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I just got a pack of different gels (very thin pieces of plastic that turn white lights into colored lights) and they had a few in the variety pack that were deep colors - like an indigo color and a deep red. They also had a smoke color plastic that muted everything, almost like a sepia toned photograph. That looked GREAT with skeletons.
And where, pray tell, did you find these gels? I have a few skeletons who have complained that the light I put them in isn't very flattering, so I'm asking for them. :)
 

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I use to think that lighting was the easiest part of the setup but I'm learning otherwise.
You'll find that with professional haunters, and those who know their craft, lighting is actually one of the most essential parts of a haunt. Getting the lights right covers mistakes in the construction, blends dissimilar elements together, and just amps up the haunt so much. Look around here on the forum and you'll find lots of threads dealing with getting the lighting right. They're all pretty good reads.

https://web.archive.org/web/20160316212310/http://robertdbrown.com/team-concept-art-podcast/2015/9/24/halloween-and-haunt-lighting is one of the best lighting tutorials I've stumbled across while looking here at Halloween Forum. I tried to find the original posting, but the forum's search engines aren't exactly the best. But a member did some deep dive research to find this link and links to the videos. As you can see it's located at the Wayback Machine's archives, which means it no longer actually exists as an active web page. I saved it as a PDF file along with the actual videos on our computer just because stuff goes missing on the Net, and I wanted to have access to this info every time I head out to do my lighting.
 

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And where, pray tell, did you find these gels? I have a few skeletons who have complained that the light I put them in isn't very flattering, so I'm asking for them. :)
I bought these: 20 gels on Amazon

Now ... They are SMALL. I have solar powered spot lights that put out a very neutral/cool light, and I felt it was washing out my skeletons as well. But I love the lights - they are these ones: Solar spots They have a big ol' battery in them, they operate in 3 different brightness modes, and I can hide the panel behind a tree so it's not as obvious. From each gel in this pack I can get 3 circles that fit inside these lights. I unscrew the metal bezel, put the gel down, and screw the bezel back on.

I wanted 20 different colors because I wanted gradations in some places. I have 3 skeletons walking in a funeral procession behind a coffin. Each skeleton got a different depth/shade of orange. Pale, medium, and rusty orange. In another place I wanted a hint of blue on one gravestone and then an acid yellow on the witch nearby (cool next to warm, but neither one are saturated colors).

There are MUCH better deals out there measured by "sq inches of gel per dollar" but this pack gave me a lot of different colors and that's why I chose it. If I was trying to cover larger LED lights I would go with a different pack, these things are smaller than a dollar bill. There are lots of options with big pages of 8.5x11" sheets, I just couldn't find a lot of colors in those packs.

One thing I did not try was to tape two gels together so a single flood would have two different colors. I think that might be fun.
 

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  1. I especially like the lighting of the house in the background. I'm definitely giving that a try along with the rope lights for the steps and along the border of each landing. My thought is to use orange rope lights. However I never thought about the lighting the house in the background. I see several of everybody's layout and pictures and have come to realize Im a lighting novice. I've been studying what several of you have done and taking away ideas from each of your post. My only regret is that I don't have a tree in the yard. That would have made the overhead lighting a huge plus. However, I'm contemplating putting lights in the eves near the house.
 

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  1. I especially like the lighting of the house in the background. I'm definitely giving that a try along with the rope lights for the steps and along the border of each landing. My thought is to use orange rope lights. However I never thought about the lighting the house in the background. I see several of everybody's layout and pictures and have come to realize Im a lighting novice. I've been studying what several of you have done and taking away ideas from each of your post. My only regret is that I don't have a tree in the yard. That would have made the overhead lighting a huge plus. However, I'm contemplating putting lights in the eves near the house.
I'm still a novice at lighting too. Lighting is tricky. It's hard to determine the best color for an area, or how to place the lights so they show off what you want without the lights shining some place where you don't want like out into the street or into people's faces. Then you have to decide what type of lights to use. Floods? Spots? Fire and Ice? String/rope lights?

I envy those who have figured lighting out and make their haunts shine like no other. I do the best I can with what I have or can afford. I figure that having some kind of lighting is better than not having any. What lights I put out is more than what others in my area do.
 
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