Every Colored Porch Light Meaning Demystified
Author: Rick Worst | Editor: Omar Alonso
Review & Research: Jen Worst & Chris Miller
Do you know the meaning behind the color of your porch lights? You might think the color of your lighting is innocuous, but many people see hidden meanings behind the color choice you have on display, even if it's kind of goofy. Let's explain each colored porch light meaning.
This post unpacks the difference in the meaning of colored porch lights. You might want to reconsider your color choice after reading about them...
Colored Porch Light Meanings – Unpacking the Different Colors
Porch light color choices have a specific meaning, so assessing the color before lighting up your home or an outside area is a good decision. The color choice usually symbolizes the homeowner or residents' support of different social causes.
Some colors in these types of light fixtures have positive meanings, while others can be a little seedy. Other colors only feature at specific times of the year, while others run year-round. Let's go through each of them in detail.
Red Porch Light Meaning
You can’t assume the meaning of the homeowner when you see a red porch light because there are many possible options. You can use the process of elimination if it’s not during specific holiday times, though. And some are myths and old wive’s tales too. We’ll let you decide about your own neighbors!
Heart Health & Valentine's Day
If you notice a red porch light during February, it can mean one of two things. First, the resident is showing support for American Heart Month, attempting to spread awareness of the importance of cardiovascular health and their association with the American Heart Association.
During February, the AHA encourages the public to wear red to support the cause, and many homeowners light up their porches with red bulbs.
Secondly, February 14th is Valentine's Day. Some homeowners light up their porches with red bulbs to show appreciation for the holiday and impress their loved ones. If you notice the porch is red on the 14th but not on the 15th, it's likely the homeowner chose their lighting to support Valentine's Day, not AHA awareness month.
A red porch light displayed on October 30th and 31st usually is a sign the homeowner supports "devil's night" and Halloween... or so people say. It's most likely just a fun way to decorate as people have moved on from your basic spooky orange color into using red and even purple now.
A red porch light also has seedy meanings, though it's completely unlikely this is why your neighbors are using this color of bulb. Still, you'll want to consider this if you plan on using red lighting year-round. A red light on the porch can symbolize that the venue is a brothel. This color choice originates from the "Red Light District" of Amsterdam and other European locations.
During the 1890s, American brothels placed a red light in the venue window as a code to indicate the property was a brothel. While this practice stopped over a century ago, it's still in the back of many people's minds when they see a porch lit up with red lighting.
The second seedy possible meaning behind a red-lit porch is to signify the property is a drug den. It is said that dealers use this lighting choice to show they have drugs on hand, and the user is welcome to use their premises to hang out and do their drugs.
However, this meaning might be more urban myth than reality, and it's certainly not in use today, or the police would have a much easier time identifying dealers and drug dens. But it's worth considering if you plan to install red lights on your porch. The last thing you want is SWAT breaking down your door because a neighbor got the wrong idea.
Blue Porch Light Meaning
Like red lights, blue porch lights have multiple possible meanings, both of which are positive, so you won’t need to fend off any negative assumptions about your lovely neighbors. Let's dig into this pleasant colored porch light meaning.
Lighting up your porch with blue lights during April shows support for World Autism Day on April 2nd. This UN-sanctioned celebration started in 2007, with the trend of people using blue lights on their porches to support the cause occurring around 2010.
The decision to use blue porch lights to support the cause comes from the advocacy organization "Autism Speaks" and its "Light It Up Blue" awareness campaign. While World Autism day is only one day during April, many supporters keep their blue lights shining throughout April.
Law Enforcement Support
The organization Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) uses its Project Blue Light campaign to show support for police officers and other members of the law enforcement community. The campaign started in 1989 to commemorate officers who risked their lives for justice in the line of duty. These homes will likely also have a flag hanging on the front of their house as well.
While displaying blue lights during April is more commonly linked to support for World Autism Day, if you see blue lights on porches during the Christmas holidays, it's likely to be in support of the Project Blue Light campaign.
Purple Porch Light Meaning
Shining purple porch lights aims to show support for women abused through domestic violence. This awareness campaign was started in 2007 by the Domestic Violence Task Force. This advocacy group has its headquarters in Washington state, using the Purple Light Nights campaign to spread awareness of its cause.
The Purple Light Nights campaign aimed to bring public attention to domestic violence and its impact on communities. It also shows support for the victims of domestic violence, honors the survivors, and mourns its victims.
Green Porch Light Meaning
If you notice a home with green porch lights, it could be showing support for one of two campaigns. The first and most common is to promote awareness of the Greenlight a Vet campaign. This campaign occurs each year around November 11th, which is Veterans Day.
The program's goal is to support military members returning home to face civilian life after being on tour. Many homeowners light their porch green for the entire month of November to show homage to the campaign and their support of the military. Some people choose to leave one green light glowing on their porches year-round.
The second meaning behind a green-lit porch is to bring awareness to people with muscular dystrophy. The Light It Up Green campaign supports Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month. You'll notice supporters of the cause lighting their porches up with a green glow during August to show their support.
The third reason people light their porches green is to show support for Lyme Disease Awareness Month in May.
A fourth reason people light their porches up is to commemorate St. Patrick's day in March. Homeowners may choose to light their porch green for the entire month or just on the day itself, March 17th.
Yellow Porch Light Meaning
Yellow porch lights also have multiple meanings. The most common use of this color is to show that people are welcome in your home. Some cultures use yellow lights to signify the residents are open to business ideas and conversations.
Sometimes, a yellow-lit porch may signify that the resident has no political affiliation. It's more common to notice this color choice during the country's elections. This is possibly the dumbest colored porch light meaning, honestly. "We're signifying that we aren't signifying anything!"
Orange Porch Light Meaning
If you notice an orange-lit porch, it's another color choice showing support for victims of domestic violence or sex crimes. The color signifies both, and it also represents a resident's commitment to the campaign of ending interpersonal violence.
The purpose of the lighting campaign is to give victims of violence a feeling of hope during their recovery. Lighting up your porch orange means either the resident are themselves victims of violence or that they welcome others to come over and chat about their experience and recovery.
Pink Porch Light Meaning
The meaning behind a pink-lit porch is to show support for women with breast cancer. It's common for people to shine a pink light on their porch during breast cancer awareness month in
The second meaning behind shining a pink light on your porch is to show your neighbors and community that they are welcome on your property. The idea behind this is to create unity in the community and show you're a friendly household your neighbors can trust.
White Porch Light Meaning
Homes shining white lights on their porch could be doing so because it's a popular lighting choice for displaying the area, with no cultural significance behind it. They simply choose the color for its practicality and to secure their homes against criminals prowling around their property.
However, if you notice your neighbor shining a white lantern on their porch, it means that they're home and expecting people to arrive for a function. If it's off, it means that no one is home. This lighting choice was common until around the 1980s, giving their neighbors notice of their activities.
While it was a popular choice in the 1960s and 1970s, many people stopped using this lighting choice due to exposing themselves to home break-ins while they were out. Many considered it a security threat and stopped the practice.
What Does a Blinking or Flashing Porch Light Mean?
This is another myth, so please don't take it seriously. The idea is that if you drive past a neighbor's home and notice their porch lights blinking, you'd want to call the police or neighborhood security. It could be a sign that the homeowner is experiencing an emergency, such as a home invasion or a heart attack.
If you buy into these stories, you'd ask the person on the other side of the phone to come for a wellness check on the residents. But it's very likely just a malfunctioning porch light that's about to go out for good.
All Colored Porch Light Meaning Explained
And now you know what all these various porch light colors mean to the people who use them. The thing to remember is they're always trying to signal something to those who see it, so it can't be a meaning that's so obscure nobody knows why they're using those color of lights. And if everyone knows what it means, it's not going to be nefarious or creepy. And that's the colored porch light meaning explained for every possible color.