It’s important to think about the lighting of your event, the look and feel of an event can be completely changed with the right lighting.
You can also use lighting to highlight certain areas or elements. Lighting will also affect the mood of your guests; you want them to feel alert and engaged but on the other hand comfortable and relaxed in the environment. Bright strip lighting glaring down for the whole event can easily give people a headache and put them off, similarly using lighting that is too low key and dim will mean people may struggle to engage and notice certain elements.
Design a plan
Think about what mood you want to convey in certain areas of your event; where do you want to focus people’s attention. You want people to be drawn to areas where the action is happening. It’s always worth having a visit to your venue prior to an event; to see what lighting and natural lighting exists already and then you will be able to develop an accurate plan of what lighting will complement this.
Most lighting is LED based but there are still other things available and you have to check with the venue what they can work with. You need to consider energy sources for your lighting and how to safely implement that without covering your venue in wires or having lighting that will run out of energy half way through your event.
Spotlights are key to highlighting important part of your event; if you have a stage with speakers it is vital that you have a spotlight for them. They need to be well light and the audience needs to be a considerable amount darker to get the best affect. Spotlights can also be used to draw focus to certain banners or areas in the space.
Add feature lights
When thinking about the lighting of your event don’t just consider the overall lighting effect, feature lighting can be just as important and a statement piece often makes the space. You can use standard lamps and floor lights to make certain areas feel more intimate or cosy in a large space and vary the design of bulbs from filament to a warm lighting effect.
Uplighters are floor based lights that can be a brilliant way to illuminate a path way through a space, or to draw attention to a certain elements within the show. You have to be careful if you need to run cabling to these sorts of lights not to end up with trip hazards or a mass of cabling jutting out from the edge of your stage area, but a lot of uplighters are battery powered now. If you are cross lighting a stage, consider a stage wash at the bottom of the stage pointing upwards. It will stop any harsh shadowing effects from the more powerful stage lighting.
If you will be filming certain elements of your event, you need to consider how the lighting will affect the visual quality of this, a dark softly lit area may look great in real life, but will not produce good quality images for after. This is also something to consider if you have speakers and stage lighting, check with any film crew or videographers what lighting requirements they may need.
Lighting doesn’t have to be white and plain, using coloured lighting can add to the atmosphere of an event, and could use a certain set of colours to convey your branding during an event. Filters or soft gel can enhance an effect and event a light frost over a harsh light will add a softer tone. Check out the Lee Filter book for some colour ideas.
There are lots of different effects you can create with lighting from a starry sky to water lagoon. Gobos can be used to create a lot of these as well as having your logo or other writing projected using light.