History Lesson: Holiday Lights

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Every year, local Texas cities put on a fantastic light show for the holidays. From the synchronized dancing of lights in downtown Frisco and lavish décor on M-Street homes in Dallas, to the classic illuminations of Marshall and Hill Country night time parades in Johnson City – our Lone Star State certainly knows how to light up the cold winter nights.

But have you ever wondered why we put up lights at all? There are many ‘old tyme’ traditions but the risk of setting a tree or house ablaze with candlelight glitter always stumped me.

It turns out that, while candles were a prominent light source in homes way back when, they were never actually used on trees. In fact, the first lit tree was set up by Thomas Edison (who invented the first practical light bulb) and his associate Edward Johnson in 1882. Whether it was a marketing stunt or a stroke of ingenuity, the display caught the eye of President Grover Cleveland and in 1895, Edison and Johnson’s design tip was replicated at the White House.

When General Electric put out its first set of pre-assembled holiday light kits, the trend took off among the masses. The rest, as they say, is history.

Have you set up your holiday lights yet? Share photos of your handy-work by sending to socialmedia@txu.com and we’ll post them here and on our Facebook page!

Shop for holiday lights
Energy-efficient products from our BrightenSM Online Energy Store, a TXU Energy online solution
Holiday Lighting Kit and other holiday lights
Outdoor digital timer

From other stores
Holiday night lights
Branch lights
Bubbling candle lights

Sourced from
History Of Christmas Lights, KTVB.com