Bringing the Carnival Home


Carnivals and funfairs zap us back to our childhood: fun, food and warm, welcoming lights. Carnival lighting is seeing a huge surge in popularity at the moment and is a great way to bring some fun and excitement to your home.

Big bulbs and bold colours are where it’s at, with arrows and letter being the most popular types of lights. If you love carnival lights but aren’t sure where you could use them, here are some ideas to get you inspired:

At events – letters are particularly popular at weddings, with initials of the couple being used or words such as ‘love’ spelled out in bright lights. As the evening draws on, the carnival lights can add both a touch of class and fun.

In the kitchen – making a carnival light in the shape of food or drink adds an extra dimension of fun to your kitchen! We’re fans of a big-bulb coffee cup sign. Using carnival lights in the kitchen can result in a great 1950’s diner effect. Compliment this with carful use of colour and decoration to complete the look.

On shelves – smaller versions of carnival lights make great shelf ornaments. Brighten up a book shelf or add light and interest to a dull corner of your room. If you fit one of our dimmer switches you can adjust the intensity to change the ambience.

In the garden – perfect for a feature wall or seating area. You could try an arrow style carnival light pointing to the space where you entertain guests. They don’t have to be used in a sign either, just using strings of large bulbs can bring the carnival look to your garden in a more subtle way. Using outdoor lights will increase the time you can spend in your outdoor space and ensure you really get the most out of those warm summer evenings.

Around a mirror – Using large bulbs around a mirror creates a fantastic vintage Hollywood film look.

Children’s bedrooms – Any kid’s room would be cheered up by carnival lights. You could spell out their name, initials or simply just put up a fun shape like a star or heart to make their room great fun. They also make a handy nightlight for children who don’t like the dark!

You could also use carnival lights to theme a children’s party, adding in classic popcorn box holders and strings of lights.

Make Your Own Carnival Lights

Making your own light is a great way to keep costs down, as bespoke carnival lights can be quite expensive. Try using foam board and poster board to make your shape, as it’s lightweight for wall mounting; then add your bulbs.

The best type for this are LED bulbs as they’re low powered and long lasting. We have a great range, so we’re sure you’ll find something to suit your needs. It also means you’d be able to use batteries to power them over the short-term, perfect if you’re taking your lights to an event. If you want a more permanent fixture around the home, using a transformer to light them is a good, safe way to do this.

If you are up to some woodworking then the best thing to do is to use paper or card to make your templates, before using a jigsaw to cut out the final patterns.

Simple and bold is the key, and for something that has the look of the carnival they can be incredibly classy. For inspiration it’s a great excuse to look up some retro films, Elvis’ ‘Roustabout’ instantly springs to mind or to research vintage photographs online.


Only time will tell as to whether the carnival light trend is here to stay but while it’s popular, make the most of this fun theme to jazz up your home, garden or events. Whilst carnival lights are readily available, they can be expensive, so if you’re good at crafting, it makes perfect sense to create your own. Use LED blubs for a low energy, long-lasting light source and experiment with different colours and styles to create something really unique to you, that everyone is sure to admire.