View Full Version : Basic lighting advice requested

07-15-2009, 08:41 AM
Hi everyone, this is my first post. I was directed here via the WireKat website. I want to buy some of their led spots, but I'm not sure at this point what I will need. Generally speaking, for those of you who use these lights, how many are you using? I know this is a general question and the answer is "it depends" but I'm looking for input on how these lights are being used. Are you using them to spot particular props, are they also effective for washing sections of a yard/house, etc? Generally speaking would just one of these be enough to illuminate a FCG, for example?

I want to wash the front lawn, and front of my house, and then spot a couple props. This will be my first time, so my idea is to have a simple prop or two and just utilize sound and lighting to create a "feel" - then build on that for next year.

Thanks for any suggestions or input.

- Steve

07-15-2009, 09:09 AM
Let me start out by sending you a Welcome! Nice to have you here.

As for the led spots, I have used them for Christmas, not for Halloween yet. In usign them for Christmas I have been disappointed with them. I expected to be able to "flood" the house with light. Well I had 7 of each color and all I got was 7 small circles of light on the house, no flood effect at all. To really flood the house with light I would need about 30 of each color, way too costly. For this reason I will be moving to PAR64 cans used in stage lighting. They are cheap but use lots more electricity.

As for prop lighting, if you can get the led flood far enough away I think they would be useful for prop lighting. I have used red and white par38 floods in the past to light some props for Halloween. I have considered using the led floods for this but it is much easier to just get a flood fixture on a plastic stake and put it in the ground than to build a rain tight housing for the led flood.

My personal recommendation is to go with the standard lighting used for decades for these purposes. I may try some stuff with the led floods for props since I have them but I would not recommend them for it yet.

07-15-2009, 07:31 PM
Just chiming in here - I have not used any LED floods but I have not been happy with the performance of ANY LED product I've used yet. Meanwhile, I've used PARs (of the indoor variety) outdoors for three years. They are cheap and they are really durable, and they throw a ton of light. And for me, the weather has not bothered these guys at all (basically they are just an aluminum holder and a headlight lamp). Just make sure you close the lid BEFORE you move them, as I didn't do that one time and then tripped over the lid, breaking the lamp (although the lamp still worked, just the filament wiggled around in the reflector and you had to move it around to get the brightest output). Oh, and did I mention I've never replaced any of the lamps, besides the one that I "broke"?

The only thing to watch out for is the power requirement. I am using 9 500 watt PAR 64s and 7 200 watt PAR 56s. The 64s draw roughly 4.5 amps each, so don't run them all at the same time!


P.S. For most purposes the power difference is negligible if you are running an animated show, considering most of the lights are off at any given moment.

07-15-2009, 10:25 PM
Hi! Try the forum "Other Hardware". Matt has a porta flood and Frank has strip floods for wall wash. I'm not sure what your standards are but there is video links of testing. Lots of reading on the subject. Brian

07-16-2009, 11:15 AM
Building a "rain tight housing" for an LED flood (all purpose all weather) is as hard as placing a clear plastic bag over the stake light and securing it with a rubber band. IF you want to go low tech.

We do zip sockets and zip cord with my universal stake mounts that work with all sized LED spots.

07-16-2009, 11:51 AM
Thank you for the replies. I found some of the threads Skunberg referred to and I'm digging into those now.

07-16-2009, 12:34 PM
Glad I reread your post.

If you need help identifying par style LED bulbs for lighting halloween props, please feel free to ask me, I am a yard haunter who uses LED lighting exclusively. (and a halloween product maker too, but that is not the point) .

FCGS, skellies, tombstones, buckies, faux flames, ghost rings, whatever you may want to illuminate with LED, I should be able to offer advice on what avenues work well.

You could also ask advice on a huge number of halloween resources such as halloween-L email list, yahoo lists like Technical Insanity, Garage of Evil, etc, and forums such as halloweenforum or hauntforum.

07-16-2009, 12:50 PM
Thank you for the replies. I found some of the threads Skunberg referred to and I'm digging into those now.