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Christmas will be here before you know it, and you don’t want to be the most boring house on your street again, do you? If you’re ready to step things up a notch and improve your holiday light display, there’s no better way to achieve your goal than to invest in some stunning exterior Christmas lights. Here at Jellyfish Lighting, you’ll find some of the most versatile and reliable outdoor Christmas lights.

What Started the Tradition of Christmas Lights?

Every year as fall comes to a close and winter approaches, there are a few things that are certain:

The weather will get colder.
The nights will get shorter.
Christmas lights will start twinkling from peoples’ homes.

It’s so common to see outdoor Christmas lights and hear holiday music every year that it seems life has always been this way. But the tradition of putting up Christmas house lights does, in fact, have a beginning.

Christmas has long been associated with light. This makes sense when you consider that the main symbol of the holiday is a star. Before Thomas Edison patented incandescent bulbs in 1878, people used to light candles and hang them on trees to provide holiday light and cheer. As you can imagine, this was a risky tradition that resulted in many fires.

In 1882, Edward Johnson (a friend of Thomas Edison’s) made lighting trees much safer by introducing the first known Christmas lights. These lights were not as attractive or sophisticated as today’s string lights, but they were a step up from lit candles.

Edward Johnson’s first holiday lights consisted of a string of eight pear-shaped, bulky bulbs in the colors red, white, and blue. The bulbs were attached to a single wire and wrapped around a rotating tree. Spectators watched as Edward Johnson lit the lights and put on the very first holiday light show.

President Grover Cleveland helped spur the excitement for Christmas lights in 1895 when he approved lighting a Christmas tree in the White House.

Still, it wasn’t until the 1920s that the idea of Christmas lighting caught hold in the United States. Before that, people were understandably wary of putting expensive and impractical lights up on their homes. Many Americans were distrustful of electricity at the time, as well.

But in the 1920s, holiday lighting trends began to take root as pre-assembled string lights became more affordable and accessible to average families.

Since their humble beginnings, Christmas lights have come a long way and are now intimately integrated into our lives and customs. As a result, many people get serious about their Christmas lighting traditions and work hard to have the “best Christmas house” on the block.

In 1989, a movie called “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” poked fun at the trend of trying to have the best Christmas lights in the neighborhood. In the movie, Clark Griswold covers every imaginable inch of his home in 25,000 outdoor Christmas lights. While the lights initially fail to turn on, they eventually do (causing the rest of the lights in the neighborhood to go out).

But despite the movie’s humorous undertones and obvious exaggeration, many homeowners are still determined to create an impressive Christmas light display every year.

Today, Christmas lights look much different than they did back in the 1920s or even the 1980s. It’s not unusual to see a modern holiday light display that incorporates everything from whimsical icicle lights to twinkling fairy lights and everything in between. Some homeowners even sync Christmas lights to music for an unforgettable show that people of all ages can enjoy.

What Is the Significance of Christmas Lights?

Christmas lights symbolize hope and redemption. Different colored lights can also symbolize individual things like purity, joy, and peace. Since Christmas falls during a time of year that is typically darker, colder, and drearier than most seasons, bright and festive string lights are a welcome sight. They bring light and holiday cheer to a world that would be much darker without them. When synced with Christmas music, holiday lights become even more joyful and inspiring.

What Is the Most Classic Way to Decorate?

There are many ways to decorate with outdoor Christmas lights. If you need proof, just head over to Candy Cane Lane in Los Angeles or take a walk through Central Park in the winter. You’ll be amazed at the detail and the sheer number of bulbs illuminating each light display.

Other notable Christmas decoration displays include Christmas Village in New York City, New York; Christmas Circle in Chula Vista, California; Christmas Tree Lane in Altadena, California; “Christmas Town U.S.A. in North Carolina; and December Nights in San Diego. These are some of the most incredible destinations to visit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day if you want to see a light show you’ll never forget.

But you don’t have to attend these holiday events to enjoy a merry Christmas. You can bring some of the magic to your own home and create your own impressive light show! The most classic way to decorate is to install outdoor Christmas lights on your home and outdoor trees and bushes.

Feel free to use icicle lights, candy cane lights, or more traditional circular or elongated bulbs in your decorating. White lights are the most classy color available, but many people use colored lights in their interior and exterior decorating. Do whatever you think looks best.

While it’s important to install Christmas light bulbs on your rooftop, you should also consider installing them around your windows to make your house as festive and eye-catching as possible. And don’t forget to add enough strings of light to your Christmas tree to make it look absolutely radiant this holiday season. If possible, place your tree directly behind a window so passersby can see its cheerful light. Of course, you should also incorporate plenty of light into your other Christmas decoration ideas, as well.

How Do You Put Up Christmas Lights?

Hanging Christmas lights is a little precarious, but almost anyone can do it. To get started:

1) Decide what types of Christmas lights you want to hang (such as icicle, traditional, or permanent lights).

2) Select a color.

3) Try to choose a color that will complement your house and your other Christmas décor.

4) Purchase enough light strands to span across your roofline, around your windows, and anywhere else you want to immerse in Christmas light.

Buying the right type of lights is important. You don’t want to end up with interior lights on the outside of your house because they won’t be able to withstand the harsh weather conditions and could pose a fire hazard. Pay close attention to the types of lights you’re buying so you don’t make an expensive mistake.

5) Next, locate an exterior power source that is close to your roof line. Plug an extension cord into the outlet and run it up to the roofline in the most inconspicuous way possible. Then, install fasteners onto your rain gutters. Make sure they’re spaced evenly apart.

6) Before hanging up your lights, plug them in to test them. If they all work, begin to install them in the fasteners (starting at the end of the roof closest to the power source). Only install one string at a time, so you don’t get them all tangled. Once you’re finished, check for uniformity and make corrections as needed to ensure your home looks like it just came out of a winter wonderland.

Can You Use Christmas Lights All Year?

You may get some strange looks if you keep traditional Christmas lights up all year. But many permanent lights have a wide variety of color capabilities, which means you can change the color to match different seasons and holidays. This is a great way to get maximum use out of your lights year-round for holidays such as Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, and Halloween.

How Durable Are Permanent Lights?

Permanent Christmas lights are more expensive than the temporary kind you have to take down every year. However, with that extra cost comes extra peace of mind as well. Permanent lights are much more durable than traditional ones and turn on reliably yearly. They are also weatherproof to withstand the rigors of the elements no matter where you may be located.

How Can JellyFish Lighting Bring My Christmas Decorating to the Next Level?

JellyFish Lighting has an impressive selection of permanent Christmas lights that will impress Santa Claus himself! With over 16 million different colors from which you can choose, it’s easy to make your house stand out with a completely customized light pattern.

If you want to give your neighbors a run for their money this holiday season, surprise them by decorating your home with some of the most vibrant and versatile lights available from Jellyfish Lighting! Call us today at 801-613-7421 and request a complimentary, obligation-free estimate.