people who are concerned with energy efficiency.  LED snowflake lights have a number of advantages including longer lasting, 90% less energy consumption, and environmentally friendly.  Snowflake lights are also available in traditional string sets for those who prefer that.  Traditional snowflake lights are less expensive up front and could be desirable for people who don’t keep their lights sets very long.  Snowflake lights can be hung in trees, draped on shrubbery, mounted on poles and made into yard decorations, or even hung on the eaves of a house to frame its outline.  There are an infinite number of ways to use snowflake lights.  Encourage joyful anticipation of this wonderful time of the year and hang snowflake lights throughout your yard.


Illuminate Your Home This Holiday Season With Christmas Lamps

Of course, traditional Christmas lamps decorated in many Christmas themes can be found just about anywhere.  An internet search will show numerous indoor and outdoor Christmas lamps of all types, shapes, and sizes.  There are even inflatable outdoor Christmas lamps illuminated from within.  Perhaps the most interesting and remarkable Christmas lamp comes from a remake of the “major award” the Old Man received in the movie, A Christmas Story.  The “major award” was a quirky leg lamp with fringed gallery silk shade that he so proudly displayed, at the dismay of his wife, in his front window for all neighbors to share in his enjoyment.  The leg lamp displayed a nicely developed female butt cheek, chubby thigh, and knobby knee with a fishnet stocking and elegant stiletto heel.  This Christmas lamp would make a fun gift and great conversation piece and, if ordered over the internet, the leg lamp ships in a box marked, “his end up” and “fragile” just like it’s shown in A Christmas Story.  For more information, check out the website, www.redriderleglamps.com.  Ignite the spirit and decorate your home with festive and jovial Christmas lamps.


Accentuate Entrances To Your Home With Wreath Lights

Decorating for the holidays can be cheerful, especially when attending to details like wreath lights.  It is commonly thought that wreaths placed on entry ways into the home, or in the home itself, is a symbol of welcome and hospitality.  Placing wreath lights on a wreath is a wonderful way to illuminate and highlight your joy of hosting guests.  Electrical, solar, or battery-operated wreath lights can be used to light up your wreath.  Electrical wreath lights provide a consistent bright light but can be cumbersome in dealing with the power cord.  Solar wreath lights would work in outdoor applications, especially on a south-facing door.  Battery-operated wreath lights are perhaps the most convenient option because the power source can be hidden within the wreath.  The luminary effects of wreath lights make a special welcoming to all of your guests.

C9 Holiday Lights–A Christmas Classic

C9–The Chrismas Light of the 1950’s & 1960’s

C9 Holiday Lights A Christmas ClassicI bet you didn’t know all those different Christmas lights you see around actually have technical names.  Even though over the years, I’ve seen all kinds of different light strings, it wasn’t until I started researching the Christmas decoration business that I came across the term C9 lights and had need to know just what this light was.

Just exactly what is a C9 light?  Now well informed, I’m happy to help you get in the know as well.  A C9 light bulb is one of the larger size traditional Christmas bulbs.  A Christmas bulb of this type will measure about 2-1/2″ long. Most popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s these lights were and are intended for outdoor Christmas lighting.  As a kid, we used these outside the house and saved the smaller C7 holiday lights for inside use on our indoor Christmas tree

The Bulb that Revolutionized Outdoor Xmas Lighting

C9 Holiday Lights A Christmas Classic 1These bulbs were introduced by GE in 1927 and even though they were expensive they were the lights to have. C7’s were coveted because for the first time ever, when one Christmas bulb went out the entire light string did not go dim with it.  Instead of testing each light in the string to find the dead bulb, now one blown-out bulb could quickly and easily be replaced and the light string was back in business.  This revolution in technical terms was due to the use of parallel circuitry.

Following WWII, manufacturers offered neighborhood contests for decorating with outdoor Xmas lights to boost sales.  Apparently the contests were very successful for the US is hooked on this now widely accepted tradition.

C9–The Christmas Bulb of Choice for the Outdoors

C9 bulbs are ideal for outdoor Christmas lighting. They are insulated so they will stand up to the cold and wet conditions winter sometimes dishes out.  They are also large enough to be seen quite a distance and for this reason work particularly well on large trees.  In addition, they make a good choice for porches, window and eaves. Consider mounting your C9 string over some greenery or garland for an elegant look.

Slideshow of the World’s Best Hanging Holiday Lights

Ever dream of taking a tour around the world so you could see some of the best displays of hanging holiday lights?  With plenty of us obsessed with seeing the finest outdoor Xmas light displays in our communities, it’s only fitting that we want to branch out and see what the world has to offer.

If you’re one of those who’d love to see these Christmas light displays from around the world, be forewarned. We can’t take you in person for free to see this outdoor Christmas lighting, but we can do the next best thing.  We can lead you to a slideshow where you can see the absolute finest in exterior Christmas lights the world over. So come on, be an adventurous armchair traveler and see the highlights, with the help of Travel and Leisure magazine, what we have picked out for you.

This slideshow starts out with clips from Disney World, Tokyo, Brussels, Branson, Johnson City and Mexico City.  For more on these decorative holiday lights refer to our companion story, “The World’s Best Displays of Hanging Outdoor Christmas Lights”.  Following clips from these locations the show moves on to cover the lights decorations of 5 additional outstanding light displays from around the world.  Stick with the slideshow and treat yourself to bold and bright holiday greetings from the following locales:

Slideshow of the Worlds Best Hanging Holiday LightsTivoli Gardens-Copenhagen: Tivoli’s amusement park Christmas decorations were designed by John Loring of Tiffany and Co.  With 20 acres of trees, buildings and rides decked out with festive lights, this is the place to be if you happen to land in Copenhagen at Christmastime.

Plaza de Comunicaciones, Madrid: This awe-inspiring display occurs only on Christmas Eve at the new city hall in Madrid. Unusual in the sense that it combines a whole lot of smoke and fireworks with the Christmas lights, it will remind you that cultures around the world each have a different take on what constitutes a successful light display.

Dededo, Guam: Smack in the middle of the Micronesia Mall, this Christmas light display includes a holiday lights train as well as a 35 foot tree and lights that blink in time to music.  Most unusual is the aroma machine that pumps out the smell of Christmas’ familiar pine trees.

Harbor City, Kowloon, Hong Kong: Thousands of blinking light in this shopping area serve to make the whole experience an overwhelming and dizzying one.  When it comes to Christmas lights, if you’re looking for excess–this is the place!

Take me to the show!


Christmas Decorations Add Cheer During the Holidays

Add Brightness to the Holidays with Christmas Lighting Ideas

Christmas Decorations Add Cheer During the HolidaysProper lighting can completely transform an area from dull and boring to festive and exciting.  Christmas lighting ideas can range from string lights to rope lighting, to stick lights, lantern lights, hanging objects, candles, flags, novelty figures, etc.  There are so many Christmas lighting ideas available today, the creativity seems endless.  Don’t forget colors when contemplating Christmas lighting ideas.  The choices for multi-colored lights, monochromatic colored lights, or even monochromatic white lights are many.  One Christmas lighting idea for someone who is short on space, would be to outline a Christmas tree with string lights on a blank wall to create a 2-D Christmas tree.  Visit local stores or peruse the internet to help with more Christmas lighting ideas.

Share the Cheer with Outdoor Christmas lighting

Christmas Decorations Add Cheer During the Holidays 1In addition to indoor Christmas decorations, outdoor Christmas lighting can encourage peace and unity amongst neighbors, add curb appeal, and brighten your “welcome home.”  Some ideas for outdoor Christmas lighting include lighting a path, outlining a boundary with lights, displaying religious or novelty objects, lighting trees/bushes/buildings/objects.  It’s fun to drive down a street lined with parkway trees wrapped in monochromatic lighting of green stems and white tree tops.  Lining a deck railing brings the festivity to the backyard.  Nativity scenes are particularly beautiful when highlighted with outdoor Christmas lighting.  Outlining a house with outdoor Christmas lighting can accent its beauty.  There are many ways to share the spirit with outdoor Christmas lighting.

Chose Among the Many Ways to Decorated an Outdoor Christmas tree

The most grand outdoor Christmas tree can usually be found in the downtown of a major metropolitan area.  Several trees are roped together to form a massive outdoor Christmas tree.  This is then lit with an abundant amount of lights and, sometimes, other Christmas decorations.  It is spectacular.  Other large Christmas trees can be formed from metal framing and then outlined with outdoor lights.  It is easy to form many different sizes in this way.  Lights can be strung horizontally, vertically, or in a swirl design emphasizing movement.  A monochromatic lighting scheme is popular but multi-colored lighting on an outdoor Christmas tree is equally striking.  Of course, decorating an evergreen makes an easy outdoor Christmas tree.  Don’t forget the ornaments and a tree topper.

Christmas Decorations Add Cheer During the Holidays 2

Fondest Memories of Outdoor Xmas Lights

Create Neighborhood Unity with Outdoor Christmas Lighting

Fondest Memories of Outdoor Xmas LightsWhen I think of Christmas’ past, the first memories that come to mind are of driving around different neighborhoods on the eve before Christmas looking at outdoor Christmas lighting.  I’ve lived in at least a dozen different neighborhoods, from city to suburban, apartment to single family house.  The thread that ties these communities together during the holidays is the beautiful outdoor Christmas lighting décor.  The many different sizes and shapes of Xmas lights combined with different cultures and personalities, come together to create a unique and varied outdoor Christmas lighting display.  Some people choose a minimalistic approach while others spend many days planning and decorating their outdoors.  Outdoor Christmas lighting can be as creative and unique as the imagination can muster.

Accentuate your home with Landscape lighting

Fondest Memories of Outdoor Xmas Lights 1A beautiful way to highlight a building is with landscape lighting.  A multi-color or all-monochromatic theme can be quite stunning and eye-catching.  Landscape lighting adds curb-appeal and really makes your home shine.  Monochromatic bursts of color, when each tree or shrub is wrapped in a bold statement of color, makes landscape lighting looks stunning.  The all white monochromatic theme makes landscape lighting look elegant and sophisticated.  Multi-color lighting can dazzle the senses and bring cheer to your landscape lighting.

Add fun and laughter using Novelty lighting

Fondest Memories of Outdoor Xmas Lights 2A favorite Xmas lights display of mine from years ago was a neighborhood block where each house used a Charlie Brown and Snoopy themed display of novelty lighting.  Each home had a different story to tell and we wondered how new homeowners to the community felt about being told they had to participate in the yearly novelty lighting.  Novelty lighting can put a smile on a child’s face when they recognize a favorite character or unique display.  Novelty lighting is a creative and fun way to decorate with Xmas lights.

Today’s Choice–Icicle Christmas Lights

Icicle Christmas lights are just the latest of a long string of outdoor lighting techniques used to light homes in celebration of Christmas.  A popular choice, they simulate dripping from the eaves of homes, and can frequently also be seen cascading from the branches of Christmas trees both indoors and out.

History of Festive Lighting

Just how did these and other types of lights become so important to our culture’s obsession with outdoor Christmas lighting?  Interestingly enough, festive lighting dates back to ancient times long before the advent of Christianity.  Acknowledging the importance of light to the harvest and to life itself, ancient cultures revered the presence of light in a spiritual sense and made use of it in the various festivals they celebrated.

Christmas Tree Lighting–A Modern Twist on Ancient History

Using light on trees seems to be rooted in ancient history as well.  The Druids of France and England considered the oak tree to be sacred and at festival times were believed to decorate them with candles.  Later, in early Christianity, it is said that Martin Luther attempted to recreate the beauty of stars lighting forest trees by bringing a candled tree into his home for his family to enjoy.  This practice is believed to have evolved into the German tradition of Christmas tree lighting.  From Germany, the tradition followed Prince Albert to England when he married Queen Victoria.

Similarly German settlers were credited with bringing Christmas tree lighting to the United States.  The first actual tree was believed to be displayed in Pennsylvania in 1851.  Lighting was kept to a minimum due to the fire hazard of placing lit candles on an indoor tree.  In fact, most trees were lit only on Christmas Eve and only for a few moments.  It took until Thomas Edison’s development of the electric light bulb and the subsequent manufacture of Christmas light bulbs for the trees to be lit for extended periods of time.

Although many of us can’t envision Christmas without Christmas tree lighting, the practice of bringing a tree indoors didn’t really catch on until after the first tree made its debut in the White House.  Unbelievably, this wasn’t until 1856. Most likely there was an attempt to be European and follow the traditions being popularized by England’s trend-setting Queen Victoria.

Festive Lighting–Not just Christmas Lites

Other cultures besides our own continue to use festive lighting.  Of particular note is the Jewish festival of Hanukkah, the Hindu festival of Diwali and the Thai festival of Loi Krathong.  Each of these festivals of light has a long history and like Christmas lighting has its roots in ancient peoples fascination and respect for the light of the sun and stars.