Now, for the the lighting techniques: this part is more subjective and everyone's opinion may vary --- discussion is welcomed
I want to start off by asking the rhetorical question: "What good is your $5000 animatronic if no one can see it?" Many people spent tens of thousands of dollars on building their set, awesome animatronics, but pay little attention to the lighting. I dare to say that lighting can make or break your scene. It brings out what you want your visitors to see and hides what you don't. It's great for misdirection, mood setting, and showing off all the hard work you went through to put your haunt together! I've been through several haunted houses on tours where we go back during the lights-on saying "I wish I had seen that in the dark, I didn't even know it was there!" On the contrary, you also don't want to walk in to a haunt where you CAN see everything, then there's no mystery --- this is why LEDs are perfect, they're not as bright as traditional lights, and can highlight JUST enough of what you need, nothing more and nothing less.
LEDs are also great because they come in so many different colors and tend to give more of a pure color than your traditional par cans with gels over them. Because LEDs are directional by nature, you can use it as a spotlight for many of your scenes.
- A single LED enclosed in a tube can pinch off the light spread making a solid spot, this is great for highlighting props or casting creepy shadows
- Several LEDs with a wider dispersion angle can give a nice soft flooding effect to a scene, you can get a nice glow in a corner of a room
- There are many high powered LEDs on the market now (1Watt or even 3Watt), just a single one of these can flood an entire scene with color.
For completeness, I'll list a few examples of where to use certain colors (some may be quite obvious):
Reds: dungeons, hellish areas, any scene with fire, blood, or guts
Greens: alien scenes, labs, jungles, graveyards, creates a creepy mood
Blues: cold mood, freezer, water scenes, graveyards, futuristic scenes
Amber: this color makes anything look old (like in old color faded pictures), great for attics, barns, warehouse, also use with fire scenes
White (cold): almost the same color as fluorescent tubes, use in offices scenes, or to highlight props that need to show full color
White (warm): similar in color as a traditional light bulb, use it to make your scenes more natural looking, also use to highlight props that need to show full color
Remember if you're highlighting with any of the colors other than white, you'll most likely wash out the colors you used to paint your scene. Often times your scene detail make look awesome when you have normal lighting on it, but if you hit it with a red light, everything in that scene will be some shade of red.
I suggest to detail your set in actual haunt lighting --- this way you'll know what the final product actually looks like (or at least switch between your normal light and haunt light during the detailing process).
Alright, I know this was a pretty long post and really thank anyone who took the time to read this. If I had left anything out, let me know and I'll try to offer my advice as best as possible. Thanks!