What Does The Color Of A Porch Light Mean? (Find Out Now!)

Ossiana Tepfenhart
by Ossiana Tepfenhart

If you drive around neighborhoods a bit, you might have seen something a little strange going on with certain homes. More specifically, you might have noticed that most peoples’ porch lights are a warm white. Yet, not all are. Sometimes, you might see a bright blue light shining down on the porch. Or a red one. Or a green one. So, what’s the deal here? Does it actually mean anything?

In recent years, multiple organizations have started to adopt different porch light colors as a way to help raise awareness for their causes. The most common porch lights with a specific meaning behind them include:

  • Red: American Heart Association
  • Blue: Autism Awareness or Back the Blue
  • Green: St. Patrick’s Day or Veterans’ Awareness
  • Purple: Domestic Violence Awareness
  • Pink: Breast Cancer Awareness
  • Orange: Halloween or “Light Up Delphi”

Before you go out and buy some new bulbs, it’s a good idea to get a grip on what each bulb color means and how it can help impact your community for the better.

What Does A Red Porch Light Mean?

Traditionally, we all know that a red porch light tends to mean something a little bawdy—like a “red light” district. However, that doesn’t mean you should assume that your neighbor is a freak in the sheets. The reason people now add red lights to their porch deals with the American Heart Association.

Red lights are common during the month of February, when the AHA asked the public to turn their porch lights red as a way to raise awareness for heart health issues Americans are dealing with. It also happens to be Valentine’s Day’s month, making it a romantic and festive way to communicate your support.

What Does A Blue Porch Light Mean?

No, it doesn’t mean that your neighbors miss the Blue Light Specials at Kmart. Having a blue light can mean one of two different things, depending on your neighborhood and who you ask:

  • Autism Awareness. During the month of April, you might see an uptick in blue lights in and around your neighborhood. This is actually because it’s autism awareness month. Blue happens to be the color multiple ASD associations chose to represent being on the spectrum.
  • Back The Blue. In some parts of the country, having a blue porch light on during months aside from April can mean that you’re showing support for local law enforcement. These porch lights can also be a sign that a family whose member worked in law enforcement lost someone.

What Does A Green Porch Light Mean?

If you see a green porch light, there could be several reasons why your neighbors have it up. This color actually has more meanings than blue, so don’t be surprised if this is the more common one.

  • The Luck Of The Irish! During the month of March, a green porch light usually signifies that your neighbors are festive. This is why many porches carry a green light during the month. Who knows? If you wear enough green, they might invite you to their Saint Paddy’s Day bash.
  • Veteran Awareness. Many uniforms in the United States  Armed Forces are green, so is it any wonder that this becomes a common color to show unity with military families? It’s a thing, especially around November. After all, that’s when Veteran’s Day is.
  • Memorial Day. Memorial Day celebrates service members who have fallen in the line of duty. Because they are associated with the army, it’s not uncommon to see green porch lights around this holiday, too. In many areas, it can signify that someone lost a loved one at war.

What Does A Purple Porch Light Mean?

Out of all the porch lights that hold meaning, this one might be the most important to know. Purple porch lights stand for unity against domestic violence. More specifically, it states that the people inside the home stand against it, that the house is a safe space battered spouses can run to for help, and that they will not tolerate any form of violence within its doors.

Many survivors of domestic violence shine a purple light at their porches year-round because of this. If you or someone you know is a victim of domestic violence, tip them off to this light color. It could possibly save their life!

What Does a Pink Porch Light Mean?

A pink porch light is somewhat rare but may be used to display support for Breast Cancer awareness. You’ll often see more pink porch lights in October, as this is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Though, this is generally more common in the UK, where they also wear small pink bows to show support for those who have previously suffered or are currently suffering from breast cancer.

Though not as common in the United States, pink lights may be used to offer a nice, calming glow on a porch, without taking on such a symbolic meaning as many of the other colors on our list.

What Does an Orange Porch Light Mean?

Many people choose to switch their porch light colors to orange as a decoration for Halloween. All throughout the month of October, you’ll often see orange porch lights all across the country. Orange is, of course, a very festive color for both Halloween and the Fall season. However, in 2017, the orange porch light took on a whole new meaning.

“Light up Delphi” was a movement that encouraged residents of Delphi, Indiana, and across the nation to change their porch lights to orange as a tribute to Abby Williams and Liberty German. These two teenagers were brutally murdered in 2017, and the orange porch lights served as a constant reminder that the case remained unsolved and police were still searching for their killer.

An Important Note About Porch Light Color Rumors

The porch light meanings that we’ve mentioned above are all considered to be official interpretations of the light color. However, there are many urban legends surrounding the colors of different porch lights. Most of these urban legends are just that: legends. If you’ve heard some sketchy rumors about a specific light color, then you should keep reading to find out the truth.

Does A Red Light Support Gun Reform?

For a short period of time, people claimed that having a red light on your porch meant you have no guns at home. This is not true. Red doesn’t have any official link to gun reform or gun rights activity. While some might put it up to say that, it’s not official nor do most people actually pick up on it.

Does A Red Light Mean A House Has Drugs?

This is an urban legend that’s fairly ancient, and the light color that it is tied to tends to change from place to place. Most of the time, it’s red. But, it can also be blue or green or purple, or even something far more innocuous, like orange. None of these signals are the least bit true. If they were, police would have a far easier time cracking down on drug-related crimes.

Does A Green Light Mean A House Is Pro-Cannabis Legalization?

Officially, having a green light will not suggest anything about a person’s interest in cannabis legalization. This rumor is actually a spin-off of the “red light = drugs” rumor that often made 80s housewives panic. While it’s easy to see where people have gotten this idea, there have been no indicators that people have actually done this for the sake of cannabis legalization.

If your local city has decided to do a cannabis legalization celebration, then you might see some green porches. However, you’re better off assuming that it’s the whim of some festive folks rather than a political statement on cannabis.

What Does A Blinking Porch Light Mean?

A blinking porch light does not officially mean anything in terms of supporting a cause. In most cases, it means that you or your neighbor needs to get a close look at their lighting setup and figure out if they have an electrical issue they need to take care of. A quick fix is all that’s needed in most cases.


There is an exception to this rule. If your neighbor is in an emergency and has called the police, they may set their porch lights to blink. This is a way to alert the police and help guide them to the right house. It can help save time and also make it easier for police to spot the home. This method of raising alert is very common in deep rural areas where missing a turn can mean time between life and death.

Before assuming your neighbor is in crisis, give them a call to find out if they’re aware that their light is blinking. They might be unaware that their light’s doing funky things until you tell them.

Related Questions

What does a purple street light mean?

In some municipalities, a new piece of technology has been unveiled that helps municipal workers figure out where gas maintenance needs to be done. The lights actually help prevent the flow of excess gas through lines, and sometimes, you can see them working out on the street.If you see this, don’t worry. There’s no gas issue around your home. It’s just a new tool that can help run city utilities a little bit smoother than most. These are still fairly rare, so expect to see more of them in the upcoming years.

What color porch light keeps bugs away?

Do you live in an area that’s prone to mosquitoes and gnats? We’ve all been there at one point or another. Scientists showed that having the right porch light can deter them from arriving at your porch. The most recent science suggests that having a bright yellow light can repel most types of insects.This might be why yellow light shades are so popular among homeowners, and why it’s common enough to see golden glows from porches in the Deep South. It’s worth noting that yellow does not have an “official” light meaning aside from you disliking getting bitten by mosquitoes.

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.

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