The Halloween Porch Light Code

published Oct 26, 2010
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Since we’ve been living on our own, we’ve been in and out of apartment complexes each year—without a single Trick-or-Treat’er to be seen. The costumed tots usually stick to house-lined streets to meet their candy quota. But if you’ve just moved up from renting an apartment to owning a house, you’ve got a lot to learn about Trick-or-Treating Halloween etiquette. Lesson one: The Porch Light Code

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

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Ever since we were a little Ninja Turtle (Donatello, four years in a row), there’s been unofficial rules to trick-or-treating safely. Rule #1: Only approach well-lit, decorated homes.

A major clue that a homeowner is game to dish out treats on Halloween is if their porch light—or driveway light—is on and blazing in the October dusk. If the lights were off, we knew they were out of candy or off having some grown-up Halloween fun.

So even though you might ordinarily leave your outside lights on to guide you to the door after an all-night bender, it’s best to leave it off on October 31st, or your doorbell will get a workout with unwanted visitors all night.

And make sure you’ve turned off any motion sensor lights, too.

Now, on the other hand, if you’re excited about your first homeowner Halloween and eager to hand out candy to your first Trick-or-Treaters, we have some advice for you: Turn on your porch light and go for the full-size Snickers. You’ll be the most popular house on the block.