Right from Thanksgiving, sometimes even before that one can see the Christmas tree making a reappearance. Brightly decorated in strands of electronic lights, they illuminate every street, corner and alley reminding people of the joyous wonder that is Christmas. Think about it, Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the bright Christmas tree lights. How boring would it be if Christmas tree were sans lights? Hard to imagine isn’t it? Christmas lights are an essential Christmas tree decoration.
History Of Christmas Tree Lights
There are different versions to this story but one Mr. Edward Johnson, an associate of Thomas Edison’s is credited for this wonderful trend of lighting Christmas tree. In December 1882, a reporter by the name of Croffut from the Detroit Post and Tribune made the following observation upon a visit to Mr. Johnson’s,
“Last evening I walked over beyond Fifth Avenue and called at the residence of Edward H. Johnson, vice-president of Edison’s electric company. There, at the rear of the beautiful parlors, was a large Christmas tree presenting a most picturesque and uncanny aspect. It was brilliantly lighted with many colored globes about as large as an English walnut and was turning some six times a minute on a little pine box. There were eighty lights in all encased in these dainty glass eggs, and about equally divided between white, red, and blue. As the tree turned, the colors alternated, all the lamps going out and being relit at every revolution. The result was a continuous twinkling of dancing colors, red, white, blue, white, red, blue—all evening.”
Modern Day Christmas Tree Lights
These days there are so many different technologies on which Christmas lighting devices can be based. The most popular technologies are of course the incandescent light bulbs and the LED's. Almost always LED's are connected in series and are usually powered from the mains. LED based string come with their own current limiting resistor. On the other hand, in the neon bulbs, the lamps are connected in parallel. All battery-powered lights are wired in parallel. Other set-ups include light bulb or LED-based strings with a line isolation step down transformer with bulbs or LEDs connected in parallel (LEDs have current limiting resistors).
At the end of the string there's a voltage drop, which is more noticeable with incandescent bulbs than with LED's. Besides, these sets are a lot safer. In certain places it is difficult to plug the “ wall wart” transformer.
Fiber Optic technology is also used in some Christmas light sets. One would find them incorporated in Artificial Christmas trees generally. The light bulbs or the LED's are in the base of the tree and many fiber optic wires go into the leaves of the tree.