Designing and setting up lighting for your event can save you a lot of money, but it can also be a time consuming exercise to perfectly research and plan how you want your event lighting to be, and to get it right! Lighting sets the atmosphere and tone for your event, and the effect lighting can have on the whole ambience of a room should not be underestimated. Therefore it’s important to know upfront what kind of mood and vibe you want to create for your event and each different section.
Here are some of our top tips that are helpful to keep in mind when planning your event lighting hire. As Sydney’s leading lighting hire suppliers, we’ve tailored our suggestions specifically for those planning events in the Sydney and greater Sydney region.
1. What effect do you want to create with your lighting? Break this down by room and run sheet times and be specific about the variations between each.
The easiest way to approach this is with a floor plan and run sheet side by side, and to break down your event by areas and location, and timings. For example, whether it’s a corporate event, wedding, birthday or special occasion, when guests arrive usually you’ll want the lighting to be brighter in the arrival area so people can assess where they need to go and get their bearings. If it’s a conference or event where people need to sign and check-in, having lighting with clear visibility is critical to ensure a smooth arrival process. This can even be the same for entry table seating plans at wedding receptions, you want guests to quickly identify and see where they need to move on to, and proceed. Having crowds of guests struggling to read and see their assigned seating at the entryway to a reception room is not ideal!
2. How much natural lighting will there be?
Of course this will vary on the times of day of your event, however planning for daylight, sunset and evening lighting is equally as important. It’s a common mistake to plan your event lighting to a tee and set this up, and not have accounted for how much or how little natural lighting there is, and how this will affect the overall lighting of a room. This is especially necessary for stage productions or conference events where there might be a screen or projector in use. The natural lighting of your event space also has a big impact on event photography, which is a high consideration for special occasions such as weddings, ceremonies or religious celebrations. You might also have to add a timing factor into your lighting, and for example increase the brightness inside for when it’s past sunset, or turn on lighting if your event is continuing from the day time to the evening and is outdoors, i.e. under a marquee or on a lawn.
3. Lighting power source, supply and connection
This one you’ll need to check with your venue and lighting hire supplier about what connection you’ll need. Logistically, it’s important that this is planned out so that all cords are safely managed. If you’re using battery operated lights, you’ll need to consider how long the battery lasts and if it’s not for the entirety of your event, plan when you want the light to be used. Adding power sources to your floor plan is a handy way to map where your lighting will be connected and proof your set-up in advance of the big day.
4. Check the watts and usage of your lighting equipment hired
When dealing with a lighting hire company, they will have access to a whole range of lighting equipment used for various event types and occasions. Make sure you clarify with your lighting specialist what the usage is for your lighting hire and be specific about the type of event, whether it’s indoors or outdoors and the size of the space. This will ensure you hire the right lighting for the right situation, and don’t have a case of extreme, bright, festival lighting meant for an outdoor space with thousands of people used for a small lawn gathering of guests! Outside lights should always be covered by a tent or marquee of some kind, and if not the cord should be waterproof and checked by an expert that it meets safety requirements. The last thing you want is a drizzle of rain to set off an electrical fire!
5. Test the lighting in your event set-up
Just as you would have a sound check, you should also include a lighting check to your event run sheet. Doing a full lighting check before your event kicks off is the best way to ensure everything is set up exactly as you had pictured, and spent time planning for. There might be small details that need to be adjusted, like cord placements or brightness, and having this attended to ahead of time will give you peace of mind that when things are ready to go, it will run smoothly. Your lighting supply company should have already tested that everything is provided in full working order and you should make sure to have their contact details handy in case anything were to be a miss!
Need lighting hire for your upcoming event? Contact Party Hire Group for all your lighting needs. From disco balls to strobe lights, UV black lights, lanterns, floodlights and more. Sydney’s Party Hire Group has all your event lighting needs covered.