The Evolution of Red and Green Christmas Lights: Then & Now

christmas lighting

At the end of each year, there are a variety of signs that the holiday season is inevitably approaching. You’re much more likely to hear Christmas songs on the radio, you’ll realize the need to begin shopping for those you care about most and—perhaps most obviously of all—you’ll begin to see red and green Christmas lights almost everywhere you’ll go.

There is no doubt that red and green are the two colors that have been traditionally associated with Christmas. Not only do these colors have a tremendous impact on the lighting choices of both professional and amateur decorators, but they also influence our holiday party outfits, our go-to choices in wrapping paper, and even our food.

While the importance of red and green lights throughout the entirety of the Christmas season remains unrivaled, the reasons why these lights are frequently chosen are surprisingly overlooked. In this article, we will discuss why red and green eventually prevailed as the colors most prominently associated with the Christmas season. Furthermore, we will also discuss how red and green Christmas lights have evolved over time and how you can effectively select which variety of Christmas lights will make the most sense for your specific display.

Why are red and green the colors most traditionally associated with Christmas?

Though many people accept that red and green are indeed the colors that are most associated with Christmas, very few people can actually explain why. Neither of these colors were chosen immediately, rather, they became ingrained in various traditions that ultimately persisted over time.

Green originally emerged as a “Christmas color” due to its consistency with many of the primary Christmas themes. Evergreen trees—the trees that we now consistently refer to as “Christmas trees”—were widely recognized in the old world for being symbols of perpetual existence. Many Christmas traditions began to evolve in Germany and Northern Europe (largely in areas where evergreen trees are quite common). Trees, wreaths, holly, and various other plants quickly established themselves as objects that could easily symbolize everlasting life.

Red, on the other hand, has a history that is a bit less clear. Due to the color’s association with the holly berries, the apple of paradise, the blood of Jesus, and various other symbols associated with the Church, the use of red has always been quite common. However, it was not until Coca-Cola ran a series of ads featuring Santa Claus adorned in red clothing that the color was able to officially establish itself as a Christmas staple.

How have red and green Christmas lights gradually evolved over the years?

Red and green have also effectively established themselves as Christmas colors due to the fact that they are complementary and are also vary rarely used together anywhere outside of the holiday season. Consequently, many people have sought to purchase red and green Christmas lights in order to fully demonstrate their holiday spirit.

Though the original “Christmas light” undeniably existed in candle form, the turn of the 20th century witnessed an incredible change in technology. By the middle of the century, families across the world began purchasing red and green Christmas lights almost as quickly as they could be produced.

During this time, most lights could either be categorized as either fluorescent or incandescent. Though both of these types of lights have a very classic feel, they have also produced a number of problems. Due to various degrees of energy inefficiency, maintenance difficulties, and other factors, those involved in the lighting industry sought to create something even better.

In recent years, lighting enthusiasts all around the world have discovered that LED Christmas Lights are overwhelmingly the superior option. Contrary to their predecessors, the vast majority of the energy inputted into each bulb is actually directed towards producing light (rather than heat). As a result, these lights are more energy efficient, better for the environment, and ultimately more affordable.

Furthermore, LED Lights are easy to install, are highly customizable, and can combined with a wide variety of creative accessories. Red and green Christmas lights are among the most popular options available in the LED lighting family, though you will certainly have many other options to choose from.

Christmas lights

How can I decide which red and green Christmas lights are best for my holiday lighting display?

If you are considering purchasing red and green Christmas lights for you display this year, you should take the time to research the various decisions you will need to make. Even if you are already set on purchasing red and green LED Christmas lights, there are still a few other details that will need to be accounted for.

  • What color wires will you be using? Green, white, and black are usually the most common options.
  • What is your current power and outlet situation? This will have an impact on whether you should purchase battery powered lights and how many lights you should string together.
  • What type of bulbs will be most appropriate? In addition to color, you will also need to choose the bulb’s shapes and sizes.

The LED bulbs that make the most sense for your display will depend on whether it is indoors or outdoors, the distance it will be viewed from, your budget, and the specific aesthetic you are hoping to create. C6, C7, and C9 LED bulbs are among the most widely used in the industry.


There is no doubt that red and green Christmas lights have always been quite popular and are likely to remain popular well into the distant future. These colors are rooted in a variety of different traditions and are familiar with people celebrating Christmas all around the world. However, contrary to years past, today’s consumers are finding that they have considerably more choices when it comes to purchasing Christmas lights. Due to developments in LED lighting technology, this year’s display may be the most dazzling one you’ve ever created.

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