As AV aficionados, here at Peerless-AV we love a well-lit Christmas tree! Whether it’s white lights or a variety of colors, something about the shimmering tree brings a feeling of warmth and home. However, the decorations we know and adore today weren’t always as easily assembled as stringing a strand of lights around a tree.

Take a step into Christmas-past, and see how holiday lights have changed over the last 200 years!


18th-century18th Century – Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire…

The first type of lighting in trees came from the first illuminator – fire! Although it was a hazard, it was the only option. Families would light candles on the branches of their drying-out tree…we recommend keeping the eggnog close by.

Source: Popular Mechanics





1882 – The Electric Christmas Tree is Born

The vice president of Edison’s Electric Light Company, Edward H. Johnson, was the originator of the electric Christmas tree. While Thomas Edison was busy trying to seal the deal to provide electricity to Manhattan, Johnson took a more festive approach and displayed a decorated Christmas tree in the window of his Fifth Avenue home.

Source and photo credit: Popular Mechanics






1895 – Christmas in the White House

Electric lights were considered dangerous, yes, even in comparison to having lit candles in the tree, so it was still not a popular option for decorating. However things changed when President Grover Cleveland displayed an electrically lit tree in the White House!

Source and photo credit: Popular Mechanics





19701970 – Mini-bulbs Make History

While the tree in the White House did relieve some anxiety about the safety of electrical lights, the cost was tremendous –  around $300, which would be about $2,000 today! Everything changed with the introduction of the mini-bulb – effective and offered at a low cost, these mini-lights gained great popularity and are still used today.

Source: Popular Mechanics


Do you decorate for the holidays? Tell us your favorite type of lighting!



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