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Lighting for pathway thru woods

2916 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Scary Papa
I made a pathway thru some woods in my backyard and I lined it with mason jars and a led flicker bulb inside them about every 10 feet. While it looks really good, it's just not enough ambient light to light the pathway and keep people safe and let them see where they're going. Has anybody done something like this and found a way to add some ambient light o the pathway without totally lighting up the woods? If so, what did you use and what color lights worked best for an eerie, scary look? Thanks!
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I'm not sure that I have a close-up picture of these, but something I did for our yard display was to take tall bamboo stakes, spray paint them black and carefully drill holes in them. I then attached a wrought iron plant hanger that I got on super-clearance at Big Lots. I hung lanterns from them with battery operated candles. I also straight-up wired lanterns onto the bamboo stake when I ran out of the plant hangers, but I hid those in other places rather than the main walkway.

If you don't have tall stakes you could use, you could use tall PVC poles, or you could string wire between some trees and hang a few lanterns from them. The battery operated candles don't give off a lot of light, but they might be enough when added to the lights you've got along the ground.
I have hung some pumpkins in the trees, made some pumpkin lampposts, and set pumpkins around the yard. Here are some pictures that might give you some ides...

Night Lighting Tree Sky Street light

Home House Property Leaf Yard

Home House Property Leaf Yard

trick-or-treat Lighting Night Jack-o'-lantern Pumpkin
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I've seen some good pathway lighting using rope lights. If you want it not super bright, then going with purple or blue would be better as they are the dimmer lights in general, but the rope light would still give off enough light to see where to walk (and the rope lights also can act as a pathway guide too).

If you don't like the look of rope lights, then you should use brighter lights overall - but keeping them at foot level may mean it will still seem pretty dark, so I suggest hanging some midway and overhead to get a better overall light coverage - say add 2-3 lights in the same areas you are placing your pathway lights on the ground. If you're using colored lights, they'll look dimmer than bright white I would think.

But there's nothing wrong with really saturating small areas with bright lights too if you're covering a large area - a few really bright lights spaced far apart will bleed into the overall area and then accent with the pathway lights... kind of like how Rania did with her Night Circus theme last year (I believe) see pics here: http://www.stopandeattheroses.com/2014/11/behind-build-haunted-garden-nightmare.html

Those shrooms are BRIGHT and still look pretty awesome and don't destroy the overall effect of the other areas, but they provide decent overall lighting to see and get around by.

Don't overlook the safety aspects trying to go for a dim and gloomy effect! :D
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Thanks for the response everybody, I appreciate it! Unfortunately my pathway is 120' long so it's hard to find an economical way of doing some of the suggestions. I think I'll try to just use a couple flood lights or hanging lights spread out the area, as suggested. I'm definitely more concerned about safety than anything else. :)
Ken Pilot, I just now saw your thread. I have a home haunt through 10 acres of woods. I started using motion detector flood lights mounted up in trees that would turn on when people walked past. I have now replaced the motion detector lights with just two-bulb flood lights. I did this just because since we have about 150 friends and family roaming through the forest I thought it would be safer to have lighting all the time rather than coming on when people walk by the motion detector. Anyway, I buy white LED bulbs for the light but I paint them with a light coat of blue spray paint to dim them down a little and give it a little more dusky feeling. While I now have the haunted forest "electrified" with a 100 amp circuit to power everything (my son is an electrician) I started out just using extension cords and plugged them into a cheap generator ( $89.00) from Harbor Freight. This worked very well and the generator did not make a lot of noise. In fact I made it into a prop as well by making it the "Haunted Forest Power and Light Company". For your 120' path I suspect you can do this with just a few flood lights daisy chained together. Cut the female end of an extension cord and wire this cord onto the flood light wires. Then plug the light into the extension cord from the generator or from another power source. Just be sure you don't overload your circuit. The food light cost about $12 from Walmart. Extension cords to wire up the lights are about $3.00 for a 15' cord for each light. Hope this helps.
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