A tea light or pillar candle is a tried-and-true way to light a Halloween pumpkin. Nothing beats the warm glow of a real candle, but unfortunately, they can be a real inconvenience. Candles tend to burn out quickly or blow out in windy or rainy conditions. They require careful placement to avoid fires, and you must remember to blow them out at the end of the evening. Fortunately, over the years more convenient and safer options have come available. Check out the tips below on choosing the best light for your jack-o’-lantern this Halloween season.
There’s a myriad of ways you can light up Mr. Jack including glow sticks, Christmas lights, LED lights, battery operated tea lights or small LED flashlights. Check out our illumination guide.
Do you have a few party glow sticks left over from a previous celebration? They are the perfect option for lighting up your pumpkin. Just place inside your pumpkin and check out the soft, spooky glow they emit. And they last for hours. Glow sticks are ideal for lighting small pumpkins. For bigger pumpkins, buy a few high-intensity glow sticks. They won’t last as long, but they’ll be brighter. Battery-operated jack-o’-lantern glow sticks with stands are also available.
A small string of Christmas lights is one of the easiest ways to light up your carved creation. Just stuff them inside or wrap the lights around a clear, glass jar and pop inside. You’ll want to plan ahead by carving the pumpkin’s opening on the bottom or back to make it easy to hide the electrical cord. Instead of the usual white bulbs, try green, red or purple lights for a new look.
LED Light for Jack O’ Lantern
Do have a battery-operated LED push light lying around the house? You can find this type of light lighting stairways or closets. Install fresh batteries and place it inside your pumpkin for an instant, super-bright light.
There are also battery-operated LED lights available especially designed for jack-o’-lanterns. They are available in fun versions including:
- Yellow flicker light
- Color-changing light
- LED flashing strobe light
Small LED Flashlights
For bright light that lasts, place a small LED flashlight inside your pumpkin. Or, add multiple flashlights for a more radiant look.
Battery Operated Tea Lights or Votives
Two or three battery-operated tea lights tucked inside your jack-o’-lantern will add a lovely glow. Flickering versions will add a more realistic dimension to your Halloween decor. Hint: Orange color tea lights will blend well with your pumpkin’s interior.
Illuminated Pumpkin Stand (Electric)
Another way to create spooky light for your jack-o’-lantern is an electric pumpkin stand which includes: an outdoor-rated sturdy base, a 15-watt candelabra bulb, socket assembly, and electrical cord. To set up an illuminated pumpkin stand:
- Cut a small hole in the bottom of your pumpkin.
- Set the pumpkin on top of the stand and plug in the power cord.
Any 15-watt or less bulb is ideal to light a pumpkin. LED, CFL, flicker, color or a night light bulb works well. Plug the pumpkin stand into a light timer and the light will go on and off automatically. No more having to remember to turn your pumpkin off at night!
Remote Control Pumpkin Lights
Go high-tech with battery-operated, remote control pumpkin lights. Specially designed for Halloween pumpkins, this LED light set will offer hours of foolproof illumination. Plus, the kit comes with a remote control so the settings can be changed from up to 20 feet away. Use the remote to turn the light on and off or adjust the brightness and flicker settings with a touch of a button.
With a wide variety of options to illuminate your jack-o’-lantern, you’ll have an eerily welcoming glow emitting from your porch in no time!
How to Make Your Jack-O’-Lantern Last Longer
After carving, pumpkins begin to decay gradually due to dehydration, air, mold, and mildew. Make sure your jack-o’-lantern is mold and mildew-free throughout the season with these step-by-step instructions.
To preserve your pumpkin, you’ll need to:
- Remove any dirt from the pumpkin’s exterior with a damp cloth then dry the pumpkin.
- Mix Wet & Forget Outdoor in a 5 gallon bucket: Ratio of 1 part Wet & Forget to 5 parts of water.
- Dunk the pumpkin in the bucket. The solution will prevent the pumpkin from developing mold and mildew.
- Roll the pumpkin in the Wet & Forget for three minutes.
- Take the pumpkin out of the Wet & Forget.
- Place your carved pumpkin in a cool, shaded area.
(Photo courtesy of Nan Palmero)