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A Wee Bit Wicked
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1,292 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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Hey Forum Peeps! Okay, so my goal for 2014 is to have my whole front porch hung with various ghosts of different sizes, different looks and the fabric will be soaked in RIT whitener so that when black light is applied, it will glow fantastically. But....I have to find a way to light up my whole front porch with black light to make it work. This is my porch...any ideas?


I was thinking four foot black lights on the back side of the four columns, but I didn't know if that would provide enough black light. Has anyone ever used a black light cannon and do you have an idea of how much that light that puts out? I have read that it will cover 40 feet in black light, but I want something that I can put on a timer so that at 5:30 pm the black lights come on and bathe the whole front porch in the glowing light, so it is waiting for me when I get home. Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I fear this is going to be quite expensive, so I have to start now so that come October 1st, I'm not scrambling for black lights. Thanks for any suggestions or ideas and any information from your own experiences that you can give me.


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Reaper Queen
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8,615 Posts
I don't know much about it, but have you ever tried the cfl black lights? in a flood light holder could be put anywhere, close to a ghost and will light the individual ghost up. your porch ceiling is quite high, so not sure about how to light that, sorry. how are the ghosts going to be displayed? I saw on the other forum you mentioned black light canyons, never heard of them but they sound interesting. Love your porch. And the way the skellys are hanging is great. sorry I am not much help,, i would love to come visit too!
 

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Rutherford Manor Haunt
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2,065 Posts
I think no one is responding because most people are saying WOW amazing porch.....wish we had that!! I know Darklight makes a very good UV/Black light with wide throw like you will need to light your porch. It will need a fEw lights I would think?

BTW your porch is amazing, I just bought some beef netting, can't wait to use it next year!
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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6,498 Posts
You may have to experiment a bit to get the look you want. We used 2 four foot strip ligts in a 20 foot long canopy last year to illuminate several hanging ghosts, and got a very nice effect. The inside was lined with black plastic sheeting so they really stood out. I think the idea of a strip light on each column would work well. I know they run about $25.00 each which isn't too bad. Another option would be to try some blacklight spots aimed at the facade at different angles. I know Spirit carries them. It actually might look pretty cool to have the entire front of the house bathed in black light.

The canopy from last year.



Our front door ghost lit by a four foot BL strip.





Hope this helps a bit.
 

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Blue Pill? or Red Pill?
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4,102 Posts
I bought these last year for a hallway and dining table - and they were more powerful than the CFL's. http://www.goldengadgets.com/l-a3w-uv-110v-ac-3-watt-uv-led-light-bulb.html

The best way to go is the longest tubes blacklight you can find too. Too bad you didnt get them at Spirit day after halloween 50% off sale they had the super long ones on sale back then. I passed by and when I went around to get some, they were gone!!

Also, if you are adding any color - neon acrylic paint. Not GID stuff. Neon looks great in blacklight. GID not so much - actually not all.
 

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Registered
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183 Posts
last year I found some black light LED spots at Big Lots, I think they put out a good bit but I also think I may have had them too close because it washed things out a bit
blacklight.jpg

you may also want to check out Spencers Gifts, located in most malls
 

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Lady Of The Lake
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2,729 Posts
I would not suggest these
http://www.spirithalloween.com/product/gm-led-spot-light-black/?w=black light stakes&UTM_campaign=Search:SC:black light stakes

or these

http://www.partycity.com/product/black+cfl+light+bulb+13watt.do?from=Search&navSet=black light&bypass_redirect=1

There was a thread right after Halloween that said something about what did you learn from this year and what were the mistakes you made. This is what I posted about. I spent $150 + on black lights and was not happy at all with the results. These are the two items I went with. The spot lights did not project far enough, They were fine for a single prop but did not project enough for even a small area. The light bulb I put on my front porch and it simply glowed purple. It lit up a small area as well. I learned on that thread that I should have used these.

http://www.lowes.com/pd_147959-371-64246_0__?productId=3400504&Ntt=black+light+bulb&pl=1&currentURL=?Ntt=black+light+bulb&facetInfo=

along with the light fixture, I could have saved tons of money and gotten a better result if I had went this way. I had multiple people tell me this. I went to lowes and priced the bulbs and fixtures and still decided against it since they were large, I felt like the storage wouldn't be worth it. They aren't very expensive but sensitive in storing so the bulbs don't get blown. If you truly want your black lights to work, just go with these. The storage is worth it and they are fairly inexpensive compared to the alternative.

You can see some of my lighting in my albums, its not great examples but it will let you know what not to do, haha... I have a pic of the light bulb on my porch on there. Unfortunatley I didn't get great pics of each prop with the black lights on. I do have a large street light in front of my house so im sure it could have been some better without that but you will get the idea.
 

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Lady Of The Lake
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2,729 Posts
Great theme by the way. I love the ghostly stuff. You don't see it as much

I would say, go with the 4ft black light tubes, put them on the inside of your porch columns and over your front door and window sills. This way they aren't sticking out in plain site, they will blend in a bit better. Im terrible when it comes to hooking up things with timers so ill let someone else handle that.
 

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Super Moderator
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5,647 Posts
Your BEST bet as several have mentioned already is to get 4ft tubes on the inside edge of all those pillars, thus the light stays hidden from the audience. Lowes has some good cheap fixtures for reasonable prices that will work. Spirit has some that come with a bulb for cheaper, but IMO, it's better to buy a good utility socket and blacklight bulb than one of those 'halloween' ones that are plastic. Couple years back I saw some blacklight 'towers' which were just fixtures meant so stand the bulb up on the floor, those would work fantastic for you, but haven't seen them in a few.
 

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Registered
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14 Posts
What about simple flood lights with black lights in them? You can find timers at any hardware store to have them turn on at a certain time and you could post multiple lights all around. Also I worked on a 3D Blacklight haunted house before and we lit up the entire thing using these string of cage lights. You can find them at Home Depot or Lowes. They're just strands of light and there are little cages you can screw in black lights to. Theres probably like 20 per string. Also some amazing paint that reacts super well to black light is Wildfire paints. They have some invisible paint that only shines under black light too that you can get some awesome effects with. They make these things called "Peekaboo Controllers" at frightprops.com that you can control different lighting and sound effects with. It takes some getting used to but once you figure those things out you can pull off all kinds of effects with the black light. If you ran them through the controller you could put your black light to a controlled rhthym and have it flash to music or whatever. Could be an awesome project. Hope you can pull something out of this post to help you in some way!
 

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Im not sure what financial situation is we are talking here, but I've been to several concerts where darn near the whole stage was blacklit. Maybe consider going that route, guitar center in my area has pretty good stage/DJ lights. The down side is these can be very VERY expensive. Otherwise, Id say get your hands on as many 4 footers as you can get and do what you were thinking with lining the columns. The shear size of the area needing light is what I'm sure is pushing a lot of posters away from this thread. Blacklight isn't great for covering a large area. Start with one light per column, light it up and see what your'e dealing with. Add a set of lights each column until you get something you like. Keep your eyes peeled for sales, I know Walmart has four footers for not bad pricing. Keep us posted, please. Id love to see that porch blacklit up!!
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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4,484 Posts
I think the big issue that's been missed here is, how much other light is hitting the porch. Black light in closed area works great, wide open areas with a lot of ambient light, not so good.

I too recommend going to Lowes for the bulbs and fixtures..even Walmart carries them. While the packaging at Spirit is prettier, the results are the same. If you go today, you can test them out tonight.

As for storage of the four footers, I just leave them in the fixtures and stack the fixtures on top of each other gently on a shelf in the garage..I've never had issues with that.
 

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black light queen
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2,506 Posts
i have a similar, but less awesome porch ...

the best pic that i can come up is a composite from 2010

2010 Porch.jpg

the black light effect here is over exposed ... it looks better in person and i got rid of the sidewalk skulls to further improve the effect

if this is what you're thinking of doing, let me know & i'll spill more details

take a look at my albums => http://www.halloweenforum.com/members/annamarykahn-albums.html for further pics although i still haven't gotten around to uploading my '13 pics ... which look way better, as everything is evolving/improving/progressing ... :)

amk
 

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Dawn of the Dead
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1,820 Posts
That is a lot of space and a lot of white area. I put two 4' black lights in our garage which was mostly in black. Everything glowed really well in this enclosed environment. I believe that black light would diffuse in your area. If I were you, I would use green floodlights to give a ghastly glow to your porch. Then I would put black lights hidden behind the pillars and make sure anything you want to glow was set up near those areas. From a distance, I think that would look really nice with the green and then that kind of bluish glow emanating out from the pillars. You can check out this link. I've been saving pics of how people have set up lighting in their yards. You might get some ideas. http://www.pinterest.com/zim2/halloween-lighting-ideas/

The best thing to do would be to buy a 4' black light and kind of experiment in the summer. You'll get a feel for the perimeter of your "glow field."
 

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Blue Pill? or Red Pill?
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4,102 Posts
Yes, has to be dark. Or else none of this works. The curly CFL made by FEIT are the best.(home depot/lowes) I posted awhile back I had tried Walmart's CFL's and they were terrible. CFL's BL are good for small spaces. Kind of a BL "spot" light if you will. And, they have to be up close.

Sounds like you need the big kahuna tubes - Pumpkin 5. And lots of darkness. Good luck.


I think the big issue that's been missed here is, how much other light is hitting the porch. Black light in closed area works great, wide open areas with a lot of ambient light, not so good.

I too recommend going to Lowes for the bulbs and fixtures..even Walmart carries them. While the packaging at Spirit is prettier, the results are the same. If you go today, you can test them out tonight.

As for storage of the four footers, I just leave them in the fixtures and stack the fixtures on top of each other gently on a shelf in the garage..I've never had issues with that.
 

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Lady Of The Lake
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2,729 Posts
Jdubbya, UnOrthodOx and Scatterbrains you all helped me with my black light issues (Thank You again). You helped me figure out that my biggest downfall was the street light in front of my house. Pumpkin if your surrounding area is fairly well lit you could be facing an up hill battle. As others have said black light doesn't really project very far and if there is any other white back light it totally washes it out. My lights looked like I had little purple lights shining on my props and that was not what I was going for at all.

Scatterbrains I only have storage issues because we are military and get moved all over the place. I have a nice size garage and an attic but we are constantly getting packed up by moving companies and have even had everything shipped by boat to Europe! When movers see 40 totes labeled halloween they just think its silly and throw it around like its junk. super frustrating. So long term for me it doesn't make since but what I did with the spots and bulbs was a total waste of money. Maybe my next base will not be so well lit, haha... or maybe my Reaper victim will ask for black lights ;)
 
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