Lighting plays a key role in Christmas decorations. It makes the house turn into a magical land full of light. For best effect, it is worth not only introducing typical Christmas lights but also decorating lamps and wall sconces.
We suggest how to decorate your chandelier for Christmas 2021 and another lighting in your home. It creates a magical atmosphere and brightens up long winter evenings. Everyone will surely agree that the more lights, the better
The field of lighting has seen significant changes in the last decade. Since LED technology has become widespread, the form of the light bulb has been liberated. The light source no longer has to take the form of a glass mushroom or sphere. It can be any shape, including a thin strip or flat panel. This allows designers to mold lamps of all shapes. Their forms have proven to be decorative.
After decades of hiding them, they are finally coming to the fore.
Christmas trees have been dressed only since the eighteenth century, a custom adopted by the Germans. However, even earlier, the festive nature of Christmas was emphasized by decorating houses with green branches of conifers. Yet, it was not a tree, but a branch suspended from the ceiling or a cut-off tip of a spruce or pine tree, hung upside down.
Such decoration was called a wicker plant. It was decorated with hand-baked cookies, specially selected small apples, and paper ornaments. When a Christmas tree appeared, the same ornaments, which had their symbolism, were hung on it.
Christmas tree ornaments, fashionable in the past, had their meaning. Nothing was hung haphazardly, just to be a decoration. What is the symbolism of stars, angels, bells, apples? Maybe thanks to this, this year you will want to have such a tree-like in the old days - familiar, symbolic, ecological, and beautiful.
In the past, bundles of straw, hay, and sheaves were the basic elements of xmas decoration. Officially in memory of Christ’s manager. In practice - a pagan custom guaranteed fertility in the coming year.
The predecessor of the Christmas tree was a wreath of spruce or construction of straw and twigs hung over the Christmas table. It was decorated with nuts, apples, homemade cakes, paper cut-outs, and spherical “worlds” made of a wafer.
With time, these wonders “jumped” to the Christmas tree. They were made at the beginning of Advent. The decorations were divided into edible and fragile, so only a few survived the holiday and survive until the next one.
To make up for the shortage, the household would gather around the table in the evenings and cut, glue, and fold. I can guarantee that it was a hundred times more pleasant and uniting experience than a trip to the supermarket to buy baubles. Younger kids would wrap nuts with silverware, glue paper chains together, thread through gingerbread, or make peacock eyes or openwork baskets for nuts.
It all started with the medieval pagan festival of Yule, which was a celebration of the winter solstice. The earliest recorded date that remembers the holiday lights is 1184, which describes chasing away evil spirits for the winter with fire.
A little later, Christianity picked up on these illuminated rituals from the pagans and eagerly transplanted them to its soil, over time transferring the glow of the fire to Christmas trees. The first recorded reference to the practice of lighting trees with candles dates back to 1660 and originated in Germany.
Later, in 1832, Harvard professor Charles Follen drew on European traditions and decorated his tree with candles, which is believed to start the tradition of lighting up the Christmas tree for the holidays in the United States.
Around the same time, a British newspaper published an image of then Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, gathering with their loved ones around a richly lit Christmas tree. This was enough to start a lighting craze among the British.
In 1879, Thomas Edison completed work on the world’s first long-lasting carbon bulbs, which he used the same year to light his laboratory in Menlo Park, New Jersey, on New Year’s Eve. But it wasn’t just the joyous spirit of the holidays that was at stake - Edison’s remarkable light displays opened the door for him to commercially light almost all Manhattan for the holidays, a tradition that remains alive today.
Edison wasn’t just the inventor of light - he also inadvertently played an important role in defining the modern, electrically lit Christmas tree, although proper credit is given to someone else. In 1882, the then vice president of the Electric Light Company, Edward H. Johnson, was the first to decide to hang the lights Edison had invented on his Christmas tree.
The event was largely ignored by the press, but at least some mention appeared in one of the small dailies of the city of Detroit and thus the event hit the tongues and then spread beyond the city limits. Thus, Johnson earned the title of father of the electrically lit Christmas tree.
White House and decorations
Ten years later, U.S. President Grover Cleveland asked those in charge of decorating the White House for Christmas for an elaborate holiday light show. He wanted to delight his three young daughters with it. Like the illustration of Queen Victoria that had made waves in Britain half a century earlier, a photograph taken during the presidential display helped spread the practice of lighting conifers at Christmas.
It was an important moment in the history of Christmas trees, especially in the U.S., because electric lights were still not trusted by the public there at the time (although Christmas trees lit by traditional candles posed a much greater fire hazard).
Over two decades after Edison’s first Christmas lights lit up the White House, the inventor’s company began selling decorative kits and miniature bulbs that soon lit up Christmas trees across the country.
The golden years of light bulbs
The only problem with Edison’s first Christmas light sets was both the price and the fact that not everyone had electricity at home. Converted into today’s money, renting a set of lights for Christmas time cost the equal of almost 1000 zloty.
And since the industry was still in its infancy, the quality and durability of the lights were still a surprise, which for some might have been enough of a deterrent. But then, as the lighting industry took off, it was time for the United States to do what it had done with many other European inventions: innovate.
Over the next two decades, strings of light bulbs became stronger, more durable, and - at the time - much cheaper. In 1919. General Electric introduced its first major innovation, debuting flame-shaped bulbs and phasing out the classic, crackly model altogether for several years.
Around the same time that flame-shaped bulbs hit the market, the first outdoor Christmas light shows took off across the United States. In 1946, NOMA, a company from the United Kingdom, delighted the United States and the rest of the world with the “bubble light.”
An interesting fact is that the patent for this type of lighting came from the USA. The whole trick with bubble lights was that in a plastic casing, methylene chloride is heated to a low boiling point, but high enough to create bubbles inside the bulb. All America went crazy for them?
Hit and warning
The 1950s proved to be quite a test for people’s love of Christmas tree lights. It was all thanks to aluminum Christmas trees, whose appearance in stores made a real furor among all Christmas lovers - mainly because these modern Christmas trees were fireproof and eternal, and you could choose from a variety of colors, not necessarily faithful to nature.
But let’s go back to the danger that the appearance of aluminum Christmas trees created for Christmas tree lights. Why was there a clash between them? Because aluminum is a conductor of electricity, which means you can put no lights on them. So instead of hanging the lights on the Christmas tree itself, people stacked them under the tree or did away with them altogether.
Unluckily for the lighting companies, the popularity of the aluminum Christmas tree lasted for over 10 years, but despite this, the brave manufacturers did not lay down their arms and waited until this fashion passed and everyone remembered again about the good old bulbs on the Christmas tree.
Unfortunately, not everyone survived that time - the already mentioned NOMA, which was the world’s largest manufacturer of Christmas lighting, lost with the crisis in the industry and in the mid-60s declared bankruptcy.
Before it disappeared from the market, but, it made quite a revolution in it. One day Albert Sadacca, a teenager whose family owned the company, used ordinary light bulbs that the company traded in and turned them into colored lights. This started the production of new Christmas lights, which were cheaper and easier to make.