Monday, October 19, 2009

A Light in the Darkness

Cribbing from an idea found on the HalloweenForum discussion boards, I picked up five clip-on LED spotlights, the kind the would be appropriate for book reading. They're bullet-shaped and made of plastic, so they don't look like they could light up very much. What a surprise then when I found that they helped reveal a lot of the props (including the zombies) that were previously hidden in deep shadows because of the brightness of the large spotlights I have illuminating the haunt.

From the sidewalk, the graveyard is bathed in a ghostly blue light while from the porch it looks like the yard has sprouted fairy lights. Even better, though, is that they have helped make my animatronic mummy actually work.

One of the problems I've had in the past is that during the evening hours there wasn't enough ambient light to activate the motion sensor located on the mummy's belly. I took one of the mini-spots that was getting dim (they're battery-operated) and placed it on the porch aimed at the mummy. If it was a new spot the porch would be too bright, but because it's getting dim it doesn't change the spooky look of the porch but is bright enough to allow the mummy to activate when someone walks in front of it.

I got my other lights working too. They kept tripping the GFCI outlet and after trial and error, I figured out it was that one of the fixtures had accumulated some water and that's what was causing the short. Swapping out the fixture for a new one and the problem was cured. Now my neighbors can come by and appreciate the yard without knocking on my door at 10:00!



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