How to Light Up Your Event to Create that ‘Wow’ Factor

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If you’re planning a music event, private party or corporate occasion, never underestimate the power of lighting. We’ve all seen how illumination at a rock show can completely change the dynamics of a show. Apply these lighting techniques to any event and you can create something bright, bold and engaging.

Unless you’re a lighting technician, concert lighting is one of those things that most people don’t consciously think about. But with the right tricks and knowledge, you have the power to inspire, impress, move or disturb your audience. Want to take your event to the next level? Here’s how you can create that ‘wow’ factor:

Tailor Your Lighting to the Performance

To truly perfect your event, it’s essential the lighting reflects the gig you’re coordinating. Start by working with your audio-visual supplier to design a detailed lighting plan, which will also help determine equipment needed. This plan should include key lighting points and which parts of the venue are most important for lighting and atmosphere.

Consider the purpose of your event, audience size and stage space. Live music will crave atmospheric and coloured lighting and spotlights. Corporate events can have anything from front lighting to spotlights, LEDs and stage washes. If it’s a music event or festival, tailoring the lighting to the performance and songs can create a big impact too. These event lighting ideas must all be brought together in the initial plan.

Event Lighting

Get Creative with Stage Washes

Utilising multiple lighting sources is one of the best ways to set the mood of the event. Especially for the most sedate corporate events, stage washes offer a fantastic opportunity to make the stage (and the people on it) stand out. This lighting technique uses an even amount of colour and light to ‘fill out’ the stage, focusing attention on the area. To achieve this, the right number of lighting trees needs to be selected according to stage size and positioned properly to avoid black spots and shining in the band or presenter’s eyes.

Incorporate Colour

Regardless of whether you’re running a live music show or a corporate/private event, coloured lights can add a little fun to your life. And your audience’s! Colour changes are used to add visual excitement to the event and can define the tone of the song, speech or situation in a heartbeat. If you want to add depth to a space, shining different tints from an angle towards the stage/show can create an impressive effect. You don’t have to go colour crazy either, the simplest washes combined with spotlights cutting through can look fantastic.

You can also use coloured lighting to reflect your branding shades. This is a great idea for corporate events to personalise the space. Using colours to attract audiences to different zones can be a smart idea for large areas or to assist guests with where they need to be.

Event Lighting

Event Lighting

Add Ambience with Uplighting

Uplighting is used to add colour and texture to a space. It’s also a convenient and effective way to boost the ambience of a venue, relying on little power and control to use. If you’re using a bland meeting room or live music space, uplighting has the ability to transform basic to mind-blowing. For live music events that use a cyclorama, using spotlights or coloured lighting in an ‘uplighting effect’ towards the performers creates a dramatic intensity to the stage too.

Spotlighting vs Moving Lighting

Spotlights are ideal for accentuating performers or speakers on stage, centrepieces on tables or impressive architectural structures within the venue. This type of lighting is usually used for music events and festivals, social parties, weddings or corporate dinners. On the flip side, moving lighting shifts with the person or space in focus and is used to bring animation, excitement and depth to make a memorable event.  Moving lights can also be combined with other lighting techniques, like Gobo lights and spotlights, to create a unique light show.

Event Lighting

Have Fun with Lighting Effects

Interactive lighting effects can lift your event to completely new heights. Gobo lights are a great example of this, projecting a design, pattern or textural effect onto the wall, ceiling or floors. You can use this for corporate branding opportunities, beaming a logo in the background of the space. Because Gobo lighting is very flexible, you can be as abstract or as imaginative as you dare. For smaller venues, this effect is particularly effective and cost-efficient.

Use LEDs

LEDs are popular for event lighting because they’re efficient, long lasting and bright. These lights are designed to emit less heat making them ideal for small venues and music shows, and can be teamed up with pixel mapping to create dynamic effects. For colour alternatives, LEDs offer a rainbow of options which can be electronically controlled to mix any shade. LED lighting fixtures can be hooked to lighting bars above stages to pre-program movements into a rig for appealing lighting schemes too. This ease of use combined with technology makes them the ultimate lighting choice for almost all events.

Take Advantage of Lighting Technology

With so many things going digital these days, it makes sense to implement technology into your lighting plan. Innovations like projection mapping (2D and 3D projection) adds a creative appeal to events. Combined with sound and other visual aspects, it’s a smart and effective way to stimulate all the senses and create a visceral connection.

For an event to truly shine; audio and visual need to be strategically combined for a spectacular appeal. No matter how small or large your event is, tailored lighting adds a specialised and much-needed touch.

Event Lighting

This article is on behalf of Mega Vision Sound and Lighting – one of Western Australia’s leading providers of professional audio, visual and lighting equipment and integration systems.

Follow Jayde Ferguson:

Music Journalist + Online Copywriter

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