EXTERIOR HOUSE HALLOWEEN LIGHTING
Colored outdoor lights are a wonderful
and effective way
illuminate your Halloween graveyard, but they can also be used for
a very spooky look to your entire home by
directing the light from
ground level upwards onto the outside of the house.
thing you need to do is decide what color you want to use to
house with. As a general rule, we don't like
to mix colors on the exterior of the house as this can
detract from the overall theme the color is to create, so we
stick with just one color.
thing is to calculate how many colored light bulbs and
accompanying fixtures will be needed to light-up the front
of the house. Typically, one bulb in a 8-1/2" parabolic
light fixture will cover about twelve to sixteen feet wide and high with
colored bulbs are great for
ghoulish or zombie appearance.
ghostly impression, particularly
with a graveyard in the front yard.
conveys a demonic and macabre look to the house.
is festive and works great when you
don't want things too spooky.
Yellow isn't very spooky for exterior
lighting, but can be used indoors.
Black Light works well as indoor light,
particularly with blue or red exterior
Fluorescent Light Bulbs
In the past, we
used several 150watt
colored incandescent flood lights to
illuminate the outside of our house with a creepy color, but as of a few
years ago we started using colored fluorescent FEIT Party
Light bulbs (twist type) mounted inside parabolic clamp-on shop
These bulbs have
several advantages over incandescent flood lights
including a more even distribution
of the colored light, they use substantially less electricity,
drawing only thirteen watts to create the equivalent of a
standard sixty watt bulb. Plus, they do not
get anywhere as hot as incandescent bulbs, reducing the
possibility of causing a fire.
These bulbs are available
in a variety of colors and can be purchased at your local
hardware store for around five dollars each. In addition
to using these as flood lamps to illuminate the exterior
walls of our home with a particular color, we temporarily
change out the everyday outside lights, such as the porch
lights, with bulbs of our chosen shade.
use inexpensive parabolic
clamp-on shop lights that have a 8-1/2" diameter
aluminum shade for most of our exterior lighting. These
can be purchased at most hardware stores for under ten dollars
Once the bulbs
are screwed in, we clamp each
fixture to a short wooden stake that we have temporarily
staked into the ground, then direct the light
up at the face of the house.
As with any light fixture
that you want to use for Halloween, you will want to hide it
behind something or position the fixture so
that the back is in the direction where your
visitors will be, so that they cannot see
the bulb and where the
colored light is coming from. We
the outside of the aluminum shade of
the shop-light with high-temperature flat black paint,
sometimes called stove paint, to help it
blend into the shadows and
conceal it from our visitors.
Even though these
bulbs don't produce a lot of heat, we never
place anything on or near them that could
catch fire. Be sure to place all extension
cords out of the path of your guests, so
that no one will trip over them. These
fixtures/bulbs should not be used in
the rain, snow or when there has been
precipitation, as they are not designed for
If you are not
going to be using any special lighting on
the inside of the house, using complementary indoor lighting
that can be seen through the windows can
be added to enhance the
overall effect. What ever light fixture you
use indoors, it should be positioned in a
safe place where it and the bulb cannot be
seen from the outside.
The soft purple color
produced by a black light works very well
in conjunction with exterior lights. A
strobe light can also be used indoors
where the flashes of light can be seen
If you have two front windows that are
spaced apart, you can turn your home into a giant Jack O' Lantern
by illuminating the outside with orange
lights and two of the windows with yellow
light from the inside to give the impression
of two big glowing eyes.
same technique can also be used to
illuminate some of the trees in your yard in a
creepy way by
directing the colored light from
ground level up into the tree to illuminate
its branches, leaves, and/or its trunk.
Contrasting colors work well, except for a
combination of red and green, as these tend
to make you think of Christmas.
Be sure to rake
any dead leaves and other debris from the
area before using an outdoor light source
under trees that could become a fire hazard.
Don't think that
you have to use a colored light to create a
very spooky effect. The right tree under-lit
with a regular white flood light can do a
great job of giving it a bleak or even
dead or leafless tree that is a little bit
distant from the viewers works best for this
effect. The most important part is the
amount of light. To much and the tree is to
bright to be scary, not enough light and the
tree cannot be seen.
We place a
parabolic shop light equipped with a
standard household fluorescent twist-type
bulb near the base of the tree pointing
almost straight up to give it a spooky
Be sure to hide
the light source and cord from view so that
observers cannot see them.
shown above are perfect examples of lighting
your house or trees with a specific color.
Thanks to the original posters of these
Be sure to read
Electrical Safety Tips article