Lighting as decor: new technology is budget-friendly

Event design is always a balancing act between intended look and budget. Large, “blank slate” event spaces pose the most obvious challenges for décor. But even the most elegant venues often need a touch of flair to get them to better match an event’s color scheme.

Until recently, the main options for large-scale decorating were pipe and drape and large stage lights; each of had its own set of issues.

This airplane hangar is transformed into a festive party through the use of color and light.

This airplane hangar is transformed into a festive party through the use of color and light.

Pipe and drape is expensive, has height limitations, and usually comes in one color: black.

Large stage lights are limited in their flexibility. The use of filters can give you good color effects on most any reflective surface, and custom-crafted gobos enable you to cast whatever imagery you want. But these lights are large, hot, and not capable of rapid change.

In the past if you wanted to change colors for different parts of your show, you needed to rent a different light for each and every color change you want. Not a big deal if you’re talking about a small set, but if you are decorating  an airplane hangar and wanted to do two or three color changes…forget it.

Advances in lighting technology, especially LED lighting technology, have made it easier and more affordable than ever to transform a “blank slate” event space into something special. A single LED light offers every color you could ask for and you can switch between colors with the push of a button.

Many LED lights are also battery powered, eliminating the need for additional power supplies or unsightly cables running throughout the room. LEDs are also compact and powerful, making it easy to cover huge patches of real estate with each small, unobtrusive light.

Possibly best of all, the LED revolution has greatly reduced the price of lighting solutions. The next time you are designing your event décor, be sure to have a conversation with your A/V provider; they have options that can impact your event’s look and feel without impacting the budget.