|PHILIPS COLOURED LAMPS FOR CHRISTMAS, Full page colored ad, 1964|
For Filipinos, Christmas is the brightest and most colorful of holidays—and they make sure the world knows that. Before the advent of LED (light emitting diode) bulbs, light bulbs in color were manufactured by the two leading lighting companies—PEMCO (Philippine Electrical Manufacturing Company) and the world-renowned PHILIPS Lighting.
The colored bulbs were practically the same ordinary light bulbs with a twist—the inside of the glass bulb was painted with colored paints. Before colored bulbs, one had to wrap a regular bulb with colored cellophane to change its hue.
|PHILIPS COLORED LAMPS, Print ad, 1957|
The lighting division of the giant Dutch technology company—PHILIPS—began operations in the Philippines in 1918. It also made short-wave radios at the onset, but it was its lighting solutions that made it a popular brand in the market.
|PHILIPS COLORED LAMPS Christmas Ad, 1961|
PHILIPS was the first to introduce these colored light bulb novelties to the local market in 1957, positioning them as “mood lights” for upscale homes and gardens. Eventually, these PHILIPS Colored Lamps were advertised specifically for the holiday season, as shown in these spread of ads from the 60s.
|PHILIPS "Festive Christmas" print ad, 1963|
|PHILIPS HOLIDAY AD, 1964|
|PHILIPS "Festive Christmas Night" Print Ad, 1965|
PEMCO introduced its own versions in the early 1960s. with an array of light bulbs—including colored fluorescent and incandescent lights.
|PEMCO, "Splendor in the Night", Christmas Ad, 1961|
PEMCO was part of ANSCOR, multi-holdings company founded by Spanish-Filipino industrialist Andrés Soriano, Sr. (b.1898/d.1964) in the 1930s. It began advertising its line of colored light bulbs in color ads that ran in the weekly magazine, The Sunday Times.
|PHILIPS, "Bright Lights", Christmas Ad, 1961|
The ads of PEMCO and PHILIPS vied for attention in their weekly ads in color—on the premiere magazine, the Sunday Times. “Joyous as the glow of Christmas night!”, one PEMCO ad enthuses while PHILIPS was singleminded in the promise of turning the holiday into a festive occasion, by “making the holiday spirit more colorful!”.
|PEMCO, "Christmas Bright and Holy", Print Ad, 1966|
The two companies started a rage for colored bulbs until the decade of psychedelia waned and gave way to the grim and turbulent 70s.
|PEMCO "Happier Christmas", 1967|