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Discussion Starter #1
I just figured out how to "innocently" shield my front yard from that @$%! street light- I'm going to make a giant floating prop that has a body of translucent green plastic sheeting, so that the street light will give a green glow to the whole yard. :D

I started out thinking of a big "Happy Halloween" banner hanging down from two 3ft balloons, then I thought, "hmm, I probably will need two sheets of that stuff hanging down side-by-side." Then I thought, since I'd need three balloons, I could make the middle one a head!

If I could find large, long white balloons, I'd tie three or four together, spacing them with line to make skeletal hands on the ends, and use a white or orange balloon for the "head" with contact paper for facial features.

So....


Where can I get some REALLY big balloons? :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Jeez, you're a fount of knowledge!

I googled last year and didn't come up with anything affordable. Thanks! :)
 

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My pleasure.Every year there's tons of talk and complaints about street lights interfering with peoples haunt lighting. The usual moronic replies involve such activities as shooting the light, shooting it with paintballs, user a laser light on the street light's sensor, and worse. All of which leave you open to law suits should anyone claim they were injured by the lack of lighting. Your idea is the first time I've heard of this approach, and as long as you're clear of power lines, it sounds like a viable one.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Underground utilities, so I should be all right.

Gonna have to do some *careful* weighing. I thought those balloons lifted more than they do!
 

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This operation would require several large balloons, and a whole lot of helium.
We blocked our streetlight a couple of years. For us, the streetlight is on our side of the street, with the boom that supports the light hanging out over the street, away from my house.

We used a piece of half inch plywood with one side painted flat black, and used a bicycle cable fastened to the plywood, in an arch on one long side.
We hung the plywood up, suspended by the cable that was fastened over the boom of the streetlight, we put the black side facing the light. The flat black kept the plywood from reflecting any light back into drivers eyes.

Because the shield was placed fairly close to the lightsource, it blocked out a large amount of the light that would normally be projected towards my house.
It cast such a great shadow that quite a few TOTs refused to come up to my door, and because the darkness was so stark and sudden, it made it seem a great deal darker than it actually was. Not hi-tech, but it worked well.

The biggest fight was getting it up and down. The first year we did it, we just used a rope tossed over the boom of the light, and hoisted the board up, then tied the rope off to the vertical pole of the streetlight. It worked, but it made me nervous.
The second year, we used the cable to secure the board, it meant that I had to put up a 16/32 extension ladder on the light pole, then haul the wood up and secure it, a bit scarrier than the rope method, but no worries about the cable wearing through for the night. It was a lot of work taking it up and down, but the effect was very dramatic.
 

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I honestly never thought about my street light. The light just added safety in my eyes but I really like the idea of ballons.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
These balloons are actual weather sounding balloons. I think the smallest is 4 1/2 ft in diameter. IIRC, the 5 ft one will lift 4 pds besides itself.
 

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I have a streetlight problem too and might want to make my yard darker as I add to stuff to my yard in the future. The helium ballons and a sheet sounds like a good idea, I might try that myself.

Be aware though that to get the most lift you will need to purchase commercial grade helium. The stuff you buy at party city in that small tank is watered down, so to speak, its not straight helium. I think its a safety issue.

Also the streetlight might be less of a problem than it being daylight out for an hour longer due to the new time change going into effect next year...that bums me out.
 

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As far as the city letting us do the board bit, I don't think they knew about it, it went up late in the afternoon, and came down early in the morning, and the only place it effected was my house and the sidewalk in front of my house, the street illumination remained the same.

I live next to a military base, and they (the government) won't allow highflying balloons or buildings over two stories for about an eighth of a mile around. They are very paranoid about big balloons, especially ones that can carry stuff, or interfere with flight operations.

Those big weather balloons require a whole lot of helium, and they don't last all that long, so if you are looking at doing your haunt for more than a night, be prepared to spend quite a few dollars for the balloons and helium.
The cooler the air, the more difficult it will be to get your balloons filled, if you are looking at severe temperature changes, then you have to be careful not to overfill the balloons, the gas expands with heat, so what seems fine in one temperature, may be way too much (pop!), or way to little (rasin).
 

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FontG,
I'd be too worried about some kid tripping and me getting ripped for altering city property. You'd be really screwed if someone took you to task on eclipsing a street light.

Though I give you credit for taking the risk and ignoring/violating city regulations.

Bend the rules to suit our crazy Halloween hobby!

:D
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yeah, I've been pondering this in my spare time this week. At 5 to 7ft across, this puppy will be HUGE. I'm wondering if maybe simply making it a giant flying jack o lantern might be enough

(I haven't told my wife that she'll have to park her car down the street so I can store the balloon in the garage, so I can run "light-blocking tests" before halloween. Pray for me.)
 

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I had thought about using weather balloons to float a ghost around the yard.
have a foam skull and cheese cloth ghost hang by spider wire fishing line and let the balloon float above a hundred feet in the air.
with the balloon anchored to the ground at four points you could move the ghost around by pulling on the balloon strings. or a series of motor controled winches
 

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Discussion Starter #16
kryptonoff said:
Remember helium might be expensive to fill up a weather balloon.
i can get a pretty decent sized helium tank at Party City for $40. I might go with the bigger one for $50 and give out balloons to the kids.
 
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