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Discussion Starter #1
Many haunts have this problem and don't realise it, not enough lighting! You may have the best haunt and props, but if no ones can see them, what is the point.

Here is a quick giude into lighting and what to use. I use lots of different lights, as you can see in my latess youtube link below. In out very first year of haunting, we understood right away how use lighting and how much effects it makes. I use mulpitples spotlights, as others form of lighting in my haunts. Also, the colors plays a big role too, as you want to balance your colors and your themes.

I associate colors to themes myself

Green, witches, Red, Demons and vampires, Blue to ghosts and haunting figures. Yellow, pumpkins and scarecrows.

Here a few exemples from my home haunt

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Inside a tunnel, make sure to use lighting that doesn't heat up! Killing people by fire is not good!
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When doing an entrance, going into the dark, is very good to do, as people are not sure what to expect!
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Also, here, my lighting was done by light up skeletons! Battery Props like this are perfect for were you have no extensions going there.
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Monster Collector
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I hate when "professional" haunted houses make this mistake. I hate walking through and not being able to see their scenes. Everything is just too dark because it seems they want a jump scare instead of a genuine scare.

We have a neighbor who decorates their yard very elaborately, but you can't see half of it because of the lighting. This is something I myself am constantly trying to improve too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
using fog and lighting together makes a haunt really cool too!

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Lighting can really enhance a prop very well too!

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Also, your cemetary, had lots of life to it!

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Also, having props with light up eyes makes also make a difference

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Discussion Starter #4
Yellow lights can be very suttled

user8819_pic13016_1321159820.jpg

Multiple colors also can creat some really cool effects

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As mentionned, colors also help creat the character

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Also, sometimes, to much of one colors can be bad. (the camera also didn't help, it went HYPER RED SENSATIVE MODE).

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As you can see, lighting plays a huge factor. Please see in my new youtube vid all the diffrence lighting I use and I hope it helps you into your haunt!

 

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Far Away Eyes
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This is a great, instructive thread, Osenator. Great ideas on the colors to use for the various moods you are trying to create too. Thanks!
 

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Good point on lighting.
BTW your attachments aren't visible.

I too have seen pro (Universal's Halloween Horror Nights included) poorly light a haunt. Or worse shoving a conga line along quickly after having bright lighting at the entrance (Howloscream), or after a brightly lit area right into a dark area. I carried a pocket camera that worked well in the dark to some theme park houses , and took a couple pics just using light from others cell phones etc. Was very surprised at the amount of details no one in our party had been able to see.
 

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Good thread. I will say that lighting is a fine line. For every too-dark haunt I have seen, I have seen at least one that has TOO MUCH light to the point where it isn't as scary. Dim and dark are inherently scary, so you have to play the shadows and wattages accordingly. For example, I love using greens. But the newer florescent and some led bulbs are just too darn bright. I went back to using 40 watt incandescent bulbs in some areas.

Overall I prefer a cast of green and black lights, with a sprinkling of oranges and reds. See my profile pic. :)

Strobes have their place, too, but I find these are often the most overused. If people have to concentrate more on not falling down or going into seizures while going through the haunt, they aren't going to be looking at you stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sadly, every room I did BLACK LIGHTS, the pics sucks. Always use white or bright colors in black light lighted rooms. dark colors props won't show!

Not big on strobes.I might use a few, but not much.

here a few pics that came out well in the room

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For every too-dark haunt I have seen, I have seen at least one that has TOO MUCH light to the point where it isn't as scary. Dim and dark are inherently scary, so you have to play the shadows and wattages accordingly.
I completely agree.....in the pro haunt world...it's about making the "average" person scared.....no one is scared of light....there are many scared of dark....truth of the matter is, even if we did spend hundreds of hours lighting to create "moods"....the average haunt go-er isn't going to notice anyway......they are more entertained by watching someone in there group get startle scared.....

rigo
 

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The Haunting Girl
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Yes, even a new haunter can do something as simple as changing the light bulbs on the outside of their house to something other than white!
I don't have any night pictures of my first year, but my white porch light was driving me crazy. I tried to tone it down with some paper hanging around it to keep it from lighting up the whole porch in bright white light. My walkway was really dark too.
The next year I bought a blue CFL bulb and put in skull stake lights along my walkway. There was also a pumpkin candy bucket I put over my sidelight. It was 1000 times better and it was simple and cheap!

 

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The Duke of Spook
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I agree. Nicely done.

Skullandbone.com also has a great tutorial on lighting theory:

http://www.robertdbrown.com/haunt/

Click on the link, then click on "YardHauntLighting"

This is the best tutorial out there when it comes to lighting your display for Halloween. Very intuitive in how he explains proper lighting layout so you get excellent shadowing. It's all too easy to over do your lighting.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Something about lighting I think people also don't realise, is how easy it makes it to find your haunt. I know if I am driving around in October, and see some colored lights far away, I'll drive to it quickly, knowing it's might be a haunt to see.

Inflatables are easy to see a mile away too, as they are pretty lighted at night. Fan or not, they are also a great tool to use to light up your haunt.
 

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Caretaker of Eerie Manor
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This is the best tutorial out there when it comes to lighting your display for Halloween. Very intuitive in how he explains proper lighting layout so you get excellent shadowing. It's all to easy to over do your lighting.
^^this^^
We have gradually scaled back on our lighting over the years, believing that shadows and dark areas lend so much to the atmosphere we're shooting for. I used to think that every square inch of the display had to be lit in order to see every prop, but we've gotten away from that mindset, in favor of subtle lighting that allows everything to be visible, even though everything is not lit up.



 

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The Duke of Spook
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Yeah, don't over do the lighting :D


FOR THOSE WHO NEED EXTREME CLARIFICATION: When the draw to your display revolves around animated lighting, over doing it is the whole idea.
 

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Everything I'm about to say is my opinion and is not a reflection on anyone's displays.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and disagree with some of the suggestions in this thread.

I, like jdubbya, take the approach of "less is more" when it comes to lighting my props/tombstones/etc. I think it's too easy to throw hundreds of watts of light, in a variety of unnatural colors, at our displays and calling it good.

What Skull & Bone did is quite different from what most haunters do. They took the approach of creating ambient lighting, knowing that it would create shadows and give a subtle, overall visibility and then highlighted certain props/areas.

Case in point:

Screen Shot 2013-05-22 at 2.07.50 PM.jpg

This scene (from the Skull & Bone lighting guide) has a blue wash of light over the whole scene, then the orange light from the lantern to highlight the cross and base of the column, and lastly a purple spot on the cherub. Nothing higher than 100w. Because of the subtle lighting choices, it makes this relative plain scene look far more eerie then it really is.

Understanding that you don't need the highest watt bulb for every light fixture is a tough concept to wrap your head around, but the outcome is far greater (in my opinion).

Sometimes it's just best to hint at what is there and let the ToTers minds do the rest...especially since their imaginations are far better than any prop you can put in their face.

Lastly, as we all know too well, most ToTers are there long enough to get candy and leave...so their ability to read every epitaph shouldn't be a high priority. Letting their imagination go wild during the walk up to your front door is.
 
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