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Discussion Starter #1
I'll admit I'm a noob at lighting. But I really want to master it to take our yard display to the next level. We are currently washed out by a streetlight and I neeeeeeed some color lights!

Last year I picked up 3 of these clamp lights from Home Depot. I have blue and green bulbs for them. The problem is they are so bright, no matter how I angle them, they are bound to make some poor kid go blind by accidentally looking into them. What am I doing wrong? Do I need to scrap these lights and try something else? Am I not hiding them correctly?

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Human Candy Shovel
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what type of bulbs are you using? If you're using floodlight bulbs, try substituting regular incandescent or CFL bulbs instead.

Otherwise, you could try applying paint inside the lamp shade to dull the reflection some.

Another thing you could try is maybe fabricating a cylinder at the mouth of the shade to extend the shade, using aluminum flashing from the roofing department. This will also reduce the span of area covered by the spotlight however. On the bright side,you can get flashing that is prepainted white on one side and bare aluminum on the other,providing options for the interior of the cylinder if you need to tone down even more.

These spots are the sort that really need effort put into hiding them. Many folks will actually build "front line" props to hide them - by front line, I mean props closest to the street that won't be illuminated by any spots. This might mean making fake stones, pumpkins or skulls to hide the lights in,or doing something like building them into entryway columns or extra thick tombstones.
 

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Personally, I love these little fluorescent Party Lights. They aren’t too bright, and really give you a lot of vibrant color for around $5 each. Another great thing is they don’t get nearly as warm as spotlights, so your options for light cans is a lot broader.
Party Lights.jpg
I made a little tutorial on how to make some really inexpensive light cans for them. Here's the link: http://www.halloweenforum.com/tutorials-and-step-by-step/139099-cheap-light-cans-build.html
Here's what my yard looks like using only those bulbs.
20141022_184450.jpg 20141022_184353.jpg
Walmart use to sell them, but my two local walmarts have fazed them out, and gone with a little round bulb, which is a little less bright and vibrant, but it's still not bad. Also, Home Depot sells them, but for some reason, the only blue they carry is made by GE, and even though they are very similar in design, the color doesn't compare to the Party Lights brand. I know you can get the Party Lights online, and even a little cheaper than if buying them in stores. I use to use floodlights, but soon realized they're just way too bright, which then washes out everything, and you don't get the cool color effects that you can with other bulbs. Check out the tutorial on making the cheap light cans. Ignore the one lighting my cauldron creep. It needs one more coat of black paint so you won't see the light through the back of it, but I've been so busy with other things, I keep forgetting to walk out there with a can of spray paint. The rest of the ones I made don't have that problem, and they really only took me about twenty minutes to make four of them.

P.S. Okay, I just walked out there with a can of spray paint and took care of that light can...finally!
20141024_225156.jpg
 

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Here to burgle your turts
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Lighting is tough. It's easy to overdue it. We had way too many floods on our years a few years back - everything was completely washed out, and someone on the forum corrected us and suggested we just knock it back to two. That helped a lot, but we still seemed to be lacking shadows. Now we're added a few spotlights from Spirit, plus a few little homemade LED spots which unfortunately need to be pretty close to the subject. Now we've got a few more shadows and darks spots.

I guess my main messages is just don't feel bad, because you're not the only one struggling with this.

You might find this link helpful...
http://robertdbrown.com/2014/01/26/skullandbone-com-haunt-lighting-tutorial/
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I appreciate the advice. Lighting is a lot harder than one would think. I'm a pretty smart person (I like to think!) so I either have the wrong material or the wrong instructions. I should be able to figure this out! Let me go pull out my bulbs and see what I have while I check out these links. I need to get this resolved this weekend!
 

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I've got to finish up our lighting today. Gotta go buy more bulbs, and figure out what I'm going to make light-cans out of. I usually make temp ones out of whatever I have around or is cheap --- everything from thick cardboard and tin foil, to aluminum baking pans from the store. :D

Good luck! Great advice here at HF.
 

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What Hump?
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The tutorial at the link posted by GobbyGruesome is an awesome resource for haunt lighting concepts.

As far as the hardware goes, we use 12v LED lighting because it uses a lot less electricity and our haunt is a walkthrough made of wooden panels and the fire marshal's HATE those clamp lights. LED is safer.

We use MR16, 12v, RGB bulbs like this:
http://www.amazon.com/LEDSpring-16-color-Remote-Control-Light/dp/B00GJKUPRS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414252908&sr=8-1&keywords=mr16+rgb+led
They are inexpensive. They can be set to any one of 16 colors. They can be dimmed.

We built our own fixtures for the lights using the method here:
http://www.garageofevilnetwork.com/profiles/blogs/goe-labs-howtolightinglow-1
The bulbs we bought didn't require the resistor shown in this tutorial, but we did use the overall PVC concept for the fixture.
 

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Personally, I love these little fluorescent Party Lights. They aren’t too bright, and really give you a lot of vibrant color for around $5 each. Another great thing is they don’t get nearly as warm as spotlights, so your options for light cans is a lot broader.
View attachment 226227
I made a little tutorial on how to make some really inexpensive light cans for them. Here's the link: http://www.halloweenforum.com/tutorials-and-step-by-step/139099-cheap-light-cans-build.html
Here's what my yard looks like using only those bulbs.
View attachment 226228 View attachment 226229
Walmart use to sell them, but my two local walmarts have fazed them out, and gone with a little round bulb, which is a little less bright and vibrant, but it's still not bad. Also, Home Depot sells them, but for some reason, the only blue they carry is made by GE, and even though they are very similar in design, the color doesn't compare to the Party Lights brand. I know you can get the Party Lights online, and even a little cheaper than if buying them in stores. I use to use floodlights, but soon realized they're just way too bright, which then washes out everything, and you don't get the cool color effects that you can with other bulbs. Check out the tutorial on making the cheap light cans. Ignore the one lighting my cauldron creep. It needs one more coat of black paint so you won't see the light through the back of it, but I've been so busy with other things, I keep forgetting to walk out there with a can of spray paint. The rest of the ones I made don't have that problem, and they really only took me about twenty minutes to make four of them.

P.S. Okay, I just walked out there with a can of spray paint and took care of that light can...finally!
View attachment 226230
I have wondered about those lights for ages; now I know they look great!
 

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SpookyBlackKat, those clamp-on lamp shades are meant to be used indoors and they create a wider reflective area of light for things like workbench areas or under car hoods. So I can understand if you are flooding the area with light and getting too much illumination for a spooky setting. I would look for another fixture unless you need the light spread out, and/or look for a bulb with lower Watts and lumens. I suspect what you might want is a Spot light not a Flood light to concentrate the light and color in a smaller area. Being this is for an outdoor setting, I would also suggest buying something that is outdoor rated. Take a look at Home Depots solid colored spot lights:

http://www.halloweenforum.com/general-halloween/139267-led-spot-fire-ice-type-led-spots-home-depot-christmas-section-2.html#post1705890

I'd consider them a good investment in long-term haunt lighting that will get you safely thru all kinds of weather including rain and drizzle. The LEDs over time pay for themselves in years of service and minimal electrical use. And if you really go all out decorating these won't tax your outdoor electrical circuits much.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ryan: those are the bulbs I have.

Spookie: thanks for the advice! I'll take a look at HD tomorrow and see what they have. On my last visit they had not put out Christmas yet.
 

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matrixmom, is correct. The FEIT Electric PartyBulb (what I was calling Party Lights) are the way to go. Walmart use to sell them, but doesn't seem to be this year. They now have some other brand which aren't nearly as vibrant. For some reason, my Home Depot carries the FEIT Electric brand in every color except blue. They have the GE brand in blue, but they don't even compare to the blue FEIT Electric brand bulbs I have. They look almost white compared to them, so stay away from the other brands if possible. Thanks matrixmom for pointing out the correct brand.
 
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