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Discussion Starter #1
Just curious if anyone has any tips. Me personally I'm thinking about putting in some boxes that go under the sidewalk to link back to my main hub to get rid of the cables going accross the sidewalk but that still leaves a lot of cables stretching accross the lawn and I was wondering if you guys have any tips or tricks to keep the clutter to a minimum.
 

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Any cables I have going over the sidewalk are positioned over a joint and duct taped down to make sure no one trips over them. This looks pretty clean but I prefer having them going over grass where I can use lawn staples to anchor them down.

A simple $7 cord reel can do wonders with fixing clutter if a bunch of extra cord is an issue. Amazon has a few styles: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Home-Improvement-Cord-Reels/zgbs/hi/495306
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Any cables I have going over the sidewalk are positioned over a joint and duct taped down to make sure no one trips over them. This looks pretty clean but I prefer having them going over grass where I can use lawn staples to anchor them down.

A simple $7 cord reel can do wonders with fixing clutter if a bunch of extra cord is an issue. Amazon has a few styles: https://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Home-Improvement-Cord-Reels/zgbs/hi/495306
Very interesting thank you for the tip.

Of course my 12 year old mind is still giggling on this sentence: Any cables I have going over the sidewalk are positioned over a joint and duct taped down to make sure no one trips over them. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Your idea got me thinking. I wonder if just burrying the exension cords themselves like along the sidewalk and just tape the ends, bury them under the grass and just dig them out when its time for the haunt.
 

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1) The yard stops being mowed at least 2 weeks before it all goes out so it's a bit shaggy.
2) For the graveyard I have a bag of dried leaves from last year to scatter around. This is supplemented with leafy camo nets which just look like leaves as long as you don't point light directly at them, and why would you?
3) For the pumpkins in front of the front porch I wrapped fake ivy around the cords and loop it around some of the stems for a pumpkin vine look.
4) for the front and side porch displays I hide the cords under 'creepy cloth'.

prepfor2018_punkinvines.jpg
 

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1) The yard stops being mowed at least 2 weeks before it all goes out so it's a bit shaggy.
2) For the graveyard I have a bag of dried leaves from last year to scatter around. This is supplemented with leafy camo nets which just look like leaves as long as you don't point light directly at them, and why would you?
3) For the pumpkins in front of the front porch I wrapped fake ivy around the cords and loop it around some of the stems for a pumpkin vine look.
4) for the front and side porch displays I hide the cords under 'creepy cloth'.

My methods are very similar.
Grass stops being mowed and leaves stop being raked several weeks beforehand. Cords get shuffled down into the grass, buried under mulch in the mulch beds, and everywhere else gets covered in leaves. I hide all of my timers/switches with light receptors, behind tombstones, under caskets...that sort of thing.
For things that are meant to be viewed from closer up creepy cloth and hay are perfect for concealing just about anything.

I found it worthwhile to change my angle of attack entirely by running my first extension cord away from the house from a discreet location far away from walkways, and then coming back in from behind my tree line so there isn't even a hint of cords. Part of my initial reason for doing this was safety/self preservation. Our first year I had a cord duct tape down between a joint in the walkway and it only took ONE clumsy person to dislodge it and for the rest of the night I had to battle it as people continuously seemed to find it with their feet. My mind went to "if someone trips and falls at my house; a) They could get hurt. b) It would ruin their night. c) I could be facing legal action.". So, I found a way to make sure that wasn't even a remote possibility. Not only did changing my angle of attack alleviate that concern, it also made my entire presentation that much cleaner.
 

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For us, my wife has a degree in horticulture and used to have her own landscaping business. My entire yard as you could see in my youtube video is landscaped and all mulch, except for where the cemetery goes. No one but myself, wife or sons go into the yard. And we have a cemetery fence that blocks it all off. I have three large maple tress and when they drop the leaves all my cords are covered. I only have one area I have to run a cord where people walk. That is in the path in the middle of our yard where people can go out into the middle to get a better look at things. For that I have buried a two inch PVC pipe under the ground and placed caps on it. Take off caps and fish the power cord through and all is good. The other thing that we do, all the cords we buy after christmas and they are all the green ones, many which have the three prong triangle ends on them to reduce the amount of cords i have to run. Run the three prong to a prop and then branch out to two others or to another three prong. I used LED floods so the wattage is low and can run many on one line.
 

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Oak Lane Cemetery
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I have begun the conversion to 12v landscape lights to eliminate some extension cords. Any prop I have that utilizes a 12v power supply (grave digging skelly, cauldron creep, coffin puller, head turning witch) now has a 12v socket added that I can plug a small 12v spotlight into for accent lighting instead of running a second extension cord. I'm using Moonrays lights which are very small and can be easily color changed with small gel filters.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00M9IULT6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Where I previously had to run a cord for the prop, and a second for an accent light I now only have to run one. This will be my first year running this setup, but I expect it will greatly simplify things.
 

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One day we will own a house again and I am going to bury electrical conduit with water proof outlets to strategic locations. That will save me hours in setup and tear down every year.
 

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The Big Kahuna of Fright
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We have evolved into using battery powered LED lighting and Blue Tooth Speakers. They've been a huge blessing compared with back-in-the-day technology. For stuff like UV lights, lasers and foggers, I just place them strategically. For ambient lighting we go with floating candles, Tiki Torches and authentic Jack O'Lanterns.
 

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Over or under paths. I have a built-up walkway that goes overtop of a flowerbed and a few structures that do double duty for cords. And then there is a designated safe pathway through the yard that doesn't have cords or other stuff in the way. Nobody, including family, has to walk around cords (unless it's me running around trying to fix something like usual). My path is all fenced, so I run string lights for that entire length - which is a great way to get cords where I need them.

So: built things like walkways, buildings, arches, fencing, walls etc. are all good cord carriers. Keep them as out of the way as possible, try to run them along the base of existing structures like flowerbeds, fence, etc., fand have designated "behind the scenes" areas where guests cannot go.

When in doubt, cover it in mulch. Or get a cord cover at the hardware, but make sure it's obvious and well secured so the cover doesn't become a trip hazard itself. Have not had good luck with tape.
 

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I added outlets at either end of my pooch so I don't have to cross the front walk with extension cords. Both sides of the yard are fenced in for Halloween to keep the TOTs out of the decorated areas. Pine straw or mulch hides most of the cords.
 

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last year I started using the little metal spikes that come with inflatables to spike down the extension cords into the dirt. I used one like every 3 feet and it worked great. no one tripped over anything as opposed to the previous year where at least once a day someone's foot caught an extension cord and unplugged a bunch of inflatables. I plan on doing it again this year for both Halloween & Christmas
 

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I'm lazy and just bought the dark green cables with triple plugs on the end on clearance after Halloween last year. That helped tremendously because before that I just had the standard orange ones and it looked terrible. But, as mentioned above, if you let the grass grow up a bit, then you can't even see the dark green cables, especially after it gets dark.
 

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The Haunting Girl
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I use all green cables and splitters for my outdoor electrical. I try to plan everything out so I use the right lengths in the right areas so I don't have excess cords to trip on. I use landscape pins to hold everything down. Of course... I still trip on things moving through my yard, but that's also the reason I've stopped letting people walk through the cemetery to take pictures with the props. Enough grass and strategically placed debris help blend the cords into the landscape.
At this point, I've accepted that there will be cables all over the place. I have tried moving things over to battery powered, but I also put everything on timers to ensure that the cemetery is on every night whether I'm home or not. It is annoying to have to walk through the yard to turn all these little things on every single night so I just try to make the best of the cord situation. Planning helps a lot.
I do own many different lengths of cord, and a growing number of "squid/octopus" cords where the split is actually built into the cord and has three cords coming out of the split. Lowe's always has them for their Christmas setup (which is usually completed by late September), and they even now have inline splits where it's a single cable with multiple running outlets along it (3 total). The squid cords are a pain to roll up and store, but they are great for reducing the number of line breaks required to set up electrical. The less cords I need to connect together the less likely there is for something to come undone, and the easier set up/breakdown is.

Lowe's 3 way "squid" cord (available only during their Christmas set)
Unfortunately, it seems like the inline cord and the squid cord are sharing the same link.
 

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To cross the sidewalk: I built arches out of 2" PVC and slid them over T-Posts and feed the cords through them. The arches are wrapped with orange lights.

I use orange cords where I need them to be seen...specifically on the parking strip and along the curb from the road side of the arch to the horse and funeral carriage that are in the street in front of the house.

I line the path I want folks to walk with orange rope lights, Then I make sure that no cords cross the path so that we don't have any tripping hazards.
 
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