During Christmas of 1880, strands of these practical lightbulbs were strung around the outside of his Menlo Park Laboratory. Railroad passengers traveling by the laboratory got their first look at an electrical light display. However, the fully-developed concept of Christmas lights we know today didn’t become a tradition until 40 years later!
Before electric Christmas lights, families would use candles to light up their Christmas trees. People’s distrust of electricity in the late 1800s and early 1900s put celebrating Christmas through colorful lights on hold.
On Christmas Eve 1923, President Calvin Coolidge broke the mold and began the country’s celebration of Christmas by lighting the National Christmas Tree with 3,000 electric lights. Albert Sadacca, a teenager in the early 1920s, is often credited as being the first person to suggest selling and marketing colorful Christmas lights for all families to buy.
Today, it’s difficult to walk down the street without seeing numerous colorful holiday lights installed on homes. People enjoy decorating their homes and even spend time coming up with various holiday light scenarios for competitions.