Light Your Event
We’ve set out to make lighting as simple as possible. Below is a visual guide to lighting terms and definitions to help you understand the lingo used in lighting for event. Lighting brings events to life and helps showcase (and minimize) elements and features that you like in a space or don’t like in a space.
Light fixtures project washes of light adding color, warmth and depth complementing the colors you are using for your decor. Uplighting looks fantastic in photos and is a great base layer for transforming the event space.
Generally you need a light for every 10ft – 20ft of wall length depending on the overall look that you want to achieve. In the example to the right the spacing is every 10ft. Uplighting can come in any color of the rainbow for your event. Amber, blues, purples, teals, reds, yellows all look really nice for uplighting. Oddly enough colors like green can be unflattering when used exclusively and colors like black and brown can’t be achieved. Silvers can be done as whites, a texture light, or in conjunction with a pipe and drape.
You can do a solid color throughout the room, multiple colors or have the lights change for different points during the evening.
Texture lights project patterns on walls, ceilings, floors, dance floors, stages, etc to create depth, contrast and interest. Patterns can be matched to your events design choices to provide a fully immersive look and feel to the room tying in all the design elements together.
There are hundreds of stock patterns that can be used ranging from simple to ornate to abstract. Custom designs can also be made based off of decor elements. The actual templates used that have the pattern are called gobos. Here is a good definition of gobos.
Texture lighting may also be referred to as leko lighting, gobo lighting, source 4 lighting or altman lighting.
Very narrow beams of light are focused on specific elements in the room highlighting them. Centerpieces, the cake table, place cards, guestbook area, sweet heart tables, bar areas can all benefit from this type of lighting.
This type of lighting is key to create a high end, elegant, high contrast look. The extra light at each of the tables allows the overall ambient light in the room to be lowered allowing us to create the perfect ambiance.
Cake Spot Light
A form of pin-spot lighting, cake-spot lighting is tailored specifically to illuminating the cake. We use a combination of light fixtures from different angles to illuminate the cake in the most flattering light possible.
The fixtures we use are very small and we blend the custom built lights into the decor and have a number of different covers so that the lights are unobtrusive as possible. These lights are perfect for illumination cupcakes, desert tables and any other feature elements in the space.
Monogram lighting is a form of gobo lighting. We’ll work together to come up with a design and have it created into a template called a gobo that we mount into a light.
We can project the monogram anywhere you would like in the room. Popular locations include the dancefloor, prominent walls in the space, behind the head table, or at the entrance into the room or on the outside of the venue.
The picture on the right shows a grayscale glass gobo which allows us to have the large S in the background while the names Mandy & Dan appear on top of the logo. More information on types of gobo materials.
Battery powered light discs that can be placed underneath items like centerpieces, buffet displays, photos. They project from underneath and can be set to any color. Centerpiece lighting is a great way to highlight centerpieces on your table and add warmth and color into the room above and beyond traditional candles.
They help your flowers shine and your guests see the decor and elements at each of their tables. Works really well in conjunction with candlelighting.
The Blisslight creates 1000′s of pinpoints of light that look like stars that slowly move towards and away from each other creating a slow moving starfield effect.
This light has a very large coverage area of over 50ft x 50ft making it a great value in terms of overall coverage. Behind the stars the light produces a blue/purple “nebula/cloud” effect that slowly moves creating a captivating 3-D effect making the ceiling feel taller. It’s a great light to use throughout the evening to dance under the stars or to create a fairy tale wedding effect.
The Blisslight is excellent to use with low ceilings. The optics create a large coverage area without having the light to be far way from the surface the Blisslight is projecting on.
The light also works well on white drape, walls, floors, and anywhere that you need a very large, dynamic lighting effect.
These 6ft trees have LED white lights mixed into their green leaves and branches that can be set to plain white lights or a sparkle effect. These are great for adding depth and interest in the room or to hide or minimize unsightly room features.
Fairy berries hit the market recently and have been one of the biggest hits with weddings to date. A fairy berry is a 3/4in opaque white ball with a light and battery that slowly fades on and off at random times. This creates a firefly effect that is unbelieveable. Fairy berries come in a rainbow of colors to match any event’s decor and color choice. Each berry lasts approximately 16 hours on one charge and are waterproof. They are great for hanging from arrangements, putting into arrangements, or creating a shimmer effect throughout the entire room.
Pipe and Drape
Pipe and drape refers to the pipes that hold up fabric panels that can be used to define spaces, cover up unsightly room features, create cabanas, or create beautiful backdrops behind features in the room.
Generally white and black drape are starndard but there are hundreds of color and fabric options. White fabrics work really well with uplighting because they take the colors from the lights really well. Sheer fabrics and customized colors can also be used to achive really high end, matched looks that will help set your event apart.
Another element to consider in pipe and drape is whether it’s a flat layer of fabric or if it’s doubled up to create the textured look in the example to the right giving a nice pleated look that fits in better for weddings opposed to flat used at tradeshows.
In the example to the right there is a white drape used with a purple drape to create a design for the sweetheart table for the couple.
Lighting In The Big Picture
Lighting is the most cost effective way to transform and enhance your reception space. Choose a company who strives to understand your event, asks questions, and is able to show you what each of the lighting effects will do to a space. Flowers, cakes, menus, food, place card settings, photos, venues and people all look better in the right light. Vision is the one of most important senses to entertain during an event, lighting is the magical element that helps you define exactly what they see.
This photo uses battery powered amber uplighting (amber beams of light), texture lighting (swirls around the monogram), monogram light (E&Z in front of cake), cake-spot lights (why the cake pops out and is bright), and pin-spot lighting (focused on each of the centerpieces in the room).
Lighting costs vary depending on the market, length of event, date of event, travel distance, venue, types of lighting fixtures, seasonal & citywide demand, planning, theme, engineering, etc. Many variables go into determining the exact pricing for an event.
Now that you have the tools to understand wedding lighting terms and definitions, learn more about budgeting and how much wedding lighting costs through our guide on wedding lighting pricing.
Book Your Wedding Lighting Today!
We work with you to come up with custoized lighting options for your wedding that will truly set your wedding apart and making it unique. We can work within your budget to create the biggest impact. We have worked at many of the best venues in the Virginia, Maryland and DC area and can offer our personal insight as to what the best lighting options will be for each venue. This type of expertise and integration into your entertainment is what makes us one of the best entertainment companies in the DC area.