Monday, October 25, 2010

Do You Put Up Halloween Lights?

I put up lights for Halloween. After putting together our Seadog Cemetery , I realized no one could see our hard work and lunacy in the evening unless we lite it. I grabbed a couple of  spot lights from the garage and that did the trick.

I tried to get the spooky shadows while still seeing our pirate graveyard, with varying results - sorry.

One year I noticed a store selling strings of purple Christmas tree lights in orange boxes and calling them Halloween lights. Husband and I laughed all the way home because we had several strings of the same thing that we used on our tree in our old rental. Ha! Ha! Ha! The greenest (and cheapest) thing is what you already own!

Set of 2 Halloween Lights - Purple
Christmas or Halloween lights? I say both!

Just like my childhood Christmas light tradition, I plugged the lights in at dusk and kept them on all night and unplugged them in the morning.

October’s electric bill was scary indeed.

The following Halloween, we were in our 20% Energy Reduction Challenge. I thought that my lights would have to go. Everyone told me the only way I could reduce my electric use was to get rid of all of my old stuff and buy new stuff.

That got my stubborn Danish hackles up and I refused to give in. I want a green life on my terms. Not on the terms of some so called expert's green dream of living like Little House on the Prairie (No thanks. Been there, hated that and the hats give me bonnet head – not my best look.) I mean that’s great if you want to live like that, but that is not my green dream. I don’t think green living has to be an all or nothing kind of life.

Fortunately, there is another green way. Actually several. All of them are listed on One Million Acts of Green. Even if you’ve been doing the green living thing for awhile or are just beginning, you may find some new things to consider. I did.  I like that One Million Acts of Green gives you several options for greening the same thing. I don’t know about you, but my holidays are rarely the same year after year and I think that’s a good thing.

5 Ways to Green Your Outdoor Halloween Lights

  • Switch From Disposable To Rechargeable Batteries.  We are slowly switching over from regular batteries to rechargeable batteries. That includes Husband’s favorite animated Halloween decorations. They themselves aren’t green, but I took them in a greener direction. This is real life and I’m not trying to deprive us of every bit of fun and Husband likes his motion activated ghost that shakes and says, “Yah-looolooolooo!” The battery powered not so green elements are only a small percentage of the Halloween decorations we have.

  • Replace an Incandescent Light Bulb with a Compact Fluorescent Bulb When I use the spot lights, they use halogen bulbs which are more energy efficient than an incandescent light bulbs but not as energy efficient as a compact florescent but they withstand the cold better in winter. I have CFLs in my porch lights. They take awhile to warm up in the winter because of the cold though.

  • Replace Your Incandescent Holiday Lights With Seasonal L.E.D. Lights.   If you are in a situation where you don’t have lights or would like more strings of lights than consider buying a string of LED lights. The LED lights are more slightly more expensive than the incandescent strings but they use less electricity, especially if you put them on a timer. I have one string of multicolored LED lights for Christmas and I like them. The quality of light is different. I think it’s more “glowy” and prettier but some disagree. What do you think?

I’ve done all of these over the years in various combinations. For example, this year Husband and I didn’t put up our Sea Dog Cemetery and spot lights. To light the way for Trick or Treaters, I have solar powered garden lights along our sidewalk for extra lighting and CFLs in our porch lights.

Have you checked out One Million Acts of Green? If not, you’re missing out on an opportunity to win a $5,000 shopping spree at All you have to do is log in and share your Acts of Green. You can log in using the Facebook app too!

Halloween lights seem to be a relatively new decorating thing. I don’t remember anyone putting up lights for Halloween when I was a kid, do you? Do you put up Halloween lights?

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Disclosure:  Rockfish Interactive, in partnership with Cisco are compensating me for my considerable time on this project. However, my ideas, words, and opinions are my own and are not influenced by this compensation. See what the other ambassadors have to say about One Million Acts of Green: Crunchy Domestic Goddess, Green Your D├ęcor and Green and Clean Mom.