Want to scare the living daylights out of your Halloween party guests — or just treat them to some glowing eye candy in the spirit of the season? Take it beyond the basic jack-o’-lantern and light up your fright night with these Halloween outdoor lighting tricks.
Set your house aglow with otherworldly light. Place colored floodlights on the ground or attach them to tree branches or porch pillars, then point them at your house to turn it blood red or ghastly green.
Make spooky night eyes. Cut eye shapes out of empty paper towel tubes and stick a glow stick in them, then tape off the ends with black electrical or duct tape. Nestle them in trees or shrubbery to make them look like monsters hiding in the bushes. Or search for ready-made spooky flashing eyes online.
Highlight decorations with uplighting. Called “Halloween lighting” in the movie business, lighting from below makes everything look freaky. Use it to call attention to a focal-point decoration, whether that’s a zombie figure climbing the side of the house or faux tombstones in the front yard.
Backlight DIY scary silhouettes. Use black poster board to create the silhouette of a creepy hunchback or a hand wielding a big knife, then tape it to your window. Hang a white sheet behind it and light it from behind to create a spine-chilling display.
Replace all your indoor bulbs with colored ones. Get the lowest wattage colored CFL bulbs you can find in green, orange, red, or purple, swap them out for your regular bulbs, then flip them on for instant eerie spilling out every window.
Walkway and Entry
Show them the way with scary luminarias. Use a black Sharpie marker to draw pumpkins, ghosts, or other spooky shapes on paper lunch bags. Nestle a tea light in a few inches of sand inside, then line your walk with them and light.
Add a terrifying touch to lanterns. Print out spooky silhouettes, color them in black, then cut the printouts to fit the walls of a store-bought lantern. Don’t want to make your own? Buy a ready-made bloody lantern instead.
Hang Halloween-themed strings of lights. If you’re going for fun over frightening, scare up some strings of ready-made lights in the shape of eyeballs or pumpkins.
Haunt your own house. Use little more than a sheet and an empty milk carton to create a glowing ghost. Check out our full instructions.
For more Halloween lighting ideas, see our Halloween party indoor lighting guide.