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Wisp in the Mist
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Discussion Starter #1
I know that people have said that they don't like them, some because they're "overdone", some because they're not realistic.

I always liked them, until I recently realized that pretty much every prop I own (other than skeletons) has them.

Has anyone ever toned down the LEDs by putting a light coat of paint over them (or in some other way)?

Do you just take them out or not turn them on if they're in a prop that you like?

I'm guessing most who don't like them, just don't buy props with them. I have a couple that I want to leave as is, but there are a few that could use eyes that are at least less bright.
 

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It kind of just depends on the prop.

So, I have a plastic zombie kit that's basically the head, neck, and arms that has light up eyes and that's the whole effect. No moving parts, just lays there and glows his eyes at you. That works. It's just enough to draw your attention if you notice the glow in the shrubs.

The Gemmy cauldron stirring witch is one that drives me nuts. It's not an easily accessible thing where I could do something with it, and they're not constantly on, they only light up when she's triggered. It just looks kinda silly. And it's a dead giveaway that she's "not real", and is about to spring into motion. Like when the music suddenly gets turned up in a horror movie.

But really, it's the prevalence of light up eyes that drives me nuts. Use it if it works for the prop, for the effect, not for everything!


As for how to deal with them...depends on the prop. If the lights are accessible, that's one thing. If I have to dig around, take something apart, or make a bomb-diffuser's best guess which wire goes where, I probably wouldn't mess with them.

I make a point of not buying things that I can't see out of the box, at least in a video. (Well, more because of sound than eye lights...)
 

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Prop Master
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Today i build and make all my props out of my studio shop, but in the early day's i bought them like everyone else. These day's i hate store prop's, but i have modified the old ones i have and your in luck because i have done the same thing.

If you can get to the light easily, just take them out by hand.

If it's one of those the hole eyeball lights up props that is glued in the head, i took a flat head screw driver to it and ripped the eyeball out, then cut the wires, taped the wire with electrical tape, and used ping pong balls painted black (or what ever color you want) and stuck it in place of the lighted eyes. Simple enough.
 

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I don't like lights in eyes for all those reasons. I have a couple that I can't do anything about as I can't get at the lights so I leave them turned off or I would just put tape over them. I think they look more fakey with lights in the eyes.

I also don't like them because some of them blink and I had one that was like a strobe light and I can't have them on so I got rid of it. I don't have seizures from the blinking/strobe lights but my heart races and I feel nauseous. I am the same way with Christmas tree lights. The lights need to stay on or be off, I can't have them blinking or chasing around the tree.
 

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I used a hot glue gun and heated the glue up and into a form like an eyeball made from plumbers putty. After it cooled I pealed the putty away from the glue then, using a drill bit, drilled from back to front but all the way through, stopping just before pushing through the front. I placed the LED light for the eye in the back of the hardened glue as far as the hole went and connected them to my 9 volt battery. The eyes look good and are not too bright. Here is an old picture I have of them in one of my creeps. eyes of the creep.jpg
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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I am the same way with Christmas tree lights. The lights need to stay on or be off, I can't have them blinking or chasing around the tree.
I like blinking/chasing Christmas lights but I solved the problem of the whole tree looking like a UFO that's about to take off by doing 99% of the lights in regular non-blinking LEDs & then use 2-3 strands of blinking/chasing lights (most can be adjusted to a pattern now too) & then just sorta draping them around & over the other lights. It looks more like random lights are twinkling rather than the entire tree going into space.

As for props with lights in the eyes, I'm not sure why the mass market props feel the need to put them in EVERYTHING. I don't mind them in some, like Grandin Road's Helsa had lights in her eyes but they were solid, non-blinking lights & there was no noise. It worked for her. I prefer always on or off. The blinking ones are my least fave but they're not my biggest peeve with most store bought props.

I think the weird background noise & music they put out bothers me more than the eyes. I'm not sure why they all have to have a backing soundtrack. I don't mean the moans or screams, though I'm not always fond of that either it just totally depends on the noises, but the cawing crows, moaning winds, clanking chains, etc. You all know what I'm talking about too.

I could stand every single prop having lighted eyes if they didn't have the soundtracks to go with it. Screams, moans, even speeches, are OK, but I don't need the other background stuff. Even props I've really liked & considered buying I've turned down because there's some weird background noise in there that I don't like or need.

One good thing though is that I've noticed on some newer props is that you can have a choice. Some do have switches that aren't just on or off. Some will let you have the choice of noise & lights or nothing.
 

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I like light up eyes on my props. In most of my props that are store bought, I could, if I didn't want blinky eyes, just take out the batteries.

As RCIAG stated above, what really frosts my cookies are the unneeded and oddly loud "soundtracks" that trigger on a prop. WTF! My spider doesn't need a ghoul moaning sound, and neither does my lantern, or my candle, or whatever!

On halloween night it sounds like a mass of loud, crackly, abruptly ending mishmashes surrounding us, on top of the music or sound effects I really want to be heard. Ugh. A few years ago I was almost driven to murder by the sounds, and started taking batteries out left and right.
 

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Scaring kids everywhere!
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As a rule I'm not a fan glowing eyes either. However there are some props where I think they look great! Many years ago when LEDs were just gaining popularity most of the manufacturers started putting small LEDs into their props corneas. For the most part that was ok. They weren't too overpowering and I could easily change them if I didnt like the effect. But for some reason they have evolved into these massively bright blinking monstrosities that envelop the whole eye socket... cornea, pupil, schlera, the whole shebang. So if you have a several life size store bought figures it ends up looking like some strange herd of aliens are coming to get you instead of a hauntingly creepy Halloween scene.
Like many here I have evolved into making a good share of my own stuff. I just either couldn't find stuff that really fit my needs or the things that I really liked were just too darned expensive. Now thankfully my demon eyes can glow but my grave diggers eyes don't have to.
Don't even get me started on the whole soundtrack thing! Lol
 

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I might assume that small kids might like the lit eyeballs or even consider them scary?
No matter what you have , there could be a better,more proper location/situation to really make something come across better to people.
Many Years ago... you lie down on a bed,it's a canopy bed The bed quickly tips! .Down into the darkness your entire body rushes! The path twists, turns this way and that, you arrive in a very old, strange room,you know you must be under the ground because the air is chilled and damp, and it is So Dark you can see nothing... except... a pair of... glowing... red eyes ... ("What Monster is this? Is it coming to get me? How close is it to me already?')
I had a display that i thought was really silly, all lit up with bright Red floods,a mannequin, home-made featuring a bright red dress, and a head /face looking very crude and totally cartoonish with a huge open mouth four serpent fangs,and "Grandma's curly wig.
A woman returned a few years later and told me when she saw all of this,she thought it was a vision of "Hell",itself!
 

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Funeral Crasher
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Yea, I hate the red LED eyes that manufacturers seem to put in every Halloween prop. To me, that just screams: "Store bought, store bought........".

I have toned down those kind of eyes by cutting a ping-pong ball in half, misting each half lightly with black spray paint, then hot-gluing them over the LEDs.
 

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It's funny that so many of us don't like the glaring red ones. To me the blinking ones are the worst. I second the airport runway, alien attack look when you have numerous flashing red eyes in sync in the dark. Makes you wonder why they seem to put them in everything since I would think there is plenty others that feel the same way. Maybe so they can label them as animated even if it's just the eyes to rationalize the high price.
 

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I think it depends upon what the eyes are. Are we just talking a hollow socket with a bright LED string along type of bulb? Or is the LED light behind a semi translucent fake looking eyeball? Lights do help many people as they're hard to see at night. Perhaps it's the eyes themselves though. I've seen some back lit glass eyes to imitate an animal at night. I don't have any handy to test it but glass eyes often have a matte finish on the back so as not to interfere with the front. That could be scraped off in theory and an led light allowed to illuminate it. Some glass eyes are probably ceramic though or non translucent. Those rubber clear gumball eyes can easily be cut and an led bulb inserted. My own preference is glass eyes but I can achieve a good amount of veinage with those doll eyes. Those could be dremeled I suppose to make translucent. Although that's asking for a nice dremel burn or plastic particles sticking in your own eye. LED lights in eyes are a novelty because they're cheap and don't require a lot of juice. More expensive props usually omit them.
 

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I'm guessing most who don't like them, just don't buy props with them. I have a couple that I want to leave as is, but there are a few that could use eyes that are at least less bright.
I'd fall into this category. Not that I buy many props anyway.

My problem is I don't like to SEE the actual LED sitting in the socket. What I would do if I found a prop I really liked that had an LED eye is remove it. If I wanted glowing eyes, I'd cut out the eye socket, hide the LED's inside and let the glow come from within.

Just testing the LIGHT being used here, not really building a prop, would be an easy matter to paint the skull so only the sockets glow, but general idea. Small holes at back of eye sockets allow the glowing light out. IMO much better look than lighbulb shoved into the socket.

 

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Wisp in the Mist
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Discussion Starter #16
I think that most of what I have are the visible bulb tips.

I have a few home-made with wig heads and mini strings of Christmas lights, where the hole is drilled all the way through the wig head, but the bulb doesn't reach the front of the "socket". That's more of a glow from within, but not as subtle as the skull example. I could probably dab a bit of hot glue over the socket to create more of a glow effect, though.

I don't think that I have any that have realistic eyes anymore, aside from the werewolf mask that I bought (and I'm not sure those light up, I bought it on clearance and would have to double check that).

The one that got me thinking about this doesn't really have eyes at all, it has empty sockets with a clear LED above them. So you can't see the bulb(s), it just amplifies the empty sockets. I decided what to do with it, and found myself wishing that it had a red light, when I realized just how many red lit items I have now.

I like the fact that any lights make the eyes visible in the dark, but I have to agree that it's not very realistic. I'll have to see what I can do with mine, to eliminate the obvious bulbs where I can. I know that two things will always have visible bulb tips, because like someone else said, my wire choosing skills are non-existent. I don't want to ruin anything.

I wish that more things had a choice of soundtrack on, or off, too. I never really bought many pre-made creatures until last year, when I caught CVS and Home Depot 90% off clearance sales.
 

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I wish that more things had a choice of soundtrack on, or off, too. I never really bought many pre-made creatures until last year, when I caught CVS and Home Depot 90% off clearance sales.
Soundtrack sucktitude is responsible for me not buying several props over the years. Probably more than the eye thing. I can fix eyes. Soundtracks are a little outside my wheelhouse.

Most the time I'd even be happy with the VOICE of the prop activating, but they typically have some idiotic background garbage as well. Spirit's Harvester being the latest example that comes to mind. I would have happily bought that and modified it for my own use if the soundtrack didn't have a bunch of crap in the background.
 

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Ridin' The Storm Out
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The only time I really dislike the light-up eyes is in figures with shrouds or cowls. Especially a reaper... It just reminds me of the Jawas from Star Wars, and they end up looking silly to me. :D
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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JAWAS!! THAT'S WHAT THEY REMIND ME OF!!

I couldn't think of what it was until you just posted that! I hated that & I'm not even a Star Wars fan, those stupid eyes on those things.
 
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