Christmas lighting doesn’t quite hold the same romantic feel as it used to, streets were lined with lanterns filled with lit candles, trees and homes were furnished with lit candles….all in all, it was a bit of a candle fest, and probably not all that safe!
Technology lighting has developed considerably over the decades with candles replaced by electric incandescent lighting replaced by LED lighting, lasers, fibre optics, light sculptures and controlled with new technologies that allow on/off switch times to be programmed – a cost effective and environmentally friendly advancement. Lights are now not only used around Christmas time but are popular around the world in many cultures and used during religious festivals and festivities such as festivals, markets and scenic lighting to simply set the mood of an event.
LED lighting for Christmas / festival lights are slowly gaining popularity mainly due to their low energy usage, long lifetimes and low maintenance. Coloured LEDs are also much more efficient at producing light than the coloured incandescent bulbs previously used.
There is also the benefit that the LEDs come in a coloured version or white version – the coloured version emits a specific colour light (monochromatic light) so, regardless of the colour of the transparent plastic coating that encases the LED chip, the outcome will always be a coloured option, regardless of the colour of the plastic case. This means that these lights will not suffer from colour fading as the light is determined by the chip and not the plastic casing.
White LEDs utilise a two stage process to create a white light (polychromatic, or broad spectrum) the LED produces only one colour of light, the second stage uses the blue or violet-blue which is absorbed by a phosphor which fluoresces yellow, imitating the broad spectrum of colour which the human eye perceives as ‘white’.
The LED is constructed from a solid state material and have no metallic filaments that will burn or break, so the LED uses less electricity and has a greater lifespan. There is however, one particular colour within the LED spectrum that may suffer form early failure and they happen to be the newest and most expensive, blue lights.
LED projectors are now a viable option for anyone wanting to project their holiday lighting – working in a similar way to home projectors they are fixed to trees, on lawns, roofs or elevated surfaces, most projectors are capable of projecting a range of 10 – 15 feet, some more powerful options can reach up to 20 feet.
These days we also see fibre optic technology incorporated into artificial christmas trees and various other types of decorations to add to the ambience of our Christmas festivities.
So, we wonder what the next 100 years will bring, the candle at Christmas may become a distant memory but for now, we can still enjoy the beauty that the LED can bring to our streets, homes and offices.