More fun with Blacklights

Last year (2008) I rented a 160W blacklight panel for $30.  That's just for one night.  They sell new for $200.  Honestly, you can can build the equivalent system for about half that and then use it however you like several times during the season (e.g., for your party, then Halloween night, in your decorations, etc.).

I tried a number of other solutions before arriving at this.  Let me run it down for you: Incandescent bulbs are crap.  Doesn't matter how big they are, how much wattage, you need fluorescent ones.  And they need to be big.  That's the recipe that led to this.

Here's the rough assembly (of the light; the couch always looks like this thanks to the dogs).  Each 48" blacklight bulb (40 Watts each) costs under $15, and the fixture costs under $20.

This fixture is designed for interior use connected directly to 120V house wiring.  I simply connected it with a pair of wire nuts to a spare power cord (I keep these on hand for projects like this), and it worked fine.

Here's another view completely assembled.  Sort of.  I have the ballast cover on it so the interior wires aren't all over the place.  However, I've left off the protective plastic cover so that I get the maximum intensity out of it.

Here's what one side of the living room looked like this year (2009).  Shanna made us loads more ghosts and highlighted them while we were putting up other decorations. 

It turned out the particular brand of cobwebs we bought worked exceptionally well under these lights as well, so we added more to this room.  Also note the hooded jack o'lantern with fluorescent paint at the bottom of the frame.  This later became Halloween Jack.

Some more of the ghosts, just to show how many we had by the time Shanna was finished.

The chandelier was originally in Stan's room, but it didn't make sense with the nursery decor, so we moved it out here... not that it made sense in a living room either.

To contrast with the blacklights and to just generally take advantage of the chandelier, I added flicker bulbs.  The lighting is very carbon freeze chamber, isn't it?

And here's Halloween Jack at night over the Halloween Countdown Clock, lit from the inside and fluorescing in the blacklight.  He's totally in his element!

Without the blacklight, the glow-in-the-dark paint is almost invisible.

Here's a wider shot of the whole clock with Jack on top.

As you can see in this wider shot, it's visible all the way from the street, even with all the other lights around the house.

Copyright 2009 the Ale[x]orcist.