• Tim Reynolds

5 biggest mistakes when booking lighting for your event


5 biggest mistakes when booking lighting for your event

There’s no doubt about it, the lighting you have at your event is a very important factor in how successful it will be. Often there will be in house lighting at a venue but it’s likely that this won’t be enough for your needs; especially if it’s static and you need some movement in your lighting. Like every other aspect of an event, lighting requires careful and thoughtful planning.

It’s well worth putting the time and effort into ensuring you have the best lighting as you want everyone to have the best possible experience at your event. We’re going to take a look at some of the biggest mistakes people make when hiring lighting for an event, and what you need to think about.

Know the venue

Before you can even think about what lighting you need, you have to know the venue for your event. When we say know, we mean really know. Too many people just make assumptions based on limited knowledge; they assume they will have enough lighting based on averages or they take it for granted that lighting will fit into a space without ever measuring. It’s vital that you check out floor plans and lighting charts for the building, as well as your event plans. If you have someone who is making a speech from a stage, you need to know exactly where they will be lit from and how. If you don’t have much venue lighting over the dance floor then you will need to research what is possible, to give it some extra zing.

Know your budget

There are two things that it’s very important to mention, when it comes to budget. The first is that you should be prepared to pay for high quality lighting and be realistic. The second is that realism works both ways and don’t have to go over the top. Lighting that is too glitzy and intrusive can end up looking tacky anyway.

What worked for them may not work for you

How many of you have wanted your party to look just like someone else’s because it was so amazing; with a few individual touches added, of course. The problem is that lighting can look incredible in one venue and not so great in another. It’s essential that every event has its own lighting plan; to take account of the layout of the venue, the atmosphere you want to create and the physical requirements of the event itself.

The professional touch

Unless you’re a lighting professional it’s highly unlikely you will be able to create a truly effective lighting experience. It’s worth noting that by effective we don’t necessarily mean memorable. If you have a special lighting effect at your wedding you may want people to remember it. On the other hand, if you’re organising a business event you may want the lighting to be effective simply by the fact that people don’t notice it; it’s not too dark or too glaring, it’s just right. Lighting professionals know that “uplighting” is required for conferences and business events where speakers need to be seen and highlighted; whereas “downlighting” is the best option for creating a relaxed mood at a party.

Stay classy

We already mentioned that lighting which is over the top and flashy can look really tacky; often it really is true that less is more. Many people are drawn in by the promise of all the latest technology when it comes to hiring lighting for an event. While it’s important that lights function well, it’s far more important that your lighting is subtle and classy with a sprinkling of fun and individuality where appropriate.

We can’t tell you what lighting you should have at your event; each one is different. We can give you this information about what you should avoid when hiring event lighting, and what you need to think about. Hopefully it will help when you’re planning your event.

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