A holiday tradition that goes back to the 18th century has survived the ravages of climate change and a wave of urbanization.
Now, thanks to the resurgence of Christmas light decorations in cities across the U.S., they are still a source of pride for many Americans, especially those living in rural areas.
“People love the light,” said Janie A. Roper, senior vice president for business development at the National Association of Home Builders.
“They like it in the wintertime and they like it when it’s in the evening.”
But even in the era of climate-change warnings, Roper said she’s not worried about the lighting.
“It’s very safe, very natural, and the lights are the most important part of the holiday,” she said.
The National Association for Home Builder’s annual Holiday Light Count is held annually to celebrate the holiday season, which is celebrated with a festive atmosphere of lights, candles, and music.
“A lot of times when you go to a restaurant or shop, the lights will go out,” Roper explained.
“But we think they’re the most appropriate lights.”
The number of Christmas lights in the U-S.
is up about 15 percent since 2007, according to the National Home Furnishings Association.
The association predicts that the number of lights will rise to 5 million by 2021, which would be more than double the number projected in 2017.
And in addition to the traditional Christmas lights, a growing number of people are decorating their homes with holiday decorations.
“The number of holiday lights in a home is increasing, and I think that’s partly because of climate,” said Julie T. O’Neil, chief executive officer of the Home Depot and home decorator and owner of Home Depot Lighting.
O`Neil said the growing number is good news for homeowners.
“Homeowners are making great choices to use natural materials that are easy to care for,” she added.
“There’s a whole spectrum of lighting, including decorative lights.”
O’Neill added that it’s important to use “the best” materials and that she likes to choose a product that will last for many years.
“You need to have it in good condition and not fade,” she explained.
The trend toward natural lighting has led to more and more consumers choosing to invest in natural lighting systems, according the Home Build Magazine, which notes that “more than half of Americans say they would rather own a home with natural lighting than a light fixture or home improvement kit.”
The magazine said it found that “the number of Americans buying natural lighting options grew from 19.9 million in 2006 to 30.9 percent of homes last year, with homes in urban areas accounting for a whopping 68 percent of the market.”