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So to give a little background for those that are interested - my wife and I just moved into our first house a little less than a year ago (married a few weeks ago!). When we met 3 years ago we had an apartment in my wife's parents house for a couple of years and decorated their property with a scaled down version of this year's haunt. We found out that this neighborhood gets somewhere in the realm of 300+ trick-or-treaters and got excited that we got to decorate all-out and it'd be appreciated! 馃榿

We've got a fair amount of small and large store-bought animatronics, some of which are modified for DC power/additional lighting, others are stock. Lots of store-bought and some modified tombstones (additional carved writing with a hot knife, different paint, added moss and weathering, etc...), and lots of other odds and ends that I've been collecting and putting outside of the past 10 years.

My day-to-day job is as a solutions architect in the IT field but my side-job has been lighting design and sound engineering for events - I tried to apply that knowledge and the plethora of equipment I own towards the haunt as it would otherwise be in storage between events. The day of Halloween I'll be adding lots of DMX controlled LED uplighting, moving heads, and a pre-programmed light show in the 2-car garage for all of the trick-or-treaters to enjoy - perhaps next year I'll have some thought and time put into something whole-house with timecode and GrandMA or Hog. :devilish:

I'll keep track of our progress via this thread to show the progression of our efforts this year.

Starting with some of the outdoor photos. We created a cemetery fence like many others with 8'x1"x2" and 1/2" PVC pipe at 3ft tall, sprayed matte black. We also created 2'x2'x6' foam columns that got destroyed during a bad storm mid-construction. I decided for next year I'd like to put thicker foam (only went with 1/2") and exposed brick - as for this year, the foam that got ripped from wind-blown debris was augmented with exposed faux brick from home depot (it's MDF-backed and can be found by the crown moulding - its good stuff, just a bit expensive at $33 for a 4'x8' sheet.

Shots from before I had to modify/repair the columns:

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After the columns were modified/finalized for this year:
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Discussion Starter #2
Some more photos of where we're currently at:

I used those flickering edison-socket LED bulbs that are all over Amazon/ebay. I found them for $10 each at Home Depot and put them in some cheap outdoor lamps with the glass dome removed. These are temporary structures so if we get any bad rain, I can cover the fixtures.
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We had work on our front lawn with the water main that left a dirt spot across the center of the lawn. I decided to capitalize on this and half-bury a half-width shipping pallette (2'x4' I believe) and then have Dollar Tree hands coming out from between the slots. I have a 400 watt smoke machine dedicated to shoot out from underneath the pallet. I have a mummy/zombie looking torso from Spirit that's hooked up to a secondary 400 watt smoke machine that does a great job by itself giving a nice cloud of dissipated fog across the entire yard.

The lighting on here is done with a red animated LED fixture by gemmy, and the blue is from a Chauvet SlimPar 56 statically set to blue, both of which are hidden in the two cemetery columns that I had cutouts for lighting to be mounted.
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I attached out Gemmy animated LED lights (we've got 4x, in purple, blue, and green separately) mounted on the cemetery fence panels. I also ran RGB LED tape along the inside face of the top rail of the cemetery fence panels which do a nice job of lighting up the various small animatronics by the fence, as well as adding accent lighting with the Gemmy lights.

I've also started outfitting 1ft sections of RGB LED tape inside of any and all skeletons I have in the yard that give a nice accent glow to their various poses.

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Very cool setup! I love the idea about the led strip lights in the skeletons - can you post a close up photo of that and where you mount the strip?
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Sure thing. I mount the LED strips with just hot glue behind the top rib in the sternum. The skeletons from the big box stores all seem to have the perfect size ribs for LED tape to hide behind. Only one 1ft strip is necessary to get a good glow like mine. Anything more is kind of a waste because the back/spine has less to shine on as you move down the torso.

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Very nice.

I've got my first year using DMX lighting. It's only small scale but I'm still looking forward to it. I'm using Falcon Pi Player on a Raspberry Pi 2, with 4x QTX Par56 LED lights. I suspect the lights part of my display will only grow, with moving some if my Python controlled sequence tasks - smoke machine & pneumatic's, also to DMX.
 

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Sure thing. I mount the LED strips with just hot glue behind the top rib in the sternum. The skeletons from the big box stores all seem to have the perfect size ribs for LED tape to hide behind. Only one 1ft strip is necessary to get a good glow like mine. Anything more is kind of a waste because the back/spine has less to shine on as you move down the torso.

View attachment 724204

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So..I foot RBG lights...can you buy them in one foot?... I love this idea but I'm not familiar with these type lights!
 

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"1 foot RBG lights...can you buy them in one foot?"

It comes in rolls and can be cut to length. It has to be cut at specific points but it's clearly marked. It's usually every 3 LEDs.
 
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