If you’re planning a gala-style event, with seated dining or low-light ambiance, you’re probably considering using pin spots. Pin spotting (pins, table spotting) is the use of a narrow-beamed light to illuminate centerpieces, tables, and other important decor elements. Many people incorrectly refer to pin spotting as “spotlighting,” which is a different lighting service.
Illuminating Flower Arrangements & Floral Decor with Pin Spotting
Pin spots are most florist’s favorite light. That’s because when florists and lighting companies work together, pin spots are often what comes up. Along with a host of other uses, pins are one of the best ways to illuminate your floral centerpieces.
There is no such thing as the best angle for a pin spot. Technicians place lights at various angles to create dramatic shadows, great for a moody feel and less detailed centerpieces. They can also be placed so that the centerpiece is completely and evenly lit. This is great for detailed florals and topiaries. Unfortunately, often venue, budget or both prevent optimal placement of pin spots. A lighting company with any kind of skill will work around this by using ground-support options and a diverse range of pin spotting options.
As with any lighting or decor item, the sky is the limit. Keep it simple with a warm-white 2-angle wash, or get creative with some of the customization options below.
Pin Spots Customization
Color – Pins are typically white or warm white, but a well-equipped event lighting company will have LED lights that can change to your specified color.
Angle – Different types of supports can be brought in to place your lights at the angle of your choosing
Diffusion – While they typically have a 1 degree angle, pins can diffuse anywhere from 1(narrow) to 40(wide) degrees.
Intensity – The intensity of your lights can be controlled so that they don’t overpower other natural lighting or design effects.
Getting the most out of your pin spots
When you talk to your lighting company, make sure you come well-informed. Most companies will charge per table for pins. In most situations, two spots are required per centerpiece, to get total coverage so ensure that’s what you’re getting.
Why use pins? Click the pin spot function on our color picker app, and you can see the difference that they make!
Transforming Your Event Space with Lighting & Decor
Completely transforming spaces is a major part of what lighting & decor companies do. As lighting & decor specialists, we are often asked to transform event spaces in varying degrees. There are many tools that we use to make a space go from drab to dream. Lighting and drape are among the most popular resources we use to transform event venues, but there are so many more options. To clear up some common confusion, we asked our design experts to answer some common questions.
How can I use my backyard for my wedding?
Pretty easily, actually. While tents are always a good back-up plan for weather, a tent isn’t needed for your backyard wedding. Waterproof uplighting can light up your backyard and turn it into a magical event space. Portable lamp posts can be a quick and easy option to provide area lighting. Classic edison bistro lighting is a fantastic option for covering large spaces, and it can be hung several different ways. Ground supports can suspend bistro lighting over your backyard. Learn more about those services by checking out our catalog.
Suggested Lighting & Decor Services for Backyard Weddings
The Bottom Line:If you have the space, having a wedding in your backyard is both very common and totally possible with portable lighting services.
Can I use lighting and drape to transform a basketball court for my wedding?
Working in gyms is very similar to working in a conference center or hotel. Unfinished ceilings mean plenty of rigging points, making it easy to hang lighting such as pin spots, texture gobos, or wash lights above your event. The walls of a gym can be totally, or partially draped to cover up ugly paint and textures. Dropping in chandeliers just above your guests will provide both a beautiful decor effect and a practical lighting one.
Suggested Lighting & Decor Services for Church Gyms
The Bottom Line: With the proper lighting design and drape look, any room can be transformed into a beautiful event space.
My event is in the middle of nowhere, can I still have lighting?
Along with a huge collection of battery-powered uplights, we also can bring in any sized generator to pretty much any location. Skilled technicians will run power for lighting, your DJ, and event your caterer, while keeping hazardous cables out of pathways and neatly out of site. Battery-powered pin-spots are almost standard now, so there is no location where lighting is out of the question.
Suggested Lighting & Decor Services for Remote Events
Battery Pin Spotting
LED Bistro Lighting
The Bottom Line: Portable generators and battery lighting make remote events a piece of cake.
A guide for event planners, coordinators, and brides.
It almost goes without saying, but you’d be surprised how many folks don’t lead with the location of their event. Production companies need to know the location of the venue for multiple reasons. The primary reason is knowing what the layout of the venue is. This helps with costing services and knowing what will work in the space. Any kind of custom design needs exact dimensions, so being able to get a look at the venue is often crucial to the success of the design team.
Why your lighting company knowing the exact date is important
Lighting companies also need to know when your event is. It isn’t unusual for a lighting company to book events several months, or even a year in advance. While most lighting companies can service multiple events in a day, every company has its capacity. An exact date is the only way to determine for sure that equipment and labor resources will be available for your event. Try to make sure that this information is included in your initial request for services.
Why you need to get your lighting company an up-to-date schedule.
Lighting equipment can sometimes take longer than anything else to set up. Lighting companies have a pretty good idea of how long a service will take based on past experience. They use this information to get the most out of their equipment and crew during a somewhat lopsided work week. Corporate events and meetings often happen during the week. However, a large majority of events take place on the weekends. Lighting companies service all types of events year-round, but most event companies see a huge boost in activity during the fall season. This leaves them with a large amount of events, all happening at once. Because of this, event companies stick to pretty strict schedules that can get pretty tight. It is important to update all of your vendors with any schedule changes, to prevent any issues.
3. Event Type/Theme
After providing lighting services for thousands of events, we’ve learned a couple things. We like to handle different types of events differently, and with the care they deserve. Because of this, we’ve developed several departments that specialize in different event areas. It’s useful to know early on what type of event we’re dealing with so that we can get it in the hands of the right event expert. Chances are, we’ve dealt with a very similar event, and can call upon that knowledge when designing your event.
4. Total Attendance
Knowing total attendance is important for a few reasons. For a simple wedding in a hotel ballroom, your production company probably doesn’t need to know this information. But for larger events, especially where there’s sound involved, be sure to mention this number. More people not only create more background noise that the system needs to project over, they also obstruct the sound by physically being there. Knowing how many people will be there helps audio technicians bring the correct equipment. This ensures that your event audio will be heard loud and clear.
6. Power Requirements/Availability
Your lighting company needs to know more than just the power available at the venue; they also need to know what other vendors expect to use it. Caterers often require a large amount of power for heaters, and appliances such as coffee makers or food warmers. Many large-scale coffee makers require an entire circuit to themselves. In fact, everyone from the DJ to the photo booth could require power. Insufficient electrical availability could mean an important aspect of your event might go dark or without power.
7. Onsite AV or Lighting Technician
For many events, lighting is basically just a decor item. The lighting team will unload, set up the lighting, and take off. For events with simple uplighting, drape, or string lighting, this is the way to go. Although a technician is not always needed, some event coordinators prefer to have one standing by for the very rare chance that something goes wrong. However, if anything has to change during the event, you will need onsite staff. This includes everything from tying up drape pieces into gathers, to changing the color of the uplighting. The cost of this will depend on the length of time that the tech is needed, but work calls usually have 4 hour minimums.
8. Service Needs
The more you can let your lighting company know about your needs, the better. You can save a lot of time by preparing a list of the exact services you need, and the details of each service. Ultimately, many people don’t have this information in the early stages of even planning. If this is the case, save time by making this clear to all of your vendors, so you can avoid them fishing for the information.
9 . Load In Procedure
More often than not, your lighting company will already be familiar with the venue. But for unusual event spaces or private residences, it’s important that an information sheet with any relevant rules and procedures is generated not only for your lighting company, but for all of your other vendors as well. Ideally, your lighting company won’t be loading in at the same time as other vendors.
Parking is something that many people take for granted. Venues in urban areas can often have parking that is quite limited. Some event setups can take anywhere from four to eight hours, so it’s important to think about where your vendors are going to park during this time. Most lighting companies drive extended vans or box trucks, so keep in mind that there may need to be more room than usual for them to park.
11. Venue Rules
As an event planner, you are often the center of communication between other vendors. The venue is no exception. While many venues are proactive and reach out to all vendors to provide information, every experience varies. It’s important to pass any essential information down the line to your vendors. Often, the venues expect this, and rely on planners and coordinators to pass information along to vendors.
If you want to learn more about lighting, The Lighting & Sound Co. offers tons of resources for people of all knowledge levels. Reach out by phone or email to speak to a pro.
Step up your game with these underrated event lighting design techniques
Do you want your event to stand out among the rest? Of course you do. Event planners are always searching for new ways to spice up their event designs, but these five classics are timeless techniques that you might have underestimated.
A paper lantern is a lantern made of thin, brightly colored or white paper. Paper lanterns come in various shapes and sizes, and in their simplest form, they are simply a paper bag with a candle placed inside, although more complicated lanterns consist of a collapsible bamboo or metal frame of hoops covered with tough paper.
Inexpensive and beautiful, paper lanterns can be added as a complement to bistro lighting, or hung individually without and string lighting accompaniment.
Pin spotting is crucial to a successful lighting design. While it is pretty much standard, it’s important to remember why it became such a popular line item. Without pin spotting, many of the details of an event can be lost.
While they aren’t essential for daytime or brightly-lit events, pin spots should always be considered. Even if it seems like there will be enough ambient light to see, a boost from some well-placed pin spots can help decor stand out . A centerpiece washed with the same amount of light as the rest of the event space isn’t going to “pop”. Like any lighting design, it’s important that the lighting for your event is dynamic, and not just a dull wash.
Dynamic lighting leads to a dynamic event design. A subtle, single-color wash is a nice look. But, adding some pin spots, especially in a low light setting, can help keep the look of your event exciting. Ideally, you’ll want an evenly washed room that includes lighting accents to add dynamics and prevent eye fatigue.
While there are six controllable qualities of light, often in the event industry we focus focus on only four. Color, intensity, direction, and distribution are all given a lot of love. Meanwhile, the other two qualities – texture and movement – take a back seat.
Movement is an incredibly powerful tool to excite and amaze your guests. We cover the importance of movement in another article, so right now we’re focusing on the importance of texture. Texture gobos are an underutilized & affordable way of projecting texture onto any surface.
One of the best things about using gobos is that they are fairly simple for production companies to get manufactured. Along with the thousands of available designs, you can work with your production company to design your very own texture to perfectly suit your event.
There are many different materials and manufacturing processes used to create gobos. However, the two types of gobos that are most commonly used in the modern event industry steel-cut and glass. Plastic gobos are now possible with LED technology, although they are not as widely-used. With steel-cut gobos, single-color simple textures and designs are possible at an affordable price. Even custom gobos are within range for most event budgets. Glass gobos are more expensiveness than their steel counterparts, but well worth it for the range of amazing visuals they can provide for events. Glass gobos can be multiple colors, and often feature high definition images such as nebulas, photo-realistic clouds, beautiful nature scenes, star fields, and more.
Texture gobos can be used both to enhance an already beautiful space, or cover up an otherwise dull or ugly surface. Often, event designers will use texture gobos projected onto the floor from above to create amazing surface looks. That barely even dives beneath the surface of what can be done with textures.
In today’s age of LEDs, uplighting is among the most popular special event service. For your next event, keep in mind how gobos can be used to completely customize your venue, and turn a space into a magical, once-in-a-lifetime scene.
Getting to the good stuff. Special effects is a pretty broad category, so we’ll try to keep this brief. Low fog, haze, confetti, streamers, pyro, cryo, fireworks all belong on the list. These are event elements that you’ll need your venues permission for, but it’ll always be worth it
When the dust has settled and the event is over, these are the types of elements that people will remember. A confetti shot at the end of the night can leave a lasting impression. Low fog is great for reveals, entrances, and more. And a little bit of haze can go a long way.
Haze is often used at concerts to create a 3D space for lighting. Many people confuse haze with theatrical fog, but there are many differences. Both a fog and haze machine will create particulates in the air, but hazers produce a finer particulate. Haze is odorless and because it is water-based, it is not an irritant. Having particles in the air allows for an effect called “air light,” where beams from lighting instruments are visible in the air. Haze, if tastefully done, can be used for more than just concerts.
While some venues do not allow haze, it is water-based and completely harmless. Many professional haze machines are designed to not set off most types of fire alarms.
Custom Design Elements & Fabrication
One thing that event planners often don’t realize is the versatility of their local production companies. Like most event vendors, event production companies work with thousands of different clients from a wide variety of industries. Unlike many other industry companies, production companies provide completely different sets of services to different types of clients
A corporate client might have a fancy gala with uplighting and pin spotting, not unlike a wedding or special event. Or, they might need a video live stream displayed on a video wall the size of a house, and syndicated to live stream outlets such as Twich, Livestream, or Facebook live. Because of this, production companies provide services you might not expect. These might include custom set fabrication, content generation, or graphic design services related to your event.
Looking for an AV Company? We are The Lighting & Sound Company, a national design, production, and AV company based in Richmond, Virginia. We provide lighting, AV, logistical support, and design concepts for upscale events and serve a broad range of industries. Our experienced crew helps major brands and groups of all sizes conceptualize, design, and execute unique visions and successful events.
Like any AV company, we offer more than just lighting, video, and audio services. Our services also include a large range of decor lighting, fabrication and soft goods options. Because of this, we’re able to provide a “one-stop-shop” for most events.
Live Event Audio with your AV Company
Our modern audio inventory has all the elements needed for large-scale events. Most importantly, our live event audio crew has experience working in corporate events and meetings, concerts, broadcast, large-scale sporting & worship events and more.
Full-sized PA systems from multiple high-end brands, such as DB and JBL. Our crew of professional audio engineers will ensure that not a single word or note is missed.
Our audio techs have experience mixing for national and international acts from a wide range of genres. Consequently, they have the skills they need to operate in high-pressure event situations
We can field audio consoles to fit any rider, including favorites like the Venue, and standbys such as the Behringer X32.
Stage Lighting with an AV Company
Our lighting team consists of classically trained designers and experienced lighting technicians.
Turn-Key stage lighting systems including conventional and LED stage lighting, available to fit events of any scope.
Indoor and outdoor stage lighting available, we like to think of ourselves as “weather-friendly”
Conventional and LED TV Lighting available for broadcast and live streaming events. This includes Kino Flo LED lighting with adjustable color temperature for TV Stages.
Range of moving lights to fit most riders and needs. This includes both arc source and LED beam, profile, wash, and hybrid fixtures.
Effect lights for stage decor and effects also available. Strips, bricks, cycs, blinders, whatever you need to make your event outshine the rest.
Event Video and Image Magnification
Our AV team comes full equipped with any video equipment you might need.
Projectors and fast fold projection screens in all standard sizes for corporate events and meetings.
LED Video walls for concerts, corporate events, and high-visibility outdoor image magnification.
High-lumen projectors available for projection mapping and large-format projections. Perfect for corporate parties, meetings, and displays.
TVs up to 70″ for digital signage displays and AV for small breakout rooms.
Live streaming and recording options available, including live image magnification and onsite camera teams. High quality cameras will help to ensure that not even the smallest detail is missed.
We can do a lot more than just stage lighting for your event. For instance, our decor lighting is unrivaled. Along with design services, we offer a huge number of decor lighting options that will blow your event attendees away. Work with our experienced designers to craft a design. Or, come to us design-in-hand and we’ll make your vision a reality. In other words, it’s completely up to you how involved you are in the process.
Powerful wired and wireless uplighting to change the look and feel of your event space.
Bistro lighting for tent and outdoor events. String lighting overhead is the perfect way to light large areas with a warm and intimate charm.
Pin-spots to light centerpieces, or tables in low-light scenarios such as galas or holiday parties.
Custom and Texture Gobo projections are great for making your event look unique. Moreover, we have an enormous inventory of patterns that can completely change the look of the event space, or just accent it a little. For example, if you have a winter theme, you can choose from a long list of frost, snow, and other winter-themed patterns.
Soft Goods and Design Elements
In addition to being an AV Company and decor lighting wizards, we have one of the largest collections of drape in Richmond. As a result, we do a lot of custom event designs. Our creative fabrications team can help design and build a set to support events of all types.
Velour, poly premiere, banjo, and sheer draping in many sizes and colors.
Custom drape backdrops both simple and elaborate.
Custom set pieces.
Textured vacu-form plastic pieces.
Texture tiles, illuminated blocks, and other common elements available.
For party rentals & linens, check out our friends at Party Perfect
Most industries have events of one kind or another, and because of this, event lighting is in high demand. Most production companies serve a wide range of clients. One of the larger groups among those are churches. There are thousands of churches in the state of Virginia alone, and we provide production services to many of them.
Event production for a good cause
We are enjoying our third year working with Gayton Church in Henrico, Virginia. Each year, Gayton Church auditions members from their talented congregation to take part in their Christmas jazz show, Jazz Nativity. Jazz Nativity is in it’s 10th year, and features popular Christmas music, fused with both original and classic jazz pieces. The show benefits Feed My Starving Children, a charity devoted to providing meals to malnourished and impoverished children in 3rd world countries. To date, Jazz Nativity has funded more than 1.2 million meals, which are packed right in the gym of the church on Super Bowl Sunday.
Jazz Nativity 2016, our first year with Gayton Church. Picture by Katelyn James.
Now in it’s 10th year, Jazz Nativity continues to grow
Jazz Nativity has come a long way. As it has grown, the need for production has expanded. When we began with Gayton Church, we set up for the show in the church’s sanctuary. After our first year running production, it became clear that there was need for a bigger space. We helped prepare the (much larger) gym for Jazz Nativity 2017. By moving to the gym, we were able to make the show a lot bigger. The gym is more than 4 times larger, which allows for more stage space and more capacity. Much needed for a show that sells out 5 dates every year.
After 8 years, Jazz Nativity moves to a larger space. Jazz Nativity 2017. Picture by Katelyn James.
Keeping with an intimate feel
One of the best parts of the show is the intimate feel, and with the move to the gym, we were sure to keep that in mind. It’s a little harder to keep things intimate with an audience of over 700. Bistro lighting works great for this. Mainly, it replaces the cold, harsh lights of the gym. It also helps to bring the focus in closer to the audience.
Jazz Nativity director David Esleck.
Jazz Nativity is directed by Dr. David Esleck, a Grammy Award nominee, and music faculty at University of Richmond. Esleck’s compositions, both jazz and classical, are heard in concerts, films, and television.
Jazz Nativity 2018. Picture by Katelyn James
Jazz Nativity now has more lighting and scenic elements than ever
For 2018, we stepped up our lighting and fabrication for the show. In addition to adding more moving lights, we changed the scenic elements as well. We used with Vacuform castle rock scenic pieces against black velour as a backdrop, which helped give the show a warm, intimate feel.
In Charlottesville, wedding lighting is more popular than it ever has been before. Adding lighting & drape to your event has become increasingly more affordable, production companies have never been more accessible to the general public. Charlottesville is filled with wonderful venues to have your wedding in. We put together some tips for you to look at as you plan your Charlottesville wedding lighting design.
Many Charlottesville brides are feeling string lights
Macaroni and cheese. Wine and cheese. Weddings and string lights.
String lighting has become the go-to for covering event spaces all over the country. Using string lighting is one of the more effective ways to cover large spaces with lighting. There’s also a big upside! String lighting is functional, it lights the space so people can see. In addition to functionality, the decor possibilities with string lighting are endless. You can’t top that charm that comes from a sunset wedding covered in string lights. The reds from the sun, the trees nodding to a lighting breeze, and classic bistro gently swinging in the wind above you event. The classic incandescent glow of Edison bulbs strung across the landscape definitely has an impact. Many Charlottesville wedding lighting designs are utilizing twinkle lights and bistro lights (also referred to as market lights, cafe lights, or Edison lights.)
All drape is not created equal, but it’s all equally AMAZING.
Drape is the workhorse of the decor department. When you’re designing your wedding, think of drape as a great way to do a great many things. It can serve as a backdrop, as a canopy, and even a sun shade. Drape can also be used to cover the ugly, or accent the beautiful. It can be translucent or opaque, and it comes in colors all over the spectrum. Typically brides will go with a white, ivory, or champagne to accent their Charlottesville event. Drape is a good look for both indoor and outdoor weddings, so don’t be afraid to use your imagination.
Chandeliers can add elegant beauty to your Charlottesville wedding lighting design.
Chandeliers continue to be one of the more popular lighting accents for a Charlottesville Wedding. Charlottesville wedding lighting designs have always been Chandelier heavy. Gorgeous Charlottesville venues and event spaces, and the beautiful countryside lend themselves to a chandelier accent. Chandeliers let you customize your event with a classic centerpiece. In addition, Chandeliers can be turned into amazing centerpieces by creating groups. Most high end lighting companies will offer a wide range of chandeliers for your to choose from, often featuing 4 main themes: Industrial, Rustic, Modern, and Classic (or Traditional.) A chandelier’s style can set the tone for the whole event, make sure you pick the right one for your event!
Uplighting. The good, the bad, and the cheap Chinese knockoffs.
Uplighting. If you’ve been researching wedding lighting at all, you’ve probably seen this term everywhere. You’re also probably familiar with what it is. For those that aren’t wise to it, follow the link under this paragraph to learn more. Uplighting is a great choice for your Charlottesville wedding, but be wary of budget services in this area. The differences between a cheap uplight that a DJ might be able to afford, and a powerful LED Par that a lighting company can field, are 3-fold.
1. Cheap uplights are not always bright enough to punch through and make a big impact on an event. If you’re looking for a small accent, this could be your solution. If you want the lighting to have impact, be wary of using a DJ for lighting.
2. Cheap uplights can have color variances. Many cheap Chinese lighting manufactures use different LED chipsets in their lights, causing color to vary from light to light. This gives your event an uneven and sometimes can cause an event to look cheap.
3. Cheap optics vary drastically. Optics are the lenses that are used to focus the light coming off of the diode, and make an even field of light. Cheap lights utilize cheap plastic optics that throws the light unevenly. Unmixed colors are often visible near the bottom of the wall, but high enough for your guest to see.
Lighting is the same as anything else. The cheap stuff works on a budget, but you’re going to notice the difference in quality.
Cutting the cord: is wireless the right solution for your rural Charlottesville event?
With wireless technology, access to lighting for areas with no power is no problem. Gone are the days when you had to bring out a generator or run hundreds of feet of power cable for a rural event. These days, having lighting, or even audio on the in a remote area is no problem. A well-equipped lighting company has the quiet-run generators needed for an event located where there may not be easy access to power. But sometimes events don’t call for all the bells and whistles, and budget is almost always a factor. Wireless, or battery-powered solutions make events with limited power options affordable. LEDs, string lighting, speakers and area lights with batteries can make your remote event run flawlessly.
The Lighting & Sound Co. provides Charlottesville wedding lighting, audio, video, and drape.
About The Lighting & Sound Co.
The Lighting & Sound Company provides high-end wedding lights in the Charlottesville area. We’re here to help make sure it’s perfect. With an extensive portfolio of beautiful events, we serve events of all sizes. From small weddings with a touch of bistro lighting and sheer drape, to extravagant weddings and more. We offer a very large selection of options and want to help make your special day as easy as possible. Lighting, drape, uplighting, gobos, projections, audio, string lighting and marquee letters are just a few of our wedding lighting services.
The Lighting & Sound Co. offers many custom design solutions for weddings and events, such as custom drape backdrops and chandelier displays. Take a look at our portfolio and give us a call to start designing your wedding lighting. Featuring a 5 minute quote process, and easy online payment options. Our knowledgeable and friendly designers that will walk you through the process. Our extended office hours mean you can reach us at almost any time of day.
Explore the Top 5 Rustic Wedding Lighting Looks of 2018
Rustic & barn weddings have never been more popular. You want your decor to stand out and there are almost endless possibilities with rustic wedding lighting. We put together this short-list of wedding lighting & draping options for your rustic feel.
1. Bistro Lighting
Bistro lighting tops the list, and for good reason. Not only do most rustic weddings have bistro lighting, most outdoor or tent weddings do too. Some of the reasons may be less obvious than you think. Obviously, bistro looks amazing when done right. It also fits into most themes, and you can set it up in almost any venue. Bistro lighting is also one of the easiest and most aesthetic ways to cover large areas. Because bistro lighting is strung overhead, it doesn’t get in the way of festivities.
Bistro light provides a warm, incandescent glow that makes it one of the best rustic wedding lighting options available.
Chandeliers are #2 in the rustic wedding lighting category. With a little help from the florals, the possibilities are endless. Chandeliers come in all shapes and sizes, so there is a suitable match for any theme. You can use chandeliers at your wedding to add accent and drama. Decorate with a single chandelier, group chandeliers, or hang them from distinguished areas such as tents, arches or gazebos. You can also suspend chandeliers from trees to create a look of enchantment and sophistication.
Pendants are those classy old school Edison bulbs hanging from above, and you just may need them for your rustic look to be complete. It’s hard to top the vintage charm of this effect, and because of that, it is number 3 on our list. With dozens of classic bulb options available, pendants can fit any kind of rustic or vintage wedding. Pendants are great over bars, head tables, and buffets. They can add a subtle accent to a bistro look, or stand alone for an intimate low-light look.
4. Marquee Letters
There is no better way to light up your dance floor than a set of full-sized marquee “LOVE” letters. The warm incandescent glow creates a perfect center piece for your dance floor. Marquee letters are a good fit in both indoor and outdoor venues.
Last but not least, drape is a fantastic way to add to your rustic theme. Canvas drop clothes can cover up ugly barn walls, and sheer waterfall curtains serve as awesome backdrops for your head table. Custom drape displays are a great way to have a unique look and feel.
Wedding lighting cost can vary dramatically and the reasons behind them can be a bit confusing. We set out to make this guide to give you a general idea of what you’ll be paying for your wedding lighting. Because prices for lighting vary between A/V vendors, we’ve made this guide with price ranges based off of industry averages. Understanding pricing for your wedding decor can help you use your budget efficiently. You want to get the best bang for your buck!
Before we dive into how much wedding lighting costs, let’s take a step back for a second. In order to understand prices, you need to understand the services they’re attached to. If you’ve been doing your research and know what you want, continue on! If you don’t know the difference between uplighting and pin-spotting, take a look at our wedding lighting services page. There, you can learn about the fantastic options available to light your wedding.
How much does wedding lighting cost? It depends on the scope of your wedding!
Lighting it up!
Lighting can completely transform your venue. It impacts your space in a way that nothing else can. The flowers, linens, and drape can make the room look nice, but lighting can change the way your venue feels. Without the proper lighting, your guests are going to miss out on the details. In a dimly lit reception space, the details of a beautiful centerpiece can be lost without the proper pin-spotting. Some weddings, especially day time events, don’t require lighting. For a large majority of weddings that extend into the evening, you are going to want to consider lighting. This applies to outdoor events as well, as most tents don’t come with very aesthetic lighting. A traditional bistro look can go a long way in a tent wedding. Free-standing bistro is great for covering large, uncovered, outdoor affairs.
When you’re deciding on your lighting budget, make sure you know what you want. Uplighting is great in almost all scenarios, but it can be used to hide the wall color. This is great if the color doesn’t match your theme, or if you just hate the color! If you want to cover something up completely, pipe and drape is a practical and elegant defense against ugly art and unsightly rooms.
Like any other service, lighting scales with your event. Larger weddings mean more wedding lighting.
Budgeting for Wedding Lighting
The quickest way to find out what your wedding lighting cost will be is to get a quote from one of our designers. It won’t take long, our designers like to get back real quickly! To get a general idea of what you will be paying, we’ve provided some industry average numbers below.
How much does wedding lighting cost?
Uplighting for the entire ballroom: $700-$2000
Monogram Gobo Light: $200-300
Texture lighting: $50-$75 per light fixture/pattern
Cake spotlight: $30-$100
Pipe and drape: $7.50 – $15 per linear foot (10 ft sections)
Pin-spot lighting: $25-$45 per light/table
Bistro Lighting: $3-5 per linear foot
Chandeliers: $150 – $300
Pendants: $15 – $25 per
Low Fog: $200 – $300
Note that these prices don’t include labor or delivery. Typically, labor costs $300 – 600, but if your scope is large, more techs will need to be added. Delivery locally is usually between $50 and $150, depending on mileage.
A little bit of drape goes a long way.
What do most people pay for wedding lighting?
To those who have never heard of wedding lighting before they starting planning, what wedding lighting cost can look prohibitive. Is it worth it? If you are spending any kind of money on your venue, your flowers, or even your name cards, lighting is a must. You don’t always need multiple lighting features. If budget is tight, a single feature such as uplighting, or bistro is probably the way to go. It will add a gorgeous ambiance, and provide the lighting your guests need to see. We typically advise clients to budget $1100-$1300 for a small, one feature wedding. If your wedding fits inside a 40 x 60 tent outside, a simple bistro lighting hang will do the trick. For a mid-sized, multi-feature wedding, you should budget between $1500-$3500. Most weddings fit into this category. Large and multi-day events vary widely so we suggest getting a rough quote during the early stages of planning.
Pin spots add to a wedding lighting design by pulling attention towards your beautiful centerpieces.
Getting the most out of your wedding budget
Many venues and DJs will offer lighting to couples at competitive prices. While these prices are often attractive, there are a few things you should understand. There are many lights available at very low prices for venues & DJs to purchase and rent to couples for $800-$1200. Often, you’ll end up paying only slightly less for a product that has a fraction of the quality. There are a number of problems with this low-quality lighting. Often, the Red/Green/Blue LEDs within the lights that are used for mixing to different colors are not purchased from the same place. This causes the lights to have slightly different colors. Many venues will show pictures of lighting that a professional company did and claim that as their lighting package. Others will heavily edit the photos they show you so the lighting looks more impressive.
Professional lighting companies not only have higher quality equipment, they often have specialized gear for different situations. Do your research before accepting uplighting from a DJ or Venue, more often than not they are charging you for an inferior product. You wouldn’t shop for your catering this way, there is no reason to think lighting is any different. Look at it this way: You can get really affordable catering from your local fast food restaurant. Technically, that and what you’d get from a high-end caterer are both food, but they have large differences in the level of quality.
Wedding lighting and your venue
Wedding lighting is one of the most affordable ways to transform your event space. It’s also one of the best ways to enhance the finer parts of your venue. Remember, lighting is what makes your event feel special. Everything from the cake to your dress will be affected by lighting. Good lighting can completely transform your venue, instantly enhance the reception décor, and create amazing photo ops for you and your guests.
Hiring a pro
The Lighting & Sound Co is a national design and production company based in Richmond, Virginia. We provide event production services, including lighting, live sound, video, and drape services for events of all sizes, and a diverse range of clients. Our quote process is quick and easy, you can get started right now.
Short answer: no. The only thing you need are a ring and a marriage license. You probably don’t need uplighting. But if you’re having a party, you may want to look into how lighting can drastically affect your event space. Uplighting is one of the more popular wedding lighting options, and for good reason too. The proper placement of uplighting can do wonders for your space. And just as importantly: your pictures. Pair that with the relative affordability of uplighting vs other decor options and you begin to understand its popularity. Uplighting services are among the many lighting options available for your wedding. Find out how easy it is to work uplighting into your budget.
Powerful narrow-beamed uplighting project all the way up the columns of the Science Museum of Virginia, in Richmond, Va.
Choosing the right wedding lighting service.
While uplighting is a popular option, if you think it’s not the right service for your event, you may be right. If you’re having an outdoor event, look into bistro lighting. String lighting effects such as bistro lighting are great for lighting rustic and traditional weddings. Perhaps you don’t need lighting at all. With custom drape, there are thousands of possibilities. A well-placed drape backdrop looks fantastic behind a head table, or as a backdrop for pictures.
Bistro lighting is ideal for outdoor events because of both its classic feel and it’s ability to cover large areas with light.
Your wedding and uplighting
When it comes to your wedding, we know how tough it can be to manage your budget. Here’s an easy list to help you decide if you need uplighting for your wedding.
Amber uplighting for a wedding at the Commonwealth Club, Richmond, Virginia.
You may need uplighting if…
Your wedding is in an ugly venue. Couples pick venues for dozens of different reasons. Couples sometimes pick venues for sentimental reasons. Sometimes they pick them based completely on the location. Sometimes a venue has fantastic food, but just needs a face lift. Uplighting can do wonders for a bland slab of drywall or an unimpressive corner, tying it into the look of the rest of your party instead of sticking out.
Your wedding is in a beautiful space. If you’re getting married in a remarkable old hotel, a modern gem or a building with some history, lighting will often highlight the beauty in an already impressive space. Architectural features like columns, windows, and ceilings can be lit for ambient effect. Materials like unfinished brick and plaster often look dynamic and beautiful when uplit. Many brides will see a few pictures of poorly-designed uplighting looks and become discouraged. Like most things, if done wrong, uplighting can be tacky. If designed correctly, uplighting will take the look of your venue to the next level.
Your wedding is in a familiar space. Increasingly more couples are using old barns, non-conventional event spaces, or just using their parents back yard for their weddings. Uplighting creates a new perspective on familiar items. This adds a flash of drama that is crucial in an otherwise ordinary space.
A little uplighting and drape goes a long way in an otherwise ordinary room.
Think big: Lighting and drape can completely change the look of your event space.
You probably don’t need uplighting if…
You need to cut costs to the extreme. Not everyone can afford everything they want for their wedding, we completely understand. Things like silverware, entertainment, and furniture all need to be taken care of first and sometimes lighting doesn’t make the cut. That’s okay, uplighting isn’t a prerequisite to have a good time.
Your venue provides uplighting. If your venue already provides uplighting, make sure they show it to you in action. Photographers often edit pictures to make dim lights appear to be brighter, so you’re going to want to see it with your own eyes. Venues can often provide uplighting packages included with your rental fee, just make sure they’re giving you the same thing a professional lighting company would.
You have a daytime wedding. While professional lighting companies carry powerful uplighting, fighting against the sun can be futile. Bistro lighting (because of it’s classic look) and drape are far more effective for daytime events.
Sometimes daylight washes out uplighting, but other times it’s a fantastic accent. A designer can help you decide what’s best for your wedding.