What Do The Lights Mean On 'Stranger Things'? Joyce Made An Important Discovery
Whether you're into monsters and 80s nostalgia or not, you have to admit that visually, Stranger Things is a stunningly beautiful show. One of the most memorable visuals, pictured above, is how Winona Ryder's character Joyce uses Christmas lights to communicate with her missing son, Will. But what do the lights mean on Stranger Things ? Spoilers for Season 1 ahead, because to solve this mystery I'm going to have to examine all the clues. It's clearly no coincidence that Dr. Brenner and his group of secret government science goons disguise themselves as "Hawkins Power & Light" when out in the open.
Lights are used as various indicators of paranormal activity on Stranger Things, and not just because flashing lights help to build suspense. A bulb in Will's shed mysteriously turns on right before he is taken by the monster. This happens a few more times as the season progresses.
At one point, Joyce experiences flashing lights in her home that respond to her questions. She says that Will is "in the lights," which sounds crazy. Still, this is what prompts her to buy multiple sets of string lights and set up a type of "speak and spell" or Ouija board in her home so that the lights can answer more complicated questions. The question is, are the lights being controlled by Will or by the monster? Is this some rule of The Upside Down, or was it a security system put in place by Brenner's crew?
In the final episode, the lights do something else strange. Jonathan is fighting the monster with Nancy and Steve while both Joyce and Hopper are searching for Will in The Upside Down. They sense each others' presence on either side, and lights start to slowly track a path in the Byers' house as Joyce calls to Jonathan.
So, with that information, I think the lights help to track human activity in The Upside Down — whether those people are able to control it or not. The only person who might have an answer is Will, but unfortunately he was not asked. That's understandable, the kid almost died, but I'm still curious as an audience member. On Stranger Things, light is magic, or so we think...