Eight Steps to Great Event Lighting

Lighting is the strongest medium available to transform a meeting or gala into an exciting, elegant event that guests will both enjoy and remember. At Dallas Light and Sound – “Your Vision is our Mission”. Our staff of event designers are skilled at transforming dreams into reality..... and lighting plays the most important part of that process.

To accomplish this objective, we rely upon information gleaned from discussions with our clients of the “Eight Steps to Great Event Lighting”. Often all of the answers aren't known during the first meeting. If you are just getting started then don't worry, we routinely work with clients to fill in those blanks.

Step 1 - Basic questions
A few basic questions start the process of designing the lighting for any event.

gusts to an event.
  • Which facility — convention center, hotel ballroom, church, temple, tent?
  • What is the event - awards gala, wedding, style show, performance
  • How many guests are attending?
  • Will there be centerpieces, and how tall will they be?
  • What are the room dimensions, and are there chandeliers or soffits that alter the ceiling height?
  • Is there a theme, and what colors relate to it?
  • Is dancing planned for the evening? Does the facility have a dancefloor?
  • Is there entertainment or a speaker, and what are their lighting requirements?
  • What is the size of the stage? Does the facility furnish staging.
  • Will guest speakers speak on stage or on the dance floor, or do they wander?
  • Is fog or haze allowed? Is it required to have a fire marshal present to shut the sprinklers off?
Other questions that can impact the cost of providing services include:When is load-in and strike, and how long do we have? What is the size of the elevator, are there any weight limitations, and does the elevator operate 24/7? Are other groups loading in at the same time? Can we leave the truck on the dock, or where can we park it? Does the facility have a lift and can we use the lift? Is there a room where we can store our road cases and packing crates?

Step 2 - Make a layout
The room layout partially dictates the lighting. It is important to include all the tables, stage, dance floor, video projection area, bars and buffet tables.

Step 3 - Light buffets, centerpieces, floral arrangements, bars, silent auctions
A variety of different par cans and pin spots are used to light centerpieces, floral arrangements, buffets and bars. An event that features a silent auction will see greater revenue realized if auction items are lit properly.
Step 4 - Light the Walls and CeilingNothing is worse than walking into an event where the “house lighting” is the only lighting in use and where it is on at 100% brightness. The room should neither be too dark or too bright. Dallas Light and Sound owns a variety of fixtures to wash rooms including the latest in LED technology. A room or tent can be completely transformed using a wash of one color on the walls with the same or another color on the ceilings. Dallas Light and Sound frequently utilizes color changing LED fixtures, and both water texture and kaleidoscope texture fixtures to achieve dramatic effects in washing the walls and ceiling. Custom gobos for your event add a refined touch and are available with adequate lead time. Dallas Light & Sound maintains ample gobo projectors to project logos or messages onto every wall of the room, the ceiling, floor and entrance.
Step 5 - Light the Stage
If a stage and performance is part of the event (and it usually is) lighting the stage is the most important part of the event because the stage becomes the visual focal point of the entire event. This is literally where “the magic happens.” In addition to great lighting, trussing, spandex shapes, theatrical curtains and other stage elements combine to make for a really impressive event. For the greatest impact, follow spots are always a great choice.
Step 6 - Light the Dance Floor
Dancing in the dark isn’t any fun. If dancing is part of the event, the floor should be lit with intelligent lighting fixtures to punch up the fun and make the event guests feel as if they are part of the event. Dallas Light & Sound owns a staggering array of intelligent light fixtures to light a dancefloor for 200 or 2000. When the dance floor is unoccupied, the group producing the event may want to have their logo or a message projected onto the floor. Gobo projectors are the way to make that happen and Dallas Light and Sound has projectors at the ready.

Step 7 - Video Projection is Important
High definition video projectors and both front and rear projection screens are big parts of our impressive inventory of lighting fixtures. Need to project a sponsor loop or information about an event, the agenda, or technical info? Want to incorporate video into your event? Dallas Light and Sound is ready to make it happen.
Step 8 - Exterior Lighting Welcomes GuestsExterior lighting is a growing field. To make a great impression on arriving and departing guests, nothing has a more dramatic effect than lighting the outside of a tent or a museum or the grounds of a house. Projecting an event logo onto the sidewalk, walls of a building, or in the entranceway is an impressive way to welcome
Budget - Balancing the desired look of the event against the available budget is where our expertise comes into play to help realize the dreams of our clients. Events large and small benefit from an in-person discussion with one of our event designers. Call Dallas Light and Sound at 214-943-4238 to schedule an appointment for a consultation.