Christmas lights are a uniquely American tradition. That’s not just because the first electric Christmas lights appeared in America. The tradition embodies a certain American-ness, an ingenuity and hunger for innovation, that’s easily overlooked. America doesn’t just make things. America makes things spectacular.
A single strand of broken lights is nearly worthless, but 20 million pounds of broken lights is a valuable commodity. Welcome to the Christmas tree light recycling capital of the world, also known a Shijao, China.
Every year, my parents' neighborhood in Dallas goes all-out for Christmas. We're talking, trees wrapped in lights from trunk to top, teams of reindeer on display, and even a house with giant, moving jack-in-the-box effigies of every family member moving in sync with carols. Have you seen similar stuff? We want to see…
In south Japan, Mie prefecture is rocking 7 million LED Christmas lights. Hence the awesome light tunnel above. "Illuminations" or Christmas light displays have been a big deal in Japan since the 1980s. But there's something a lot more contemplative about these lights compared to some of the spectacles in the U.S..
Leaving hundreds of twinkling Christmas lights on over the festive period adds a hefty chunk to your winter electricity bill. But what if there was an alternate source other than the mains with which to illuminate your tree? What if the lights were juiced by…Brussels sprouts?
Ready for a big number? 502,165. That's the number of LED lights the family of David and Janean Richards in Canberra, Australia has decked its home in order to clinch the 2013 Guinness World Record for most Christmas lights in one display. Whoa.
Even non-Star Trek fans have dreamed about teleporting away to space by just saying Beam Me Up, Scotty. And though it's unlikely to ever happen in our lifetimes (prove me wrong smart people!), the special effects maestro Shanks FX has cooked up a slick way to recreate the Star Trek teleportation effect with Christmas…
Someone who works for the city of Brighton either really hates their job, really hates Christmas, or is a 12 year old boy who makes naughty doodles in his middle school notebooks. Another, far more likely possibility: this video is a brilliant fake and the city of Brighton, England is going to have a lot of angry…
Welcome to Shijiao. It's a bustling town in China that just so happens to be the unofficial capital of dead and unwanted Christmas lights. According to The Atlantic, 20 million pounds of old Christmas lights make it through Shijao every year. What the heck for?
If there was ever such thing as a country ran by Grinches, North Korea would be that country. Why? Well, according to the BBC, North Korea has warned neighboring South Korea of "unexpected consequences" if South Korea decides to light up Christmas trees near their border.
Before our Christmas tree lighting needs were taken care of with $25 and a trip to Target, creating the atmosphere meant placing candles—wax towers topped with fire—onto seasonal kindling. Think it's frightening now when your dog tugs a branch? Just imagine your living room bursting into flames for the sake of…
If you've dabbled in Christmas decorations with traditional Christmas lights, you'll know that when one bulb blows, the entire line goes out with it. Why is that? Because of how the manufacturers wire them.
If you're too lazy to spend a few hours each year dealing with Christmas lights, you can shell out a few hundred dollars for the LiteLocker, which sit under your home's gutters, hiding said lights during the "offseason."
This isn't the first time Christmas lights have met Guitar Hero on the pages of Gizmodo, but this former Disney employee's efforts are definitely the best use of the game that I've ever seen.
Thomas Edison was known for his wacky publicity stunts, but during the Christmas of 1880 he went for the sentimental rather than shock value. That year, instead of electrocuting an elephant, he brought us the first electric Christmas light display.
Tokyo's Shibuya train has a special installation for Christmas that uses its pedestrians' footsteps to generate electricit. A mat using piezoelectric gadgetry runs a LED display board and a small holiday lights display.