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Emperor of Candlewood
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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everybody,
I have been scratching my skull trying to figure out if I need more lighting or just better re-positioning to get the most out of my outdoor light effects. I've never actually used all my lighting at once because I'd hate to have a breaker trigger during my haunt again.. That is definitely NOT cool!...

I have roughly the following:
15 floodlights in various colors
8 dual 40watt blacklights(48" bulbs)
2 Single 40watt blacklights(48" bulb)
6 Single 18watt blacklights (24" bulb)
5 Mini 15watt blacklights(12" bulb)



So as you can see I have plenty to work with but not sure of the proper placement and ways to maximize my usage. Any help will be useful and appreciated as I am not the best at setting up my lighting. Many of you out there have some wicked lighting effects and I too would like to hear ideas and a little brainstorming. You can view my albums to see how I have utilized my lights in years past. Thanks for the advice in advance HF! :D


 

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Let me be the first to say... To much lighting is when you don't have any suprizes around the corner. That said, decide ahead of time what you want to highlight this year and what you would rather pick up glow from the other areas. I personaly try to emphasize those props that give me the best ohhh factor and low light the ones that will give me the best scream factor. Direct lighting is great if you want to showcase a prop but if you want it to frighten try difuse light or random occurances of light on the prop. That of course is why you have your strobes. Think about things like distance to the prop, angles and the desired effect of each prop or lighting scheme. Remember that your light can also serve double purpose by lighting props behind others to create the illusion that one prop may be attacking or creeping up on another.

In short... you can only have too much light if you give everything away. Not enough light if noone can see your props and just right when people ahhhh ohhhh and AAAAAAAA!!!!
 

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You can drastically reduce your wattage by using color party bulbs @ 13w used throwing 60w of light They come in Red, green, orange, and blue. And the blue is really hypnotic and deep color-




Take a look at my signature links for pics/vids. All that color and I use under a 100 watts total to do it. Granted, I tend to wash color more than spot color. But no matter how you do it, eliminate color flood bulbs if you can. Too much wattage used and the light throw is often just too much to control anyway. You can't really say how much light any one display needs. It's up to what you have and how you want it to look. But there is one thing to keep in mind- you can't have light without dark, so don't wipe out darkness completely. Good luck.
 

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Soccer and Lacrosse Dad
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My lighting has improved over the last year. There's been a couple articles/blogs I have read which have helped. One of which is Terra's blog The Seven Layers of Scare - Lighting.

Here's a link to it:
http://www.halloweenforum.com/blogs/terra/561-lighting-seven-layers-scare.html

I am travelling at the moment but have another site saved at home on my desktop. I will add that link when I get home unless I can find it.

In the photo below from your display I think i would suggest a subtle change or two. If you moved your awesome pumpkin skeleton forward and placed a small white LED Like the finger LEDS from the dollar stores on the ground focusing up onto his face you would bring out the amazing detail a little more and the original spot light would create an incredible shadow on the wall behind him. I think the shadow would create a greater creep factor from a distance and the detail on his face would be even more apparent and add to the scene when closer.



I wasn't sure how to add your photo to this threaad without saving it to my HF Idea album. I tried to title it so people know it is your photo and if anyone leaves comments I will make sure they know the display is yours.
 

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Emperor of Candlewood
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4,330 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the replies everyone!

I totally here what you are saying Patrick!
The LED lights have totally been in my thoughts for future upgrades ZombieRaider. Thanks!
Those colored CLf bulbs are cool Shockwave! Thanks for the advice!
That Pumpkinhead prop is going to get a major overhaul this season. Thanks for the tips and link Doto!
As for the pvc candles, I have about 60 made already but never seem to put them out Halloween71.. Guess I always plan ahead then get caught up in all the frantic last minute rush... Lol! But definitely will put them up this next Halloween for sure! Thanks for all the great feedback and advice my HF family!! :)
 

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I know one thing: Don't use a color of lighting that matches the prop's color! Nasty washout will occur...
I agree with what others have said - the new party bulbs seem to have an even more haunting color than the old incandescent ones. They further seem less risky to be running for extended periods of time - just because they don't get very hot and use much less energy.

But how to maximize your lighting...how to maximize lighting....
EXPERIMENT! You can achieve the most awesome effect if you pull out your props in advance and compare different angles and distances you could place the lights to give a better effect.
It is interesting to combine spotlights to give off an eerie color. I've found the combo of a clear light and a blue light to do wonders on white walls!
Another dramatic effect is to shine one form of a light on ONLY the background of a scene - like the backdrop or scene setter. This leaves room for the front of the props that the visitors will see to become dark and scary. This works well if you have - not the most realistic prop - but still want to include it. Lighting from behind just makes everything look more evil and really highlights the silhoettes of each prop. Then include a different color light to bring the front of the scene to life.
Obviously, the closer a light is to a surface, the brighter it will shine on the surface. Experiment with distance from your scene to find the spot where everything is just dim enough and not overpowering.
Too many spot lights in one place can definitely be a problem. I've seen displays where it looks like Christmas visited early because there are just too many red, green, and orange lights combined. That doesn't look nice.
Another thing I've learned is that placing lights strategically behind other props can really make any scene look professional. If the TOTs can't see where the light is coming from, that makes the experience so much more real.

Well, that's all I've got! :)
 

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Emperor of Candlewood
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Discussion Starter #12
Totally understand what you are saying CobhamManor! No Christmas looks on Halloween allowed here! Lol!
Those blue lights look great Scatterbrains!
I like what I see with you having great use of blue's and green's Shockwave!

My goal is to better position them and hide them a bit this next upcoming season. I will be making a bunch of pedestals for housing/hiding my lighting and fog machines as well. I already have one that is a fog chiller but only have used it once. Its also very heavy made of 1" thick oak lumber painted and sealed with monster mud. There are however to great of winds in my parts to keep the fog grounded... So I will take all these tips into consideration and see what I can come up with! Thanks again everyone! :)
 
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