Halloween is just around the corner, which means fancy dress, Jack o' lanterns and trick-or-treaters. If you're thinking of throwing your own Halloween party, or just want to add some spooky atmosphere to your home, the right Halloween lighting is crucial. With that in mind, we bring you 7 Halloween lighting ideas to turn your home into a haunted house.
Add a creepy Halloween glow with coloured LED strip lights
There is no easier way to introduce otherworldly colours to your home than with colour-changing LED light strips. From blood reds to zombie greens, LED strips make the perfect Halloween lighting when used in the right way. Turn your front door into a mysterious portal by fixing strip lights around the frame, or run them along skirting boards to cast a ghostly glow across the floor. Many light strips have adhesive backing, so they are easy to fit in place and easy to remove.
Use ultraviolet bulbs to create a room that glows in the dark
The familiar purple glow of UV bulbs can turn even the most inviting room into something out of a haunted house. Take advantage of their glow-in-the-dark properties by filling rooms with plenty of white decorations: skulls, skeletons and ghosts will shine under the ultraviolet light that these bulbs emit. Make sure you use a Blacklight Blue (BLB) bulb though; other ultraviolet bulbs are not appropriate for decorative purposes. See our in-depth guide to UV bulbs for more details.
Transform your garden lights
Through the summer, traditional solar lanterns can be an elegant addition to any garden. Dress them with some fake cobwebs (unless you have some way of gathering real ones) and they will resemble something straight out of a haunted Victorian mansion or creepy graveyard. They're perfect if you're throwing a Halloween party and want to give your guests the option of a night-time stroll in the garden. Never mind that rustling in the trees. It was just the wind, wasn't it?
Shine a light on your Halloween with coloured spotlights
If you have a gruesome Halloween centrepiece, show it off with coloured LED spotlights. Coloured GU10s are perfect for the occasion as they can just be screwed into your existing light fittings and removed again when Halloween is over.
How to carve the perfect Jack o' lantern
No Halloween lighting is more traditional than the good old Jack o' lantern, and carving your own is a fun way to decorate your home. Pumpkin carving continues to grow in popularity, so it's easier than ever to find the right tools for the job. Follow the steps below to carve the perfect lantern this Halloween.
Pick a fresh pumpkin, and one with a flat bottom, if possible, to stop it rolling around
Cut around the stem of the pumpkin to make a removable lid. Pro tip: cut the lid at an angle so it doesn't fall into the pumpkin when replaced. If you're not using a specific pumpkin carving kit for the job, use a sharp serrated knife.
Scoop out the pulp from the inside of the pumpkin. Once this is done, scrape some of the flesh out from the inside to make it easier to carve
Use a felt tip or marker pen to draw your design on the front of the pumpkin. If you're feeling ambitious, you can now find pumpkin carving stencils all over the internet that can help you carve more intricate designs
Carefully carve along your outline or stencil to create the 'face' of the Jack o' lantern. Obviously, take great care when carving and always cut away from your body in case the knife slips
Tidy up the edges of your carving with a smaller knife - a modelling knife will do the trick - and scrape out any loose bits of pumpkin remaining on the inside
Place a tea light or LED candle on the inside of the pumpkin and replace the lid, and your Jack o' lantern is finished!
Nothing says haunted house like some well-placed, flickering candles. If you're worried about knocking real candles over, you can buy flameless LED candles, many of which flicker just like the real thing. Bonus: they won't ever get blown out by sudden, unexplainable drafts of wind.
Create the right atmosphere with warm white lights
Halloween lighting doesn't necessarily mean coloured lights. A dim, warm white glow can create the right atmosphere, especially when used with some carefully chosen Halloween decorations. If you are dressing your home for a Halloween party, it is always a good idea to have at least one room reserved as a place of sanctuary. Cozy warm white LED candles and fairy lights are perfect for this.