So, I'm not gonna lie. I love uplighting. There isn't an event that we do I don't think would be made better with a well crafted, well-planned, uplighting design. I'd up-light most rooms in my house if my wife would let me. And it would seem that many of you out there getting married or involved in the wedding industry agree with me as we have never been busier helping many of our clients plan an uplighting design. So, in my blog this week, I thought I'd write a quick primer on uplighting: What it is, why its great, and how to do it right. Enjoy this exploration of uplighting (then call me to order some)!
WHAT IS UPLIGHTING?
Uplighting is an event lighting design created with an array of floor-based lighting fixtures placed around the perimeter of a room focused on walls, points of interest, architectural details, or any other element of a room or event that you would want an amazing highlight of color placed upon. Uplighting is a fantastic way to express an event's color palette and is often the foundation of a more comprehensive total event design. Uplighting has become incredibly popular with clients and event designers because of the incredibly favorable ratio of Impact : Cost. Because of its immense popularity, uplighting can now be found being offered from any number of different kinds of vendors (DJs, Rental Companies, Planners, Event Venues, even Photographers), in a variety of different package types, at a huge variety of price points. So you love uplighting, but how do you know how to hire the right vendor who will do uplighting "right"?
UPLIGHTING. DONE RIGHT.
So, when you start exploring lighting vendors, you are going to find a big range of pricing options. How do you make sure you are hiring an uplighting vendor who knows what they are doing? Here are some things to consider and ask the vendors about:
- Does the vendor have the latest uplighting technology? The fixtures used in uplighting have made quantum leaps in technological advances in the past few years. Today's best fixtures for creating a great uplighting design are LED-based (no heat, consume very small amounts of power), discreet, battery powered (no ugly power cables and tape on floors and walls, HUGE difference!), and capable of creating nearly any color in the spectrum. Be worried about a vendor using older technology where the extreme heat of bulbs can pose a danger, not all color choices are available, and you have to deal with ugly power cables being run all over your event space. TIP: Ask to see the light fixture used for uplighting at your consult with the vendor.
- How many fixtures am I getting? Knowing how many fixtures to use in a well-planned uplighting design is critical! Here's the deal. In our expert opinion, an uplighting layout is either right or its wrong... And I promise, you will see the finished product and know right away which one you've got. A proper uplighting design should be symmetrical! If there is a fixture on one column in a room, there should be one on all the columns. If there is a fixture on one side of a doorway, there should be one on the other side. If there is a fixture between two windows, there should be a fixture between all the windows...you see where I'm going. See the picture below of a glaringly incomplete design: Make sure you hire a vendor who understands this and can provide enough fixtures to make a complete design. Also, be careful investing in a package of uplighting that is priced "by-the-fixture". Investing in less fixtures then the room needs is NEVER a good value. If a room needs 24 fixtures to be complete, but you buy 18 because it fit the budget, I promise that you wont see the 18 pretty lights, you will only see the 6 spots that there should have been lights! In the long run, you probably would have been more satisfied saving the money than buying an incomplete design. TIP: Hire a vendor who sells uplighting for a flat rate for a complete room design that you get to approve.
- Can I see your work? Make sure that you check out a lighting vendor's portfolio of work. Would you hire a photographer without seeing their work. No! That's crazy. If a vendor doesn't have an extensive gallery or portfolio of work...move along. Make sure that you see as much content from a vendor as you can. The more lighting work they do, the better they get at it. Make sure its THEIR work, of venues in YOUR area...pretty easy to rob pictures online. TIP: Ask the vendor if an onsite lighting consult is possible. If you can see a vendor's lights on your venues walls...all the better.
So, there you go...your primer into having great uplighting at your event. Keep this article close at hand when you start calling lighting vendors. Or, better yet? Call Encore Events and be sure! Check out our lighting gallery at: http://www.rochesterdj.com/gallery2/