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New(ish) member here...but I haven't posted anything yet. In the past I had been primarily a Christmas holiday type of guy, but in the past few years Halloween has become incredibly popular in our neighborhood, to the point that I spend more energy and time getting ready for Halloween. Two years ago, we debuted Monty the "scared of Halloween" bird as our mascot for trick-or-treaters. He was such a hit that last year we added a host of additional props, including tombstones, fog, glowing pumpkins, etc.

Here's a video of Monty's debut year, before we added the extras like tombstones, fog, and pumpkins:


We are planning a dark ride for the trick-or-treaters for this year, with our current forced "vacation" from work, I've had lots of time to get that project started as well!

Anyway, thanks in advance for all the knowledge I've already gleaned from this forum, and I'm looking forward to being a more active participant.
 

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New(ish) member here...but I haven't posted anything yet. In the past I had been primarily a Christmas holiday type of guy, but in the past few years Halloween has become incredibly popular in our neighborhood, to the point that I spend more energy and time getting ready for Halloween.

Anyway, thanks in advance for all the knowledge I've already gleaned from this forum, and I'm looking forward to being a more active participant.
We have a very similar history. We spent weeks getting up our Christmas decorations. But somewhere along the line, Halloween took over, and we're glad it did. We make almost all of our own decorations, and that means the fun of Halloween can extend throughout the year in a way that Christmas can't. Our fifty dollar budget can create a dozen tombstones with money left over to make a tray full of witch's potions. And unlike many a Christmas decorator, where outdoing the neighbors is a thing, haunters seem very happy to share what they're making and how they make it.

Which brings us to a part of your video we love. Your "lightening" is totally different from most. Where other's have lightening boxes that flash light when the volume goes up, yours actually seems to turn the lights off momentarily to give a sort of flashing look before the lights all return. We have an epileptic in our home, and that way of making it look like there's thunder and lightening in your display is actually really easy on him.

Unlike anyone who uses strobes, or even the lightening boxes, your approach is actually something he can watch without getting a headache or worrying about having a seizure. We've wanted to do lightening of some sort for years, and now we feel like there is a way if you're willing. How do you approach the use of your background lights to create the illusion of lightening while preserving the lighting display? We think it's genius. We just need a genius to tell us how it's done. :)

Any help you can offer will be appreciated. And we're giving you that chance to be a more active participant in the process. It's win/win. Welcome to the neighborhood.
 

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Thanks everyone for the kind words and warm welcome.

My whole display is controlled via LightORama. Since I already had it for the Christmas display, it was a no-brainer to utilize it for Halloween as well. While it's not necessarily a low cost option, I've accumulated all the hardware and props I have over the course of 10+ years, so every year I add one piece of equipment, which makes the cost much more manageable. The lightening is created using small 10w RGB flood lights. Right before a lightening "strike" I fade out the purple and green uplighting. As the thunder is crashing on the audio track, I programmed each LED to pulse "randomly" via LightORama with full white. As the thunder fades out on the audio, I fade the purple and green uplights back up onto the house. It's a nice way to utilize lights for more than one purpose.

I apologize if that isn't as much help as you were hoping for, but feel free to ask more questions. There are lots of ways to make lighting effects happen (one of my "real" jobs is a theatrical lighting designer) so sometimes it just comes down to thinking outside the box.

Here's a photo of the 2019 additions to the Halloween display. We replaced the blow-ups with tombstones, glowing pumpkins, and fog.
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