When Were Electric Christmas Tree Lights Invented?

Christmas tree lights were invented soon after the invention of the first light bulb. Edward Johnson, the vice president of Thomas Alva Edison’s electric company, chose to use small lights to decorate the exterior of his Menlo Park laboratory in 1880. By 1882, Johnson had hand-wired a string of lights and used them on his Christmas tree rather than the traditional candles.

More facts about Christmas tree lights:

  • The popularity of Christmas tree lights was boosted in 1895, when United States President Grover Cleveland used lights to illuminate the family Christmas tree. In 1923, President Calvin Coolidge presided over the lighting of the National Christmas Tree. The 1923 tree sported 3,000 lights.

  • The American Eveready Company produced the first set of Christmas tree lights to feature screw-in bulbs and a socket for use with a wall outlet. General Electric handled the sales of the lights to the general public. The light were on the market in time for Christmas in 1903.

  • The first blinking or twinkling Christmas tree lights appeared during the 1920s. Later improvements allowed consumers to program light sets into specific patterns of blinking on and off.

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