For some, Halloween is the practice-run for their blocks' great Christmas light display challenge. For others, it's a spooky celebration where the scarier the decor, the better. Reality TV shows and news coverage can rely on the zany, scary and extravagant to entertain viewers.
Many cities boast a map of the must-see homes providing for nights of free entertainment. From spider webs and tombstones to inflatables and sound effects, Halloween offers a great setting to let that creativity shine! But to protect your home from potential vandals and to provide safe conditions for the kids trick-or-treating, external lighting is important all year, but especially on Halloween.
External Lighting Can Deter Crime
Unfortunately, rates of crime around Halloween tend to spike. Just last year it was reported by USA Today that the problems were exacerbated starting on the night before Halloween (also known as Devil's Night, Fright Night or Cabbage Night, depending upon where you grew up).
On Halloween, it's tradition to darken one's home to indicate your family is not participating in the celebration and deter trick-or-treaters, but the lack of light makes your house the perfect target for hoodlums.
While external light won't guarantee your safety, it could deter potential vandals and protect your neighbors as well.
Even if you won't be home, consider investing in lights on a timer or use a photocell to detect light levels. While this is a helpful solution all year long, having lights that will appear around dusk and automatically turn off at your requested hour could be an excellent solution around Halloween.
Another solution is motion-activated lights that would be triggered by unwelcome intruders on your property. Whether you want to abstain from the commercialism that is Halloween or you're out on the town at the best costume party, this is another great solution to consider.
Leaving the house dark isn't the only way you might accidentally attract burglars. Be mindful of other hints that your house is empty — such as announcing your evening plans on social media. That great all-night party promoted across social channels could mistakenly put you at risk. But, leaving a car in the driveway, timed external lights, and select interior lighting will help create the illusion that someone is home, adding an additional layer of protection.
External Lighting Can Be a Key to Safety
Another key factor surrounding the need for external lighting, especially around Halloween, is to mitigate the risk of trips, falls, or other injuries by people not familiar with your driveway, landscaping, or walkways.
With candy being a very strong motivator to knock on random doors and Halloween holding the spot as the top day to give or receive said sweet, you are likely expecting many new visitors to your door and lighting can guide the way, helping visitors make a safe journey.
Trip hazards such as sprinkler heads, hoses, and dog toys are easy to miss without external lighting and an injury by trip or fall on your property could easily turn into a nightmare! If should someone should trip under any circumstance on your property, you may be held responsible, so make sure to keep pathways clear and well-lit.
Types of External Lighting
Outdoor lighting fixtures are available as hardwire, plug-in, or solar units. The range of power, intensity, and style run the gamut, from security and flood lights to wall lights, post lights, ceiling-mount or pendant lights, landscape lighting, motion-sensor lighting, and more.
As with interior lighting, there can also be a range of bulbs available to power your external lighting from LED and CFL to halogen, fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. Choosing bulbs that let off the type of lighting you prefer is always nice and, although many are suitable, be sure that the bulbs you select are meant to be used outdoors.
Lighting can be both decorative and functional, lining your walkway and the edge of your drive, mounted on posts, within landscaping – the possibilities are endless. And it's always fun to change out your bulbs from their normal white to a bright orange for Halloween or red and blue next Fourth of July! But before you have the bulbs, you need to select your fixtures. Which leads to another benefit to external lighting: curb appeal.
External Lighting As a Home Accent
There are endless options to provide both great external lighting and style to complement your home. Lighting fixtures can meet your design and environmental concerns. Installation options again include hardwire, plug-in, or solar units, and how they might fit with your current electrical setup is worth considering.
As for brightness, you can go beyond standard lighting and install security or flood lights. But solely from an aesthetic perspective, you can choose from bronze, black, brushed nickel, wooden, and a plethora of other external lighting options to find the material that best complements your home and reflects your style.
Modern, rustic, country, and classic are just some of the external lighting options to help reflect your home's personality, match the overall décor, serving both as function and form on Halloween and beyond.
Strategic placement of lighting, whether celebratory or standard, can also help to direct attention to the areas of your home or landscaping that you want to be the focus, and away from any imperfections. A licensed contractor or electrician can work with you to plan for new lighting installations, taking into consideration these goals.
Perhaps you're considering external lighting that is solar-based which can not only offer a cost savings in annual electricity expenses, but also provide for a positive environmental impact. It's always great to reduce that carbon footprint!
Lastly, when thinking about external lighting on Halloween there's one more to consider: the carved pumpkin! Just remember: candles in the pumpkin may look great, but they do provide for a number of safety hazards.
Consider small, battery-operated faux candles in your Jack-o-lantern instead. Whether your external lighting is thematic and temporary, or a beautiful accent that provides form and function to your home, it is an important element and one that should be considered on Halloween.
Are you ready to add the perfect external lighting to your home?