Christmas tree lights history can be traced back to holiday trends as far back as the 18th century. Originally, what we know today as Christmas tree lights were mainly referred to as "fairy lights" in the United Kingdom. The practice of lighted Christmas trees was originally introduced alongside a substantially increasing rate of emigration to America and Australia in the early 1800s. Christmas tree illumination prominently referenced in the Christmas Eve memoir of a young Queen Victoria, a 13-year-old princess in the year 1832.

Up until the 1890s, the primary form of Christmas tree illumination was through candles affixed to tree branches with either pins or melted wax. It wasn't until shortly around the turn of the 20th century that candles were attached to Christmas tress with glass holders; prior to the holders, it wasn't uncommon for candle-based tree lighting to pose a considerable fire hazard.

The first Christmas tree to be officially illuminated through electricity was created in 1882 by Edward H. Johnson, Edison Electric Light Company's vice president. Johnson was motivated to pursue the reality of electric Christmas tree lighting as a more efficient and safer alternative to the inherent risks of lighting Christmas trees with breathing candle flames. Johnson unveiled his Christmas tree in New York City, alight with eighty incandescent light bulbs glowing in red, white and blue.

Initially, Johnson's invention was presumed to be more of an attempt at garnering attention than a legitimate innovation in Christmas tree decoration. Due to the fact that electrical lighting was still relatively expensive for the average wage earner, many were skeptical about just how practical the incandescent bulbs would be.

Nevertheless, it wouldn't be long before electrical "fairy lights" became a commercially-produced staple of the holidays. The very first line of socketed Christmas tree lights connected by string was produced by General Electric Company.

President Grover Cleveland gave the White House's sponsorship to the very first electrically illuminated Christmas tree in the year 1895. After the significant exposure of electrically powered Christmas tree lamps, there was an explosive rise in their widespread of an international scale. 

California, Wisconsin, and California were the first three states in which the public outdoor display of electric Christmas tree lights were documented in the early 1900s. Some of the most prominent early instances of public Christmas tree light displays were doucmented in the year 1956, including the McAdenville Men's Club in North Carolina, Rockefeller Center's Christmas tree, and the Philadelphia Christmas Light Show.