What Does A Green Porch Light Mean? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

Once, not too long ago, porch lights were just one color: white. Well, a yellow-white. Nowadays, people are starting to get a little more creative with their lighting. During different times of the year, it’s common to see porch lights in a wide range of different colors. This includes colors like red, orange, and even green. But, did you know that a green porch light can actually mean something?

A green porch light tends to have several connotations depending on the area as well as the time of year. Some of the most common meanings include Irish pride during St. Patrick’s Day, Lyme Disease awareness, as well as raising awareness for veterans.

There are a lot of meanings that come with the right porch light color. This guide will give you an idea of what could be going on if you see a green light shining over a home.

Why Do People Get Green Porch Lights?

While there’s definitely a handful of people out there who might do it for stylistic reasons, the truth is that a green porch light tends to be something done as a statement. What many people don’t realize is that the green porch light movement is one that tends to have official meanings. Many of them tend to have specific days or months surrounding them. So, let’s discuss each by the day or month.


The most common reason why people choose to turn their porch light green is as a way to get festive during March. After all, March is the month of Saint Patrick’s Day—and that means Irish folks are going to want to party it up. Among people who are avid fans of the holiday, it’s not uncommon to leave the porch light green for the entire month.

Among certain neighborhoods, having a green porch light for St. Paddy’s means that you probably are going to have the most entertaining party on the block.


May is another major month for the color green, but this one might be a little surprising. It’s not due to any patriotic holidays. Rather, May is a “green porch” month because it’s Lyme Disease Awareness Month. Lyme Disease is one of the most debilitating diseases that can be caught via a bug bite. More specifically, it’s carried by ticks.

If you see a green light during May, it’s because the family there likely wants to raise awareness about this disease. In some cases, it may also be a sign that someone has been affected by Lyme Disease in the house. It’s a health awareness issue.


If you see a green porch light during the month of November, then it’s safe to assume that this is a way of celebrating Veterans’ Day. The green in the light resembles American Army uniforms, which tend to be one of the most easily recognizable uniforms from the Armed Forces.

In some areas, this also can take on a slightly darker meaning. Among places with high numbers of veterans, people who recently had a service member pass on might light a green porch light in honor of them. However, this is more of a regional thing than it is a national issue. It’s safe to say that people who go green in November just really appreciate the Armed Forces.

Does A Green Porch Light Have Drug References?

One of the most pervasive urban legends to date deals with the use of colored porch lights for the use of selling drugs, or even adult services. While there is some truth to the whole “red light” aspect of things, seeing a house with a red porch light does not mean that the place is a house of ill repute!

The truth is that no drug dealer in their right mind would advertise drugs via a porch light. It’d make getting caught way too easy and is also rather foolish. If you hear of people advertising drugs for sale via porch lights, it’s safe to say that the person who told you that was full of it. With that said, there is a slightly drug-oriented reason for a green porch light.

What Does This Have To Do With Cannabis Legalization Support?

Cannabis legalization is one of the bigger hot-button topics in the political world lately, and it’s not surprising that people are coming up with tons of ways to show their support. Among states where cannabis legalization is on the ballot, it’s not unusual to hear of people getting green porch lights as a way to show support or celebrate passing legislature.

While there are anecdotes of this being a thing on a larger scale, I want to emphasize that this is not an official meaning of a green porch light. Moreover, it needs to be emphasized (yet again) that having a green light in support of cannabis does not mean a family is dealing drugs.

Green Porch Light Etiquette

For the most part, people are not going to complain about green lights. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be a bit more discerning about how you add that light to your porch. These tips below will make sure that you don’t end up with extra issues…

  • Do check to see if your HOA or neighborhood has rules against certain porch light colors. This is extremely rare, but hey, you don’t want to get fined, right? If your neighborhood has rules against porch light colors like green or red, obey the rule. If anything, hanging up string lights in the garden might be a better option.
  • Don’t make your porch light flicker or flash. This can be construed as a distress signal, particularly if you live in a rural neighborhood where police may need assistance to find a home.
  • If you have neighbors that live in the same building, give them a heads up if you can. Don’t worry if they may be concerned at first. Sometimes, explaining why you are doing something will help get them on board. People love to help out!
  • If the porch light color is part of a neighborhood effort or a non-profit’s effort to raise awareness, don’t be afraid to go the extra mile. Raising awareness through letters or a sign can also work in your favor and help improve your chances of making a difference.
  • Remove the green light once the month you’re in is over. While it’s a good idea to keep causes in mind for the time being, the truth is that the message gets diluted if you don’t remove the bulb when you can. At times, it can even take away from your regular decor.

How Much Does A Green Porch Light Cost?

A green porch light won’t cost you too much compared to regular lights. Most green light bulbs will cost between $5 to $12. Assuming that you are going to use an eco-friendly bulb means that you should expect prices to be a bit higher. Of course, since this is considered to be a “party bulb” there’s no need to worry about long-term effects. After all, you’re using it temporarily.

Author’s Note: If you want to keep things environmentally friendly, get a smart bulb that allows you to change its color via a phone. It’s no fuss, no muss, and also tends to be the most environmentally green choice.

Related Questions

Does a red light always mean adult content?

While this is the more famous and sordid meaning behind a red porch light, it’s far from the most common use of this light. The truth is that red lights are often used as a way to raise awareness for the American Heart Association. At times, it’s also a festive light. This is especially true when it comes to the month of February since it’s Valentine’s Day.

What does a purple porch light mean?

A purple porch light is quickly becoming the way to signal that your home is a safe space for survivors of domestic abuse. It also is a way to signal that you want to raise awareness for people who have survived domestic violence issues in their own family. If you are in need of help, try to strike a conversation with the neighbor with the purple light to find out if they are able to help you out.In some cases, they may be able to help you hide. In others, they may be able to help you get in touch with someone who can provide shelter. At worst, it can help you meet a much-needed friend.

What porch light colors deter insects?

Insects tend to be repulsed by yellow, orange, and red lights. This is because they tend to be attracted to shorter wavelengths. Stuff on the red end of the light spectrum will have a longer wavelength, thereby making the light less interesting to moths. This is often why homes in the Deep South tend to prefer having yellow lights in the summer. It’s a way to avoid getting eaten up by mosquitoes.

Related Articles

Ossiana Tepfenhart
Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

More by Ossiana Tepfenhart