Lighting Design FAQ: 5 Things You Never Knew Your Event Needed

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Photo credit: Getty Images

Whether you’re worried about a wedding, bringing together a birthday bash, or got stuck coordinating the office holiday party, planning an event is always stressful. With your head (and hands) full of so many different details, it’s easy to miss essential event elements like lighting.

That’s what the experts at Frost Productions are for. Lead lighting designer Andrew Dooley and lighting designer Warren Cullmer answered five of their most frequently asked questions from clients about how to light up the life of any party.

 

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Why do I need lighting for my ceremony or cocktail reception when the sun is just setting?

You would think a sunset would provide the perfect amount of romantic lighting, especially for an early evening event. But relying solely on fading sunlight can be tricky, and timing is everything. At an indoor venue with windows, Cullmer says you’re fighting ambient light. “It’s all about balancing with what the environment is,” says Cullmer. “This is especially crucial during the time of day when the color temperature of the natural light is constantly changing.”

“We take a lot into consideration, including room orientation, layout, windows, and shades,” adds Dooley. “A few hours before sunset through last light of day is when lighting is key. The right lighting application can combat negative shadows and draw focus.”

 

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Why do I need a special lighting application on my dance floor?

Lighting your dance floor is essential – and not just because it prevents your guests from tripping over each other during the Cupid Shuffle. “We coordinate lighting to match the intensity or energy of the music,” says Dooley. “You can influence people with the use of dramatic lighting. Lighting can evoke emotion and drive the way a person feels.”

The team also points out that a lit dance floor helps draw focus to the center of the room for speeches, toasts, and formal dances to highlight the important moments of any event.

 

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What is “uplighting” and is it the most important lighting application?

Even if you’re not familiar with professional lighting vocabulary, you can probably still figure out that uplighting involves placing lights to throw illumination upwards. It’s the most popular lighting application, but it’s far from the only option in creating an event’s environment. “Uplighting is just one tool in the lighting design toolkit,” says Cullmer. “When it’s the right choice for a space and it’s done correctly, it highlights and showcases architectural details like columns or molding around the perimeter of the room.”

 

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Why do I need to light bars and food stations?

If you want your guests to tuck into your carefully selected spread, lighting can help enhance the options your chef worked hard to create and add dimension to glassware and décor. “By lighting bar and food stations, we’re pulling out pieces that are important,” says Dooley. “After all, you want to be able to see everything that you spent your time and money on to make your event the best it can be.”

 

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Why does Frost leave a technician or lighting programmer on-site during the event?

If you’re coordinating an event with Frost, you’ll have an expert on standby the whole time, which comes in handy for last minute changes and transitioning from first walk-ins through full-on dance party. “We are not a set it and forget it service,” says Cullmer. “We leave our lighting programmers onsite to choreograph the lighting and tailor it to what’s happening in the room. Having capability in the moment allows for lighting to constantly evolve and remain interesting throughout the entire evening. We can go with the flow and adjust as needed.”

For more information on planning your event with the experts at Frost Productions, visit frostproductions.biz.

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