Purple Porch Lights Are Being Used To Send a Message—Here’s What This Outdoor Lighting Really Signifies

May 12, 2023
4 mins read
Purple Porch Lights Are Being Used To Send a Message—Here’s What This Outdoor Lighting Really Signifies

While it is typical for porch lights or outdoor house lights to be either a cool or warm white, every now and then you might spot neighbors with a vibrant colored light bulb instead. Between holidays, special months or occasions or even personal decoration choices, there are so many reasons why someone will have different colored porch lights. And it’s normal to think nothing of it, because it probably seems like there’s no way one person’s reasoning is the same as another’s. However, when it comes to what purple porch lights mean, the significance can be specific and universal.

Your first thought when seeing lights on someone’s porch probably doesn’t have anything to do with awareness or activism. But when it comes to what purple porch lights mean and stand for, it’s exactly that. We’ll explain what purple porch lights mean and why you should take more notice of them, especially in the month of October.

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What is the meaning of purple porch lights?

So, what does a purple porch light mean? It’s the universal color for domestic violence awareness and if a house is using a purple porch light, they’re most likely spreading awareness about domestic violence and survivors of it. 

It can be a little tricky to determine if that’s actually the case, just because Domestic Violence Awareness Month is in October which is also a pretty popular time to use purple lights for Halloween decorations. But especially if you spot purple lights without Halloween decor surrounding it or during other points in the year, you can probably assume it has to do with domestic violence awareness. 

Why is purple the color for domestic violence awareness?

You’re probably familiar with different colored ribbons to symbolize different awareness campaigns for various cancers, sicknesses or groups. For example, yellow ribbons can stand for childhood cancer awareness, pink ribbons are for breast cancer awareness and black can stand for melanoma awareness. Most colors double for multiple cancers or awareness campaigns, but it’s not just for ribbons. When it comes to what the color purple stands for, it symbolizes Alzheimer’s awareness, epilepsy awareness and domestic violence awareness.

Again, emblematic colors are not just for cancer or illness. Movements and different groups have their own representative colors that stand for their cause. And purple is the universal color for domestic violence agencies, campaigns and awareness ribbons. All Against Abuse notes that the reason purple was chosen as the color for domestic violence awareness is because it’s the color of royalty and it became the symbolic color for women’s suffrage in the early 1900s. And, ultimately, “for survivors of Domestic Violence, who may also be wounded both physically and emotionally, the color is meant to be a symbol of peace, courage, survival, honor, and dedication to ending violence.”

Where did the practice of using purple lights start?

So, why do people use purple lights for awareness anyway? Back in 2004, Curt Lindsley and Victoria Throm co-founded the Covington Domestic Violence Task Force in Covington, Washington, to raise awareness for domestic violence and find a way to give support to survivors. Two years later, Throm started Purple Light Nights, which aimed to continue spreading this awareness through purple lights. They adorned trees in purple string lights and urged residents of Covington to do the same with their houses.

Since 2006, Purple Light Nights spread nationwide to 32 American states and 4 Canadian provinces. But with this campaign in existence, anyone can use it as inspiration to adorn their house with purple lights or purple porch lights whenever they want for this cause. 

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What does a purple light on a house mean?

Whether a house has porch lights that are purple or outdoor house lights that are purple, odds are that the owners know about Purple Light Night, or they at least know that using purple lights signifies support for domestic violence victims. 

People can use purple string or holiday lights, they can have purple light bulbs on their porch or they might have outside lighting on their house that is purple. 

What are different colored light bulbs meanings? 

There are other colors of porch lights that might mean something if you see your neighbors using them. 

Red lights: 

Red porch lights could represent support for American Heart Month if you see them in February since the color red is associated with heart health and awareness.

Blue lights: 

Blue lights have a couple of meanings. The owners of a house or porch with blue lights could be spreading autism awareness or showing support for the police.

Green lights: 

Green lights are typically reserved for military veteran awareness. It could also be for Lyme Disease Awareness if you see them during the month of May.

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Purple lights: 

As mentioned above, purple porch lights or house lights mean awareness during Domestic Violence Awareness Month or general support for domestic violence survivors.

Blinking porch lights: 

Typically, blinking porch lights mean there’s an emergency, regardless of color. Unless they’re fairy lights or festive, string lights flickering, if you see your neighbors’s big porch light going off and on, something dire might be going on.

Depending on the month of the year or if there’s a special holiday that might warrant a fun porch light bulb color, colorful porch lights could mean something different for everyone. But next time you look up and see a purple porch light, take a bit of time to think about domestic violence survivors and maybe donate to a charity working to help victims. 

Next up, learn what an angel shot is and what it means if you order it at a bar

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