Category Archives: Special Events

Speaking Lighting

At The Lighting & Sound Co, we have provided event lighting and sound reinforcement for many years. Our start came from the concert and stage production world, which involves plenty of jargon and unique terms. Clients in that world typically have an idea of what their needs are and usually specify (often with a rider) exactly what equipment their production requires.

Weddings and special events, however, bring clients who have a vision but might be unfamiliar with the terms that describe what they want to see and hear.  It’s our job to explain the services we can provide that will accentuate and exemplify a vision that is given to us. We “speak lighting” and translate for our clients.

From Vision to Reality

Our design and sales team consults with clients every day who tell us where they are having an event, how many people are attending, and might share a picture that they saw and would like to replicate. We take this information and translate it into a complete event design, making it easy for our clients to have a perfect event. If the venue is a spot we haven’t worked at,  we’ll do a site survey to get measurements of a space, evaluate the feasibility of different lighting products, plan electrical usage and loading access, and find any limitations of the event site. Many times it is useful to meet the client on site to demo some lighting products or get a feel for what colors will look good in an event space. Of course, we also provide our clients with a virtual color picker, to choose colors in advance of an event.

There are thousands of different styles of lighting fixtures and ways to add light or leave an area dark, as may be required. We might “wash” a wall or ceiling with a single color, or, accent just the columns of a room with sleek, narrow uplighting. We can shoot a client’s logo as a”gobo” on a wall of drape or put narrow spots on the centerpieces of tables. If a large projector screen is needed right on the edge of a seating area, we’ll be sure to use a rear-projection screen so the image isn’t blocked by people walking in front of it.

Once we have an idea of a client’s vision, and have taken a look at the venue, we’ll offer lighting, sound, AV, and decor options that align with the theme of the event, look sleek and classy without having unsightly components, and, most importantly, provide for a safe event. A portfolio of lighting options is available to examine a selection of choices. The client selects the style they prefer and we set it up at the event. In the background, our technical teams are taking the equipment specified by the sales team and determining the safest and most efficient way to set it up. Very occasionally we’ll find that we need to add a component to safely do a job or provide the best experience for the client. If we lose money doing the job right but the client is happy, we are also happy.

How can we make your event perfect?

We specialize in delivering perfection, even with difficult or unusual requests. If you were told that a certain service couldn’t be done, give us a call. We imagine new ways to provide solutions that used to require significant expense or unsafe methods. Clients and venues often say to us, “Nobody ever did that here before!”

It pays to know people. If there’s a task we can’t handle, chances are we know someone who can. Our network of event partners spans numerous industries, hundreds of people,  and multiple states.

Let us handle the complex or technical aspects of your event, so you can concentrate on other details. Tell us what you want to happen, and we’ll transform your vision into reality. Our promise is “Event Perfection” and we won’t stop until we achieve it.

Bistro Lighting

Bistro Lighting Styles for Weddings, Corporate Events & More

Bistro lighting is one of the most popular wedding lighting options, and The Lighting & Sound Co provides every style of bistro lighting you may need!

Also known as string lighting, festoon lighting, or cafe lighting, what we refer to as bistro lighting, is an individual strand with bare lightbulbs dangling down at even intervals.  Bistro lights provide a classic, timeless look with a warm glow. The lights are often hung over a reception area, but can also go over a dance floor, patio, or entrance area. Typically, our technicians will install multiple strings of bistro at an event site, arranged in a particular pattern.

One of the best features of bistro lighting is that it can be used nearly anywhere. We commonly install bistro light strings in tents, but have hung them in barns, over open fields and courtyards, in hotel ballrooms, on top of swimming pools, and around food courts and skating rinks. It also neatly complements other types of lighting including uplighting and chandeliers.

Styles of Bistro Lighting

Following are several styles of  lighting installations. This is by no means an exhaustive list but includes our most commonly-provided services:

Tracing Bistro

Typically installed in a frame tent or other space with exposed rafters, this style follows the roof supports. This style uses simple bistro which, while not as bright as classic bistro, offers a great look when used for tracing, and is great for shorter tents.

Tracing bistro wedding Lighting

Tracing bistro lighting on a tent for a wedding at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens.

Fanning (or festooning) Bistro

Often used outside, all of the strands of lights fan out from one point, on a building or other support structure.

Festooning bistro lights wedding

Festooning Bistro Lighting for an Event at Tredegar Ironworks in Richmond, VA.

Traditional (or Zig-zag) Bistro

Our most common service which provides a classic glow in any space, be it a ballroom, tent, or open field. If there is no place to hang the bistro from, we will bring appropriate support structures that don’t distract from your event.

Gathered Bistro

Commonly used to gather all the strands together over a key spot like a dance floor.

Gathered bistro cafe lights outdoor

Gatherered Bistro Lighting for an outdoor event. Photo Courtesy of Tampa Lights

Parallel Bistro

Effective where there are balconies, buildings, or roof structures that create a long rectangular area.

Bistro lighting paper lanterns dance floor

Parallel bistro lighting with paper lanterns over a dance floor. Picture Courtesy of San Diego Events.

Crossing Bistro

An excellent style for tents, because some tents are shorter than others. A stylish way of hanging bistro lighting, great for frame tents and long but thin indoor or outdoor areas.

Crossing bistro lights chandeliers

Crossing Bistro Lighting with chandeliers at a networking event for Richmond Weddings.

 

Bistro Arch

Also good for shorter tents, but works in any tent; bistro strings follow the angles of the roof to leave plenty of headroom for guests.

Bistro event lighting

Bistro Arch inside a tent for an event at Tredegar Ironworks.

Confetti Cannons Now Available For Your Event!

If your event needs to go off with a bang, we’ve got you covered (literally!) with our new Confetti Cannons! Streamers or confetti can be blasted from these compressed air cannons. Whether you need a concert confetti effect or bridal confetti for a wedding, we’ll ensure each money shot is right on target. The double-barrel Big Shots Cannon by Artistry In Motion is used at New Years events, Las Vegas nightclubs, and marathons across the country, and we are the first in the Richmond area to own this top-of-the-line confetti cannon.

Here are a couple clips of two cannons in use at a time:

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We recommend streamers for the farthest distance shot or confetti for covering a smaller area such as a dance floor. If the ceiling is low, positioning the confetti cannons as high as possible will give the best hangtime.

Having a confetti effect for your event, combined with lighting and sound support is sure to provide maximum audience enjoyment and excellent pictures.

Selected Applications:

Club Effect,Wedding Sendoff, Concert Special Effect, Film and Video Production, Theatrical Shows, Sporting Events, New Year’s Eve Celebration

Tech Specs:

Model
Big Shots Cannon
Weight
50 Lbs.
Size
8” L X 16 ” W X 24” H
Lighting Board Connectivity
Yes
Cannon Barrel Size
2-inch Diameter
Actuation
Remote
Flame Resistant Yes
Attendant Required
No
Duration of Effect
Single Shot
Confetti Height
40-50 Feet
Streamer Height
65-80 Feet
Effects
Single Shot- Multiple Looks
Truss Mountable
Yes

Under Armor Brothers In Arms Classic

The Lighting & Sound Co headed out to the Hampton Roads area to set up some TV lighting for the Under Armor Brothers In Arms Classic football game between two top-tier football teams. Bleacher Report was televising the game live via webcast between no. 2 in the country IMG Academy of Sarasota, Florida and Bishop Sullivan Catholic High School of Virginia Beach. Both schools are high school football powerhouses; the IMG Ascenders have 30 players committed to college teams while the Bishop Sullivan Crusaders have 7 commits.

 

Under armor football tunnel bleacher report

Gear for the tunnel unloaded and ready to be set up.

Working at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex, we provided a truss goalpost structure with an extensive moving head and LED strip lighting package so that the teams would have a tunnel-like archway filled with smoke and haze effects as well as effect lighting to run out of onto the field at the start of the game. Numerous TV cameras captured captured the entire scene, as local news stations and Bleacher Report’s photojournalists filmed from all angles.

Completed structure stood in the corner of the field for both teams to run through as they entered the field

Completed truss structure stood in the corner for both teams to run through as they entered the field

Lighting effects consisted of moving head beam units (Elation Beam 5R), moving head wash units (Chauvet Rogue R2 Wash), and LED striplights (Elation ELED QA Strip). Our lighting designer operated the rig live as the run out occurred for maximum visual effect and excellent looks for TV viewers. The colors were coordinated to match with the team uniform color.

Meanwhile, a powerful QSC KW153 active loudspeaker played upbeat music to pump up the players as they ran out through the tunnel.

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The necessary electrical power for all of this professional stage lighting was not available nearby where it would be needed on the football field. Fortunately, our friends at Temp-Power had just the right size of quiet-run portable generators to provide the needed electricity while being quiet enough to not interrupt the event.

Gear List:

  • 8x Elation Lighting Platinum Beam 5R
  • 8x Elation Lighting ELED QA Strip
  • 8x Chauvet Rogue R2 Wash
  • 2x Martin JEM ZR44 High Mass Fog Machine
  • Martin M-PC lighting console with M-Touch control surface
  • 8x Applied Electronics 12″ x 12″x 10′ HD Box Truss
  • 4x Applied Electronics 12″ x 12″ 5-way corner block
  • 4x Applied Electronics Truss Baseplate
  • 2x Applied Electronics Truss Grapple
  • QSC KW153 3-way Active Speaker
  • 6x Yellow Jacket Cable Ramp
  • 2x Honda EU6500IS 6.5kw Quiet-Run Inverter Generator

 

 

UNLV Presidential Debates TV Lighting Politics

The Third Presidential Debate

The final debate of the 2016 United States presidential election debates sent the team at The Lighting & Sound Co to Las Vegas, Nevada, to set up stage lighting for TV interviews. The final presidential debate took place at the University of Nevada Las Vegas’s Thomas and Mack Center.  This arena holds nearly 17,000 people, and we saw close to that many lighting technicians, stagehands, and riggers working on setup for the debate in the days beforehand.

Detroit Sunrise

Sunrise from ~30,000 feet

Lighting the interview stage went very similar to the TV stage lighting we did for the Vice Presidential Debates in Farmville, VA. However, we needed to source as much of the equipment as possible locally in Las Vegas rather than shipping it from our home base in Richmond, VA.  Our friends at 4Wall Entertainment Lighting were great at helping us with this. Still, the Kino Flo Celeb TV stage lights required were unavailable in Las Vegas, so some came from 4Wall’s Los Angeles office, where they have plenty of film lighting gear, while we did send a pallet of equipment and stage lighting from Richmond VA as well.

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Again we used Kino Flo Celeb 400Q film lighting fixtures for key lighting, with ETC Source Four Lekos as fill lighting. Control was the Martin Professional Maxxyz software running on M-PC with M-Touch for physical control

 

 

PAR64 Lighting VCU basketball richmond hype video

VCU Men’s Basketball Promo Video

The VCU Men’s Basketball team recently filmed a promotional video that introduces the players before each game. V2 Content, a talented video production company based in Lincoln, Nebraska, brought us in to help with the lighting. The Lighting & Sound Co was on location at the Stuart C. Siegel Center, providing film lighting and making sure the players looked great.

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From render to reality, the VCU Basketball rig featured 36 1000W Par cans- that’s a lot of firepower!

 

We provided a giant wall of light using classic PAR64s in pre-rigged truss. With 36 individually controllable units adjacent to each other, it was easy to achieve many different patterns and effects. A handful of moving head profiles provided additional air light effects. Of course, the video wouldn’t have looked nearly as awesome without a fine haze to show the beams of light. Our favorite hazer, the Look Solutions Unique 2.1, filled the entire gym within a few minutes.

Lighting Designer Martin MPC VCU Basketball

LSC Lighting Designer Chris Hill pushes the rig to full for a dramatic shot.

This lighting required about 37,000 watts of electrical power, which is more the amount of power that your entire house needs. While that much power is available in the main Siegel Center arena, the shoot was taking place on the opposite end of the facility about 600 feet away. Running long feeder cable to get the power where it was needed wasn’t feasible, but fortunately our friends at Temp-Power provided a generator perfectly suited for the job that could be placed much closer.

Temp Power generator temporary vcu basketball rva richmond virginia

Temp Power delivers a 45 KVa generator to power the 36kw rig.

 

Gear list:

  • 36x PAR64 1000W NSP, on lamp bars
  • 3x Applied Electronics PRT Pre-Rig Truss
  • 48-ch ETC Sensor+ Touring Dimmer Rack
  • 6x Robe Robin Pointe beam/spot/wash moving head
  • Look Solutions Unique 2.1 Hazer
  • Martin M-PC Lighting Console with M-Touch
  • 45 KVa three-phase portable generator from Temp-Power

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VCU Basketball video richmond lighting RVA virginia PAR64

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Press Room VP Debates Longwood Gym

The Vice Presidential Debates

We joined the political madness for a week as we prepared to do some television lighting for a TV stage at the Vice Presidential debates in Farmville on Tuesday. We set up in Longwood University’s Health and Fitness Center, which is rated as one of the top 20 recreational centers at small colleges; at 74,683 gross square feet, it’s a pretty impressive space, topped off by a large rock climbing wall and LEED Gold certification. Longwood’s gym boasts of over 60 pieces of weight training and cardio equipment, but none of them were anywhere to be seen when we arrived. Instead, they had been replaced with a full media cafe, red carpets throughout, press boxes, stages, temporary power, communication rooms and Secret Service agents. 

Truss TV Stage Lighting Political Vice Presidential Debates

We headed out to Farmville, Virginia on Sunday to set up: Our TV stage was built on a 16′ x 16′ riser, and was an interview spot for before and after the debate. For events like these, every person on the crew needs to have Secret Service clearance, and has to have a number of credentials on them at all times.

Truss TV Stage Lighting Political Vice Presidential DebatesTruss TV Stage Lighting Political Vice Presidential Debates

We used Kino Flo Celeb 400s for front light, with Source Four Lekos as fill, and  Celeb 400Qs as back light. 
Truss TV Stage Lighting Political Vice Presidential Debates

 

 

Slide The City Richmond

Summer time is upon us, and Slide The City brought 1000 feet of slick vinyl to brighten the streets of Richmond. Richmonders showed up in droves to take the plunge down the 1000 foot water slide. A water slide longer than three football fields was set up on lovely Byrd Street in downtown RVA. Slide the City is a family & friends slip-and-slide water party event, including live music, food, drinks, water, and of course the biggest slip and slide ever to hit the city.  We brought out distributed sound reinforcement to the event to provide tunes to riders on their way down the slide.  Live music was provided by Full Spectrum, of the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band, as well as 101.1 The Fam. Check out Slide the City’s video below!

 

Heartracer: Ice on the Streets live at Hardywood Park

One of the best parts of working in entertainment is the wonderful people you get to meet. Every once in a while, we get to work with a group of truly special performers such as our friends in Heartracer. We put together a small ambient lighting setup for their most recent show at Hardywood Craft Brewery here in Richmond, Virginia. You can check out the awesome video by Dave O’Dell below.

You can find Heartracer on Soundcloud, Facebook, and on the web at Heartracerband.com.

Total Room Transformation

To show the power of event lighting, we set up some of our most popular wedding lighting services in an abandoned basement. This helps to give a better idea of what wedding and event lighting can do to completely transform a room for your wedding reception, ceremony, or any event or party you have at all.

While all the individual pieces that make up the perfect wedding or event are equally important, lighting is the only one that can change how everything is perceived. Lighting can change the look and feel of the entire event, from the mood, to the color the place setting appear to be, make sure you have the right team handling your event. You can learn more by checking out our informational article on wedding and event lighting. Take your event lighting to the next level.

Check out a full display of our services here.