Halloween Outdoor Lighting Ideas: 18 Spooky Ways To Light Your Yard

Looking for some ways to add spooky Halloween outdoor lighting to your yard? These ideas are sure to make your house the coolest one on the block!

Halloween is my absolute favorite holiday, which is why I always go all out with Halloween decorations like my haunted house decor and my annual Halloween graveyard. But no matter whether I’m doing indoor or outdoor decor, I think lighting is what makes or breaks a good Halloween display.

Cool Outdoor Halloween lighting ideas

Halloween Outdoor Lighting Ideas

It’s no secret that I love Halloween…and I especially love doing up my yard with Halloween lights.

And there’s no missing my house on the block. I definitely don’t subscribe to the “less is more” school of Halloween decorating (although to be honest…I don’t really belong to that school for any kind of decor).

Halloween outdoor lighting
Lots of Halloween lighting

It’s been many years since I created my first yard haunt with lighting (and I still use all of those lighting ideas in my Halloween yard decor).

However, since then Halloween decorating seems to have taken on a life of its own.

Every year I learn a few more lighting tricks to help make my yard look spooky. So the list keeps getting longer!

Keep reading to find my favorite Halloween outdoor lighting ideas.

1 | Choose the Right Colors

Orange and blue Halloween outdoor lighting
Halloween Orange and Blue Lighting

The first step to getting awesome Halloween outdoor lighting is choosing the right colors.

Blue, green and purple spot lights add the perfect spooky atmosphere for your front yard Halloween cemetery or yard haunt.

Ghost over a Halloween cemetery with orange and blue Halloween outdoor lights

I like to add orange and red lights as the accent colors since they contrast well with the blue and green. (They are opposites on the color wheel).

And they are usually bright enough that people can still see where they are walking.

Purple and orange Halloween outdoor lighting with Halloween tombstone and path lighting

Try to stay away from too much white light for Halloween as it tends to drown out the other colors (you know, the ones that add the spookiness factor).

2 | Use Colored Flood Lights for Atmosphere

Halloween tombstone lit with a blue floodlight
This tombstone looks blue because of the spotlight pointing up at it.

If you only do one kind of outdoor Halloween lighting, this should be it.

Colored flood lights let you provide broad light across a scene, or highlight a specific feature depending on how you position them.

Halloween fence and tombstones lit with blue Halloween outdoor lighting
Halloween Blue Flood Light

You can vary the color to provide a different feel for different sections.

Blue, green and purple lighting tend to be eerie and ghostly (great for a cemetery, as I mentioned above) while orange and red are more fiery, like pumpkins and flames.

Halloween ghosts in a graveyard lit with a blue spotlight
The blue spotlight makes everything look spookier

Pointing the spot light at light colored props like skeletons, tombstones and ghosts will make them look like they glow in the dark.

LED Flood Light – via amazon.com*

For even more flexibility, you can buy LED spotlights that allow you to change the color…then you can re-use them in all kinds of different situations.

These 10 Watt LED flood lights that plug in and have a remote* are perfect for Halloween settings (and can be re-used for other lighting applications as well).

Because they are so versatile, I use these almost exclusively in my Halloween graveyard.

Halloween skeleton highlighted with a blue flood light

Using white props like skeletons (and my white fence) really reflects the blue flood light and creates a spooky atmosphere.

3 | Replace Porch Lights With Colored Bulbs

A red porch light over a Halloween witch prop
A red porch light creates a spooky backdrop

Change out the bulbs in your porch and garage lights with red* or orange light bulbs*.

This still provides light for guests coming and going from your house, but doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the yard with white light.

An orange porch light behind a Halloween banner adds a spooky effect

You can also use it as back lighting for a Halloween banner* which makes the sign really stand out (click HERE for more information on how to use Halloween Banners).


4 | Use String Lights For Accent Colors

Orange String Lights Outline an arbor over a Halloween cemetery
Orange String Lights Outline the Arbor

String lights are the same kind of lights that everyone uses for Christmas, but are now becoming more common place for Halloween outdoor lighting as well.

String these along fences, over arbors, or over bushes as you would Christmas lights…but again, it usually works best not to use white bulbs.

Orange and purple Halloween lights with creepy cloth over an arbor

Purple* and orange lights* are easy to come by around Halloween and work very well.

Orange string lights under a witches cauldron look like burning embers
Orange string lights under a witches cauldron look like burning embers

You can also use them in more non-traditional ways. Put a coiled up string of orange lights under a witches cauldron* to make it look like it’s simmering on coals. (Note: These witches came from grandinroad.com…they are usually available a couple of months before Halloween).

5 | Make A Cauldron Boil

DIY witches cauldron Halloween lighting effect
A mister creates light and “smoke” for a witch cauldron

Continuing with the witch theme from above, you can also use Halloween outdoor lighting to make the cauldron look like it’s boiling using a mister*.

Put a shallow dish with water in the cauldron and add the mister.

The water should cover the top of the mister by about 1/4″ for the best mist effect.

Halloween yard display with witches and boiling cauldron
Halloween mister in a witch cauldron

Add some witches to really make an outdoor Halloween scene.

LED mist maker

LED Mist Maker*

The light from the mister will also help to draw attention to the cauldron.

6 | Set Out Luminaries

Halloween "Enter If You Dare" Luminaries in a front yard
Halloween “Enter If You Dare” Luminaries

Luminaries are bags with words or designs printed on the front of them that are lit from within.

Halloween "Dare" Luminary
Halloween Luminary

You can buy them pre-made from the store (I got the Enter If You Dare ones from grandinroad.com…they are usually available for the couple of months before Halloween) or make your own.

If you are interested in making your own, this video from Southern Living shows you how.

7 | Add a Lightning Machine

Perfect Storm Lightning Machine, via amazon.com*

The next one of my Halloween outdoor lighting ideas is to plug your lights into a lightning machine*.

A Lighting Machine doesn’t really create lighting, but they do cause all of your lights to flicker on and off to the beat of music…which gives your yard the look of lightning.

If you’re planning on adding cemetery music to your outdoor decor, consider plugging all of your lights into a lightning machine for added drama.

Place the lightning machine near a speaker and make sure that the sound is loud enough that the machine can pick up the beat (otherwise it will look like it’s not working).


8 | Use Halloween Path Lights

Halloween Path Lights
Halloween Path Lights

Halloween path lights* perform 2 important functions in your Halloween outdoor lighting scheme:

  • looking spooky (obviously)
  • putting some light on the ground so people can see where they are walking.

Halloween outdoor path lights in front of a tombstone

This will prevent anyone from tripping over your decorations or cords.

9 | Put Out Pumpkins

Halloween outdoor pumpkin light in a planter

Whether you use a real carved pumpkin or plastic ones that you plug in, no Halloween scene is complete without at least one pumpkin.

Halloween outdoor pumpkin light held by a Halloween skeleton prop
Use pumpkins for lighting

I try to place them in unlikely places so they are a bit of a surprise.

10 | Add Strobe Lights

Mini Strobe Light, via amazon.com*

Buy some inexpensive mini strobe lights to add a spooky blinking effect.

I prefer the ones with plugs for my outdoor display because they can be turned on and off at the outlet (at the same time as all of the other lights).

However, you can also get the strobe lights* that are specific for Halloween which come with spooky Halloween sounds and are usually battery operated. Since there is no cord, you have a little more flexibility on where you can place them.

In either case, I like to put them in bushes so that the strobe creates spooky lighting effects with the branch shadows.

11 | Add Eyes To The Bushes

Blinking eyes in a bush make spooky Halloween outdoor lighting
Add Some Blinking Eyes to The Bushes

Make it look like people are peeping out of your bushes by installing some flashing light-up eyes.

Flashing Eyes Halloween Lights*

These lights are easy to install and add the creepy factor to any of the bushes in your yard.

12 | Use Moving Light

Halloween Fire and ice spot light with white creepy cloth
The fire and ice spot light gives a mixture of colors on this creepy cloth

A fire and ice rotating spot light creates this really cool-looking orange and purple mixture of lighting. Reflecting it off some white creepy cloth* over an arbor makes your entry way glow.

Fire and ice Halloween outdoor light projected through plants
Project a fire and ice spot light through plants to create interesting shadows

Or project it through some tree branches to get a spooky shadow pattern behind it.

Fire and ice spotlight

Fire and Ice Spot Light*

These spot lights are similar to regular flood lights except the light rotates like a kaleidoscope and it has a mixture of purple and orange colors.

Pumpkin with blue and orange Halloween outdoor lighting

The lights create a wave effect that makes the shadows look like they are moving.


13 | Project Ghosts In Your Windows

Halloween lighted ghost in window
Moving spirits really make your yard look haunted

Next on the list of Halloween outdoor lighting ideas is to add some projected images to your Halloween decor.

To make Halloween spirits come to life, try projecting a phantom video in your window. This one is behind my Halloween cemetery and looks very realistic!

Digital Projector for Halloween decorating

Digital Projector Decorating Kit*

I used this FX Projector* to project the phantom video on the inside of the window.

Just hang up the included screen (I used velcro dots to attach it to the window frame), and you can see the video from inside and outside!

This projector comes with Halloween scenes and Christmas scenes, so you can use it for more than just Halloween.

.

You can check out the promotional video which has some samples of the videos you’ll get. And all of the videos are set to music…I’m planning on playing the scary Halloween music as the backdrop for my cemetery.

It took a little bit of time (and reading the manual) to figure out how to work it…but I think the lighting effect was worth the effort.

14 | Uplight Some Dead Branches

Spooky blue light in Halloween outdoor yard display
Uplighting ups the spooky factor

Just like in regular landscape lighting, uplighting is a great way to add atmosphere to your yard. And atmosphere is definitely what you want for your Halloween yard haunt!

Place a spotlight* at the bottom of whatever you want to light, and then point the light up to highlight your object.

In this case, I stuck some dead branches in a large tub and hung some white creepy cloth* from them. The blue flood light* makes them glow.

Trees and creepy cloth with a blue up light for Halloween
Positioning an uplight under a tree will make all of the leaves glow

If you can place your light so that it hits the leaves of a tree as well, that will give your yard even more of a spooky factor.

10W LED Flood Light*

I use these 10W LED spot lights* for all of my Halloween spot light needs. They are relatively inexpensive. You can change the color of the light any time you want with the remote control. And they can be re-used for other events throughout the year.

15 | Create Silhouettes

Spooky outdoor Halloween decor created with crows, creepy cloth and a blue spotlight
Back lighting can be an effective way to show off Halloween props like these crows

Backlighting is another traditional landscape lighting method that works for Halloween too.

If you have props that work well as silhouettes (like these crows), lighting the scene behind them will make them stand out.

Blue and orange Halloween outdoor lighting
Back lighting behind a fence can make it look scarier

It’s fairly easy to create a fence silhouette just by putting most of your spot lights inside the fence.

16 | Add Misters to an Outdoor Bird Bath Or Fountain

Halloween outdoor lighting with two misters in the bird bath
Two misters in the bird bath add color and mist

If you have (or can add) an outdoor water feature, misters* give you two-for-one spookiness.

Mist Maker, via amazon.com*

They add light to the scene as well as providing mist.

I like to put a couple in the birdbath to transform it into a spooky Halloween misting cauldron.

17 | Use Creepy Cloth To Reflect The Light

Front yard arbor decorated for Halloween with blue and purple lights
White creepy cloth reflects light

The next entry on my list of Halloween outdoor lighting ideas is white creepy cloth*, which isn’t actually lighting at all. But it definitely makes the lighting show up much better in the yard.

And in case you haven’t noticed, I use it A LOT in my Halloween yard haunt.

Part of the reason is because it looks…well…creepy.

But the other part is that creepy cloth is great for reflecting light.

It looks like it is glowing in the dark, even though there aren’t any black lights in my yard.

This arbor effect was created with a blue spotlight in the front, orange string lights over the arbor and a fire-and-ice spotlight* (from above) behind the arbor.

Creepy cloth illuminated with blue light looks spooky for Halloween
White creepy cloth reflects light

It doesn’t matter what color of light, you are using, it will show up better when it is being reflected by a surface that adds texture and spookiness to the scene.

And creepy cloth* adds both of those qualities!

Creepy Cloth*

Make sure to get the white kind, since the grey and black ones don’t reflect the light nearly as well.

Creepy cloth* can be re-used every year, so it’s a good Halloween decorating investment.

18 | Put Everything On A Timer

Photoelectric Timer, via amazon.com*

As much as possible, I try to use plug-in lights and accessories for my Halloween outdoor lighting.

Then I can put them all on an outdoor timer* and don’t have to worry about making sure everything is turned on.

The other great thing about these timers, is that you can use them again for Christmas or any other time you want to have lights on a timer.

Hopefully you’ve found some Halloween lighting inspiration that you can use in your own yard.

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Have comments or questions on ways to create spooky Halloween outdoor lighting? Tell us in the section below.

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Looking for outdoor lighting to work for your front yard haunt? These 11 ways to create spooky Halloween lighting will definitely provide some inspiration.

Looking for outdoor lighting to work for your front yard haunt? These 11 ways to create spooky Halloween lighting will definitely provide some inspiration.

Looking for outdoor lighting to work for your front yard haunt? These 11 ways to create spooky Halloween lighting will definitely provide some inspiration.

Looking for outdoor lighting to work for your front yard haunt? These 11 ways to create spooky Halloween lighting will definitely provide some inspiration.

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10 Responses

    • Hi Brie…I use 7 of the flood lights for my front yard…2 at the front, 2 at the sides and 3 to uplight bushes, tombstones or other Halloween decor. But it will depend on how big of a space you are trying to light. My Halloween display area is about 15′ x 25′ if that helps.

  • Hi Wanda – Thank you so much! Appreciate your insight. I love your display and have been inspired to focus on the outside of my house this year. All the best! Brie

  • Love, love, love Halloween! I even went as far as marrying a guy whose birthday is Halloween!HA!HA! I have accumulated quite a bit of Halloween “stuff” in the past few years and usually start decorating around the middle of September. I really like all the new battery operated, automatic shut-off lighting and solar lighting. I don’t do the gory stuff that’s out there…that’s not my idea of Halloween. Witches, ghosts, bats, cats, etc. is my theme. I usually buy a few new things each year. When I saw your lighting effects and the spotlights that you used, I immediately went to Amazon and bought 3 of them. 🙂 This year I want to create a haunted “photo booth” in my garage…that should be fun. We live in the country, so we always have a bonfire/weeny roast and I have a walk out basement; soooo, I “spook” it up. Thanks for the idea with the spotlights…Halloween lovers unite.:)

    • That’s awesome, Pat! Your Halloween display sounds fabulous! I also love all of the new Halloween gadgets that come out every year, and can’t help buying a few even though I already have a shed full of them. And I’m with you on leaving out the gory props…I just do the spooky ones 🙂 Have a great Halloween haunt!!

  • Can you tell me what color those flamingos are before being lit. I have some black ones I collected but then was disappointed in how they looked. What color lighting would I use to make them look like yours?

    • Hi Susan…my flamingos are mostly gray with some black markings on them. I lit them with a blue spot light, but I think the gray reflects the light better than black would. You could try painting yours a lighter color and see if that would help make them stand out more.

  • Hi Wanda,

    Your Halloween Decor is absolutely amazing! I love Halloween Decor and you definitely speak to my soul with your creations. Do you offer services to decorate events?

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Thanks, Jorge! I am always happy to hear from a fellow Halloween lover! I am not offering any event decorating services at this time. Sorry!

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