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Thread: Best Lighting For Cut Outs?

  1. #1
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    Question Best Lighting For Cut Outs?

    I had an idea for my neighbor to do a cut out last year. It turned out great and so I was jealous, and bought a jigsaw and did my own cut out 5 days before Christmas.

    I got cheapo lighting from what was left at Home Depot that late in the season, but I didn't like it.

    This year, I want to do it right. What do people recommend for lighting to display your cut outs that you work so hard on?

    Thanks so much!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Best Lighting For Cut Outs?

    Sometimes it is not the light, but the angle of the light that makes it either good, or not so.
    With 700 or so cutouts, I asked the crew doing the static displays. They said CFLs in flood holders are their primary "goto" lights. They try to angle it so that the flood shines away from the audience, and doesn't cause a washout. This is not always possible, but for the most part it works for us.

    FWIW, I like a long light, sort of like a florescent tube, spread out in front of the cutout and hidden from view of the folks looking at the display.
    "Never Give Up. Never Surrender!"
    Capt Tagert - Galaxy Quest.
    Al Gerdes - Christmas Lighting Nut!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Best Lighting For Cut Outs?

    I was just getting started on this years new cut-outs. I have an emoji and a pokemon pikachu that are about 3ft. I found this thread below and wondered if these would work for lighting up smaller cuts outs.

    http://doityourselfchristmas.com/for...ght=spot+light

    I was even considering hacking a cheap tactical flashlight into an externally powered spot to get adjustable beam size.
    lights, blow molds, and cut outs; no blinky-flashy yet

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  5. #4
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    Default Re: Best Lighting For Cut Outs?

    For what is is worth, I used to drive past this property in the middle of no where and the guy had maybe 30 cut outs on his yard with no lighting for any of them, only natural. Of course you couldn't see them in the dark but it looked amazing as he set them up to be in front of the setting sun. I find that these kind of lights do work really good however https://www.google.com/shopping/prod...SABEgLCPvD_BwE

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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Best Lighting For Cut Outs?

    Last edited by stallionent; 09-17-2017 at 08:11 AM.

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  9. #6
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    Default Re: Best Lighting For Cut Outs?

    I have been considering trying one of these Jeep off-road lights from Nilight. At less than $8 each for a set of 4 you can hardly go wrong. They would be easily wired to your DC controller, are water-proof, and are a small profile.

    https://www.amazon.com/Nilight-1260l...ywords=nilight
    Kevin

    2017 - Pi3 w/FPP controlling 8 ESPixelsticks driving 1250pixels and 3 Arduino MEGAS communicating with ESP-01s driving 96 channels
    2016 - 184 channels of Blinking/Flashing using 4 Arduino MEGAs and cheap home-made props.

  10. #7
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    Default Re: Best Lighting For Cut Outs?

    My two cents. Often cutouts are illuminated with too high of a wattage lamp. The high wattage causes shadows behind the cutout or reflect off the cutout. I use 15w - 25w incandescent bulbs, occasionally a 40w for a cutout that is large, like 6 ft. I make them myself using a metal can; often it's some large vegetable can. I like the tall narrow cans as they direct the light better than short, fat ones. Spray paint the inside silver to reflect the light. Spray paint the outside dark green to hide it in the grass. Use this for lamp socket:
    https://www.lowes.com/pd/Project-Sou...Socket/3958895 Note the socket is rubber and slightly tapered with a large diameter band that makes the perfect stop. Cut a hole in the bottom of the can, make it tight, slide the rubber socket into the hole, a nice tight fit holds it in place. Wire any length of extension cord to it and you're ready to go.

    To place it in the yard, just kick a dent into the yard with heal of shoe. Remember doing that to place a football for a kick-off as a kid? Just like that. The can will fit nicely in the dent. Place a scrap piece of wood, like a 6" long 2x4 on each side and it'll stay put.

    Cheap, easy and very effective, and controllable with any software, just another AC channel.

  11. #8
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    Default Re: Best Lighting For Cut Outs?

    I had been hunting around the web for small spot lights. I found a stake light at HD for only $7. stake_light.png.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commerci...7W01/301233082

    I bought one and tested it out. I sealed the seam on the front lens with silicone and where the cord enters the housing. It has a 2ft 2-prong cord which is OK for me. Plan on buying two more.
    lights, blow molds, and cut outs; no blinky-flashy yet

  12. #9
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    Default Re: Best Lighting For Cut Outs?

    Quote Originally Posted by wood_guy View Post
    I had been hunting around the web for small spot lights. I found a stake light at HD for only $7. stake_light.png.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Commerci...7W01/301233082

    I bought one and tested it out. I sealed the seam on the front lens with silicone and where the cord enters the housing. It has a 2ft 2-prong cord which is OK for me. Plan on buying two more.
    Followup. These were too bright, so I added a 2k ohm resistor to dim them. Now they light up the cutouts without creating such noticeable shadows.

    I will probably rewire for next year. Here is what the inside looks like. The supply wires are covered with silicone. The circuit parts are attached to an aluminum plate so soldering could be tricky. For $7 not a bad deal.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    lights, blow molds, and cut outs; no blinky-flashy yet

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