Hallowe'en lighting effects

Dave_H

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Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
585
Location
Ottawa Ont. Canada
This year due to COVID situation, in my area door-to-door will be curtailed, maybe not even
happen. I guess for me it's down to "celebrating" Hallowe'en with lighting effects; stuff that's
visible from the street.

I stick to practical things which get re-used year after year until they wear out.
Many items listed have other uses throughout the year.

I will miss changing my porch light to a (real) near-UV CFL lamp which causes certain
costumes (or parts of) to light up; always a hit. I would carry a small UV flashlight to point at
things for added effect.

Here are some ideas, things I do or might try.

(1) I string up some ac-powered orange LED Christmas lights in the front window; usually leave
them on until Christmas lights go up in December.

Orange is not common for Christmas lights, not always easy to find. Some orange specialty strings
are available, but usually overpriced (until such time as they are cleared out if any are left).

(2) Some regular LED bulbs get changed out for different colours such as orange, blue or purple.
I acquired at low cost some low-power RGB ac LED bulbs with remote control, which are great
for this.

(3) A couple of small xenon strobes running at different rates, visible through upstairs window,
resembles lightening flashes.

(4) RBG LED strips powered from USB. They should run several hours from a small USB Li-ion battery
pack, no need for ac plug-in; might put one on the porch.

One aspect of low-cost strips, primary colours are good but some of the mixed colours like
orange and yellow are not all that great, but OK. More expensive strips probably do a better job.

(5) UV porch light as noted earlier but to light up some stationary objects such as white sheets.
Flashlight probably not that useful without kids visiting.

(6) Short strings (10-20) of orange or purple LEDs (dollar store) powered by AA cells, placed
wherever.

(7) Flickering pumpkin lights. Small battery-powered amber flickering LED module sits
atop a small pumpkin and shines through the top cutout. In this case not a real
pumpkin but small one made of hollow wax! Small ornament sit on railing outside.

Dave
 

PhotonWrangler

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In a handbasket
Dave, I've done the UV porch light in the past also. It brings delightful reactions from kids whose costumes suddenly light up with an eerie glow. I've also used UV to light up an almost life sized GITD skeleton as well as GITD spider webs on the front bushes.
 

Dave_H

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
585
Location
Ottawa Ont. Canada
Well...pretty official around here, door-to-door is being discouraged (though not outright disallowed)
due to being in COVID "red" zone. Guess I will do some lighting effects which can be seen from the street.
Bought some treats though may end up eating most or all of them.

Recently in Home Depot I saw 100-string of orange LED lights (plug-in) for $18 (-$5 off) but still a bit
steep given that similar strings in other colours were $10; and I've picked up some C7 50-strings at
end of season for as low as $3 (pretty good quality at that).

So this year I'll use the battery-powered orange strings, should be fine for a few evenings.

Discovered I have a solar-powered string (50) of orange but the battery was dead; wasn't lighting up
and didn't notice. It will work in a pinch by sticking in a fully-charged NiMH or an alkaline AA.

Dave
 

Dave_H

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Joined
Nov 3, 2009
Messages
585
Location
Ottawa Ont. Canada
It would probably be wrong to irradiate the kids with a germicidal UV light as they walked up the steps ..... wouldn't it? :)

...considering that germicidal needs short-wavelength ~250nm which would do a number on eyes and skin,
I'll stick to near-UV bulbs.

I recently passed on a good deal on a small linear UV fluorescent fixture as my use is of these is limited.
Spiral CFL provides enough light. And...I can illuminate my old day-glo posters with this or a small UV LED
flashlight (Home Depot carries 3AAA model for $7).

Regarding these "black light" screw-in bulbs, there's a bunch of cheapies out there including at the
dollar store, little more than incans with some purple or violet paint. One filament LED version goes
for $11. I'm sure there are real UV ones online, I prefer OTC where possible. I saw what claimed to
be a real UV A19 bulb somewhere, forgot where, but was a bit pricey ($15-$20).

Dave
 

PhotonWrangler

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Location
In a handbasket
I have two real 365nm UV LED A19 bulbs that I found online. One has a single 3W chip in the center. It's ok but I wish it had more output. The other one has an array of smaller 365nm LEDs and is brighter, BUT... only if you remove the UV-blocking clear dome! I can't believe they actually made that mistake during manufacturing.
 
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