Using a Halloween Light Show Controller

Need information on using a Halloween light show controller? That must mean you’ve decided to set up your own spectacular outdoor light show, possibly after seeing some amazing creations outside other people’s homes. Fear not – I’m here to help!

First, you should understand that a Halloween light show — just like one you set up for Christmas or any other occasion — requires three key elements: the lights, the controller, and the software. You will likely want to add music to the mix as well and synchronize your light show so it’s precisely matched to it, which we’ll get into a little bit later.

Keep in mind that there are far more advanced configurations possible and that sequences come in almost unlimited combinations, but for our purposes here, we’ll focus on a basic, straightforward light show for the beginner.

How Does it Work?

A light show involves connecting lights to your computer. In order for these to communicate with each other, you need something called a controller. You can actually use multiple controllers for a more advanced set up, but let’s stick to one for now.

Here’s what a very simple setup looks like:

light show layout

  1. Computer with special software (easy enough — more on that later)
  2. Speakers for your music (connected to your computer)
  3. Converter (a simple adapter for connecting the controller to the computer, like this USB to DMX converter)
  4. Controller (the magic device that controls your light show; I recommend the Light-O-Rama CTB16PC Controller)

What Kind of Lights Do I Need?

You can actually use just about any type of light that you can connect to the controller.

A popular choice are RGB lights (Red-Green-Blue) which can actually change to any colour at any time depending on how your sequence is programmed.

These are usually available in a variety of styles, from bulbs to flood lights to light strips (pictured to the left).

Supernight creates a good, affordable LED light strip that’s ideal for light shows and can be extended to include more kits based on how many you need to cover your area. A lot of people attach these to the outline of their house.

How Do I Create My Sequence?

You’ll need special software to create your own custom sequence, or you can purchase and download a pre-made sequence. If you’re lucky, you might be able to download a sequence for free online.

Light-O-Rama is the industry leader in this space, so you’d be wisest to use their software. They offer everything you need including videos, training courses, and pre-made sequences if you’re in a hurry.

Need more help? Check out my Halloween Dance Music Playlist, my favourite party dance light, or learn all the basics in Halloween Party Planning 101.

Feel free to leave a comment or question below. I’m here to help and I always welcome your ideas as well!

6 thoughts on “Using a Halloween Light Show Controller

  1. SWEET!

    I actually never knew I could control lights with a controller through my laptop.

    This is the one thing I’ve been missing all along with my halloween parties. The RGB lights seem like they will certainly add to my party’s atmosphere this year and really give my party goers the creeps!


  2. Wow, what an awesome website.
    I have never heard of Halloween light show controllers…nor Christmas light shows…not sure where I’ve been!
    But I love the concept! Would love to see some examples of the light shows and the effects they can produce. Do you have any plans of adding this to your site?
    My curiosity is really peaked.

    • Hi HolisticJB. I’m honoured to be the one to introduce you to light controllers. I do plan on providing access to some great demo videos in the future. In the meantime though, I encourage you to visit YouTube and search for Halloween or Christmas light shows. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish!

  3. OMG straight up best website ever! I LOVE Halloween. It’s my favorite day of the year, I wish it was Halloween everyday in fact. I know it may sound weird, but I’m all for the spooks and the creepy, gloomy, jack’o’lantern fun! I love your post and love your site, have bookmarked it and will be coming back, please keep adding stuff! Maybe I can sneak in a little Halloween to my day throughout the day with those ideas, however a Halloween light show would a bit tough to “sneak in” 😉

    Take Care!

    • Thank you so much for the compliments, Eva! I will definitely be keeping this site updated regularly as Halloween is my personal passion as well. I hope you’ll visit again soon, and please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you sneak some Halloween into your everyday!

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