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I want to put about 20 carved foam pumpkins on the stairs in front of our house but I don't want to mess with turning on and off those little battery powered puck lights in each and every one every night for a month. In the past, I've put a string of tiny orange lights in a mason jar inside each one and then just connected them to one another. This works but there's always a couple of bulbs that are between the pumpkins due to the spacing on the light strings. Plus, the lights don't flicker or look remotely like a candle.
Anyone have a creative solution for lighting foam pumpkins?

PS: Of course we carve real pumpkins too! :)
 

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For many of my lights inside props or like the candle flicker bulb on my FCG and my hearse. And we also line our driveway on Halloween night with 30 of the orange plastic pumpkins. I buy all my own C-7 SPT-2 sockets, plugs, and lamp cord and make my own light strings. It allows me to place all my lights right where i need them. And overall it is cheaper than buying light strings and being stuck with whatever spacing they have.
 

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If you don't want to do a single string of lights - and they do make flicker/sparkle ones that simulate a real flame - you can get the single light C7/C9 cords usually from the same stores that sell the fake pumpkins. Won't be cheap tho.

Walmart has some reasonably priced flicker strings, but also saw some really interesting purple flicker flame light strings. Amber colored ones are out there too. But the colored bulbs seem to be way more expensive.

I have been collecting old JoLs at the thrift stores so I have like 30 of them with individual cords. I get a long heavy duty outdoor dark green extension cords that have outlets every 3 feet, and I plug in a dark green surge protector strip with an additional 6 outlets. As the bulbs for these pumpkins are small C7/9, I'm not worried about blowing a circuit, so I can chain quite a few of them together and just tuck cords behind/under or wrap them with dark plastic/cloth to cover them.

If I don't want to bother with the plugging in of the main power cord, I attach it to a timer, or even better a foot switch like for a x-mas tree. I also have a power outlet that has a wireless remote that I leave next to our front door so I can just click the lights on that line easily. It's amazing all the stuff they make for power cords/lights now! (but you'll likely need to look in the "other" holiday's electrical offerings... as the x-mas light thing apparently has the best variety).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Shabang!!!!! JW Halloween, I had no idea that they made them with a remote! What a great find. Thanks!
 

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*CRINGE* You mean I'll have to go into that hellish red and green aisle?!!! The horror! :) Thanks for the tips!
 

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I will have to check but the wife saw those same LED tea lights with remote in a magazine and she is ordering some so we can make floating candles in the garage. I will see which magazine and see if you can order them online, but i am thinking they are cheaper (lower cost) than the ones on amazon.
 

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I made luminary bags last year, using the remote control tea lights. Problem is, "off" by remote isn't necessarily the same thing as turning it off at the switch, and the teeny little batteries ran dry quick.


In this situation, if you can hide the cords, how about some of those clip-in lights like they use in the little ceramic village houses? Plug em into a power bar, put that into a remote control or timer-ed outlet, easy on and off with no battery worries.
 

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WIP pumpkins done sm.jpg

I have strings of lights in white mesh bags hot glued or zip tied to the inside tops of the pumpkins to keep them out of any water. I cut an access door in the bottom of each pumpkin to do this which also provides drainage. If they start falling over which happens with the tall ones, I put a little mesh bag of rocks in the bottom which still allows drainage. The pumpkins daisy chain since I use LED strings which can have up to 40 together.

I also use fake vines twisted around the cords to help hide them.

prepfor2018_punkinvines.jpg
 

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I use puke lights bought from Costco that use a remote. Solid color or color changing. Also has a timer so no need to remember before bed to turn off the lights.
 

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I buy the outdoor patio string lights (they usually come in 12 or 24 lights and found at big box hardware stores), They are made for outdoor use year-round, so you don't have to worry about the weather. Then I replace the bulbs that come with the set with LED flicker bulbs (expensive, but absolutely a great effect). Then cut a hole in the back of the pumpkin large enough for the bulb to go inside. Then plug the string into a timer, and you are set to go!
If you don't want the expense of the LED flicker bulbs, just use the lights that come with the patio string lights, and replace a few of the bulbs each year until you get the whole string lit up with the LED flicker bulbs.
 

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Here are a few ideas that might work for you depending on exactly what kind of staircase you have, and what you're hoping to do. We have a staircase, but it's just a simple wooden one. Like Frankie's Girl, we've purchased a whole bunch of pre-made Jack-o-lanterns from thrift stores. Most of them came with little C-7 sockets with cords built in. We weatherproofed the cords a bit where the on off switch is, and using extension cords, slipped all the cords under our staircase and stapled them in. The end result is a total of eight pumpkins on the staircase and porch all lit from one cord plugged into the electrical outlet.

lights02.jpg

You can't see their cords and they light up much brighter than LED tea lights. We bought a few strands of C-7 flicker flame lights when they were on sale which is much cheaper than buying them as replacement bulbs. We just took them off the strand and put them in the pumpkins. Now that said... you're making your own pumpkins and they're not going to come already wired. Depending on your budget you can use individual C-7 cords. They look kind of like the picture below.

light jpg.jpg

Michael's has them for about as cheap as anywhere I've seen them ( https://tinyurl.com/yao3qzj7 ) ... except for the Dollar Tree where we saw them one year and snagged a bunch of them that we're still using to this day. It's certainly worth taking a look to see if they have them this year. You drill holes for the lights into the base of your pumpkins and you're all set. (If you're up for it, you can even carve out a little trench for the cords so the pumpkin sits flat.)

Now having made all those suggestions, This year, we're going to wire our pumpkins to homemade candles just because I'm weird that way and I have a partner gifted in making electronic things that I ask for. They will be like tea lights on steroids with flickering yellow lights on top and flickering green lights buried in the wax. But unlike tea lights, they're all going to be wired with their own cords that will once again slip under the stairwell and all connect to one 12 volt adapter.

Your options are about as endless and your imagination and budget allow. These were just a few that we've used and that worked for us. (Plus a few places to find the guts of the ideas as inexpensive as we could find for you.) Have fun with whatever you decide, and don't forget to post pictures... lots and lots of pictures. :)
 

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https://www.partylights.com/cords-only/c9-cords

I have a good 25 or more pumpkins lit and to solve the problem, I ordered these light cords with 24 in spacing between each bulb then I just poke each bulb in the back and I put a piece of tape on it to hold it in then on to the next. You can plug in multiple sets. It's my most favorite thing I've ever done to make my haunting life easier. They are all plugged in to one plug, easy off, easy on.
 

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Black electrical tape is a good way to deal with unwanted bulbs between props. i usually try to leave a tab that I can pull later to remove it. There are also black rubber caps for mini-lights but I find that they're far more annoying than tape.
 

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I save my burned out C7 bulbs for those sockets between pumpkins. If you can find some blow mold yard stake lights, they are usually end to end for plugging & more cording between sockets.
 
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