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Tips and Tricks

Over the years of creating and photographing our displays, we have learned some great tips and tricks, and would like to pass them on to you. If you have any you would like to share, feel free to send us an email about it to loreilly123@hotmail.com.


Tip #1: Use adaptors for battery packs instead of batteries.

We love the accessories that light up and/or have motion, and we would purchase a lot of batteries each year for them. Batteries are not cheap, and it always seemed like there were some that needed to be replaced. Plus when power levels are running low on the batteries, the accessory doesn't shine as bright or move around like it did when the batteries were new.

We tried out the adaptors for the battery packs and discovered how great they are in both performance, and money savings. They are also extremely easy to use. The adaptors cost under $8 per adaptor, but one adaptor can handle three battery packs. Than means the cost per battery pack is less than $3, which is less expensive than batteries. Of course you don’t have to keep replacing the adaptors like you do the batteries. So by using the adaptors instead of batteries, we are saving money and getting better performance.


Tip #2: Use 1 ft extension cords for your outlet strips.

Outlet strips usually comes with places to plug in six adaptors. More often than not the adaptors you want to plug in are bulky in size, so you are lucky if you are able to get more than three adaptors plugged into your outlet strip. The solution is to buy short extension cords, and by short we mean 1 foot long extension cords. I did a search on Google and found a site (http://www.winfordeng.com/products/pwrext.php) that has then for $2.75 each or less depending upon the quantity your purchase.


Tip #3: Turning your buildings and accessories on and off.

As stated above, we love accessories that light up and/or have motion, but turning all of those battery packs on and off is a hassle. It always seems like we forgot one, so then we have to go back and search through all of the battery packs to find the one we forgot to turn off.  So what if we left all of them on, but turned the outlet strip on and off? We are not engineers, but this seams like a safe thing to do. Clearly it is an easier thing to do. If you are an engineer and know if it is safe or not, please let us know.


Tip #4: Using colored lights against the backdrop.

Through our experiences with display platforms and backdrops, we learned what really makes a display backdrop stand out and that is using black lights and colored lights. Both types of lights are inexpensive but add a tremendous effect to the display.

Black lights make all the white areas of your display and backdrop visually stand out. In the pictures of our displays we used a black light which makes the moon and the clouds seem almost 3-D like. The bulb was a standard size light bulb, and bought at our local home improvement store. We used the black light over the display, but using it in a floor lamp would work just as well.  Amazon sells small, 6” hand-held portable black light for under $10 that you can locate them on the side of your display. Spencer Gifts (located in many malls) sells a 2 pack of black lights on a base so it is easily adjustable.

Another type of light that we use is purple lights from Lemax Spookytown. A set of two lights retails for under $15, but often you can find them for about half that price. These lights are small, and have a base to them so they can be angled the light in various positions. We used them behind the buildings, pointing towards the backdrop. It is best if the rear of the display is a few inches away from the backdrop, so the lights can be pointing across the backdrop instead of point directly at it. The purple lights shining against the backdrop gives a nice Halloween glow.