When it comes to LED lighting, a lot of people think getting as many lights for as cheap as possible is the best way to go. But that’s about the same idea as buying fast food cheeseburgers as opposed to going to buying one at a good restaurant. Sure – they taste pretty good and they’ll get you by (especially if you’re on a budget), but you absolutely notice the difference when you step it up a bit.
It’s the same concept with higher-end LED fixtures. Products like our Nano Spots are an excellent and totally economic solution, but there’s a reason we also offer higher end products. Invest in the right thing from the start and you’ll end up saving yourself money.
To hammer this point home, we’ll take a look at some of the myths that keep people on the “the cheaper, the better” school of thought.
1. Myth: All LED Lights are the Same
A traditional green LED only outputs green light, so no matter what color the object you are illuminating is, it will appear green under a green LED. In the picture above you can see how the green LED light is washing out all the colors of the Rubik’s Cube, making every square appear to be a different shade of green. Perfectly fine if you’ve got something like a green frog prop to illuminate.
Using a Precision Alpha with a green theatrical gel preserves the full range of white light while adding a green tint. You can see above how the green gel preserves the original colors of the cube (you can actually tell which squares are yellow, orange, red or blue) while still producing a green tint. You don’t want your make-up artists, scenic designers and prop makers spending hours on awesome paint jobs that are quickly obliterated by a colored LED. Using theatrical gels over white LEDs allows that hard work to shine through while still achieving your desired ambiance.
2. Myth: It’s Cheaper to Buy Many Inexpensive LED Lights
One Precision Alpha is as bright as 15 single-LED Nano Spots! Small LED fixtures like the Nano Spot are great for illuminating small areas while keeping rooms or hallways dark, but when you want to light up a large prop or spotlight an area, using a higher output light will save you money! Not only will you save money on the fixtures themselves, but you’ll also save time on wiring and installation – and if there’s one thing we all know it’s that time = money.
3. Myth: You Need a Separate Lighting Controller for Each Room in your Haunt
It’s actually super easy to share a lighting effect over multiple rooms using a single controller. For example, if you have multiple rooms where you want a failing electrical effect, you can use a single DarkBox Flicker unit to produce the same effect in each room! Since people aren’t seeing the rooms at the same time, they won’t be able to tell that the lights are sequenced together. Pretty clever, eh?
4. Myth: Installing LED Lights is a Hassle
Lighting is one of the finishing touches that can really make your haunt shine. It should be something you look forward to, not something you dread. You’re finally getting a chance to see how kick-ass all your hard work is going to look on opening night.
One way to make things easier is to use a portable battery pack, some theatrical gels and a white LED light to test different lighting in your rooms. You can quickly move from room to room making notes about light placement and color choices and later, you can have an installer mount and wire lights using your guidelines. Use this technique to save you time and money. If you change your mind on a color, it’s much easier to swap out a gel than it is to mount a new light.
You can get a sample book of colored gels online from companies like Rosco.
5. Myth: Lighting Isn’t That Important
This is probably the most insane myth that we’ve heard repeated over and over again. We here at FrightProps have seen a LOT of haunts, and I can say without hesitation that the #1 thing that distinguishes the good from the bad is lighting. It’s sad to see a great haunt ruined by improper illumination. It’s like a cook baking the most delicious cake ever and then using mayonnaise as icing.
Are you cringing? Now you know how we feel.
Just look at the example above to see how excellent lighting can bring a scene to the next level. From the creepy glow inside the washing machines to the great blend of warm white, green and amber on the soiled linens and grime, you can really see how much better a room can look with the right illumination.
For more cool tips on LED lighting, check out or Support and Training Center! And if you have tips of your own, leave us a comment.