What Are Glitter Lanterns & Why Are they Popular?

Christmas Glitter Lanterns are a recent phenomenon to Christmas, catching the imagination of many, because of their effective simplicity and appealing nature to young and old alike.

What Is A Christmas Glitter Lantern?

Christmas glitter lanterns are lanterns that are filled with a clear gel and a little magical glitter, in fact, plenty of glitter. A small electric fan at the base blows the glitter up to the top of the lantern and it cascades slowly back down, in swirls, around the inside of the lantern until it gets blown back up again. The glittering snow never stops.

The gel inside is viscous enough to hold the glitter in a moderate suspension until it falls back down towards the mini fan, which you can’t really see.

The glitter has replaced the old-fashioned snowflake as it is very lightweight, but more importantly, reflects the light cast onto it by the LED light inside the lantern. This, of course, creates the glittery effect that attracts us all. Maybe all that glitters is gold if you are manufacturing glitter lanterns, but you won’t need gold to buy one as they are relatively inexpensive, selling between £20 - £30, depending on the design.

Red phone box Christmas glitter lantern.     White Christmas Santa and Dog glitter lantern.     Oval Christmas glitter lantern.

Choose The Right Lantern For You

And there are plenty of designs. The lantern is where it started, but telephone boxes, steam trains and now picture frames have all been used to house the glitter and light show. Large lanterns, mini lanterns and all sorts of shaped lanterns are available and this choice will only get bigger in the years to come.

But it is always the scene inside that seems to be the deciding factor when choosing a glitter lantern. The two carol singers next to a lamp post is always evocative of Christmases past to me whilst Santa with a boy or girl is always popular with parents of younger children. Father Christmas and any scene with a Snowman are always going to be winners. The Christmas lighting brand Konstsmide has produced a fabulous glitter lantern with a Christmas market scene that contains a large church and tree which is contrasted by the smattering of people scattered around the market.

Most Glitter Lanterns run off batteries, and some of them have timers which would probably run for 6-8 hours so you turn them on in the afternoon when it gets dark in December and they will run until you go upstairs to bed. You can now buy mains adaptors also for some Glitter Lanterns if you want to run them for long periods or use them throughout the year as, in truth, some of them are not just Christmas decorations, but can be used all year around.

Why are Christmas Glitter Lanterns So Popular?

I think most of us know what Snow Globes are and for very many of us of a certain age, it was one of the first Christmas decorations that we can remember as a child.

Ours was a plastic snow globe, except it wasn’t even a globe, more of a segment and it had a few nativity figures inside. Turn it upside down, give it a good shake, and put it back on the mantle above the coal fire and watch the snow fall. It didn’t last very long, it wasn’t spectacular, and it was pretty cheap, but it did find a place in my memory and I can still see it today.

And very many of us have a similar memory which is probably one of the reasons why Glitter Lanterns are so compulsive. The snow never stops falling!

But there is more to Glitter Lanterns than simply Christmas Past nostalgia for they are very much a product of our time. They are compact, easy to operate, lots of fun and very mobile. And let’s be honest, by today’s standards they are also cheap.

There is also a therapeutic element to Glitter Lanterns in much the same way as watching fish in a tank, but far more accessible to all, and far less trouble.

In fact, the only trouble, short of the electrics not working, that I have noticed is that occasionally the glitter can gather around the fan which slows up the snowing glitter effect a little. But that is easily sorted, just turn it upside down for a second and place it straight back down and the glitter falls again. And that reminds me of something!

View all of our Christmas Glitter Lanterns and get decorating your home with these characterful feature pieces.