It’s often only after the sun starts sinking that your house or garden party starts getting truly atmospheric. From that moment on, you’re in control of the light. Guest blogger Menno is here to tell you about the do’s and don’ts of party lighting, spanning everything from simple birthday get-togethers to all-out dance and karaoke parties. Menno covers atmosphere, designated areas, LEDs versus light bulbs, and the use of effects.

Party Lighting: Do’s and Don’ts

First of All: What Kind of Party?

If you’re going to throw a house party, try to envision it first. Do you want the place to be in the kitchen where the fridge is, or do you want to turn your entire house into a mini-club? A dinner party naturally doesn’t require a lot of imagination and creativity, just a large fridge full of the good stuff.

The Neighbours

Tip: If you’re going for a mini-club and don’t want to fall out with the neighbours the day after, you could opt for a Silent Disco (see image below): a super-fun way to get people dancing without causing any disturbance. If you insist on making (excessive) noise, make sure to use a huge stereo sound system and hire a karaoke machine. My trick to be as little of a nuisance as possible is to create a welcome and positive vibe, play good music and invite the neighbours.

Party Lighting: Do’s and Don’ts

Think Atmosphere: LEDs or Not?

No matter how you decide to dress up your party, you have to create good vibes. This can be done adding ‘warmth’ to rooms and setting up designated areas where people can sit, hang or lounge (and no, I’m not referring to a circle of chairs here). In addition, you can use lighting to create a sense of intimacy, but whatever you do, don’t use white light. I have to admit I also have a love-hate relationship with LED lighting. While it’s affordable, easy to set up in terms of colour, barely gives off heat and doesn’t need much power, the drawback is that I feel that LED lighting doesn’t breathe as much atmosphere as traditional light bulbs do. Hence, at events, I often go for a combination of both: warm light in sight, and LED light for the background or to accentuate parts of the stage or decor.

Traditional PAR Cans

For the lighting that’s in direct sight, I use lights that emit a warm light. Old-fashioned PAR cans like this one combined with colour filters such as these are my personal favourite. You can actually create a similar effect at home by replacing any bulbs with a large fitting with a coloured lamp like this example. Or, depending on the lamp, you can opt to fit a light filter.

LED Lights

LED lighting is an easy way to create a dizzying array of effects. You might keep things as simple as rolling out a rope light or two, but if I were you, I’d go for some flood lights or up-lights like this one. They’re often wireless and can be given pride of place in poorly lit corners or mounted to the ceiling to provide a nice, warm glow. Up-lights are fairly pricey but renting gear is a simple solution if you’re on a budget. Wired flood lights like this one are a more affordable option, just remember that you’ll be needing a few of them. One simply isn’t enough to light up a wall that’s a couple of metres wide.
Party Lighting: Do’s and Don’ts

Light in Motion = More Action

If you want to really get a party going, you might want to consider moving lights. Customers that rent lighting gear from me to host a party, often go with a scanner, a moving head or sun-strips. The American DJ StarBurst LED, for instance, fills the entire room with moving light, shaping a brilliant beam effect. If the plans are limited to a small house party, I recommend going with a few smaller effects rather than one big one. The options here include scanners and moving heads. I also give customers a switcher panel so they’re able to switch between effects and keep things fresh. Finally, I recommend a smoke machine as the finishing touch. Not just because of its atmosphere-creating potential, but because it adds a great amount of visibility to any light beams that you have shooting around the room. Success guaranteed!
Verlichting voor een feestje - Do's en don'ts
If you have any questions or remarks, please let me know in the comments below!

See Also

» Halloween Party Lighting
» The Ideal DJ Lighting Setup
» Stage Lighting: What’s the Right Lighting for You?
» How Dangerous are Show Lasers?

» PAR Spots
» Colour Filters
» Battery-Powered Led Spotlights / Washes
» Outdoor Lighting
» Lighting Effects
» Moving Heads
» Scanners
» Smoke Machines

No responses

No comments yet...

Leave a Reply