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  • Writer's pictureSims Hospitality Ltd

Our Venue Lighting Made All The Difference - Inside and Out!

Whilst attention to detail on tableware is important for any event, an often overlooked aspect is venue lighting. Using coloured floodlights, uplighters and/or temporary architectural lighting is a quick and easy way to add the wow factor to your event.

Sims Hospitality has a range of temporary event lighting equipment which we can setup and configure, perfectly themed to your event. We have provided non-intrusive internal and external lighting for a whole host of events, including formal dinners, weddings and awards ceremonies. In this article we wanted to share with you some of the key considerations to make when lighting your venue.

Sims Hospitality lit up the facade of Antrobus House in Amesbury, for a client who was having her wedding at the venue. Using our intuitive completely wireless outdoor lighting system the whole of the venues exterior was lit in bright colours to match the clients wedding colours, without having the need for unsightly cables. The system is exceptionally bright, easy to deploy and has the ability to display one, or a combination of, many thousands of colours.

To Floodlight Or Uplight?

Unlike concerts or shows, lighting for events such as weddings, dinners and seated events needs to be unobtrusive and undistracting. Rather than being the focus of a guests attention, any event lighting should complement the venue but not be overbearing in a way that either distracts or dazzles a guest. Perhaps the most popular way to achieve this is by using uplighting, projecting a beam of coloured or white light from floor level up an existing feature, such as a pillar or wall. By locating the lights at floor level you can avoid dazzling guests, which may otherwise happen by having fixtures located at eye level - particularly in an environment where guests will be seated at different angles and positions. Consideration needs to be given to any floor level fixtures to ensure that they do not cause a trip hazard and some types of fixtures can emit a large amount of heat, so positioning near flammable materials is another important consideration.

Another event but this time inside a stretch tent marquee, Sims Hospitality was contracted by an Amesbury Hotel to provide interior decoration and lighting for a military event. A DMX lighting controller was used to provide added effects during the after dinner entertainment, with sound to light coordinated lighting effects. The finished effects, both the static lights during the meal and the effects during the post meal entertainment, were breathtaking.

Choosing The Right Colour Combination

Colours is an important consideration, particularly where you want to achieve brand or theme consistency. Modern lighting fixtures allow you to vary the colour temperature greatly too, so even the 'shade' of the colour(s) used is important to get right. When choosing colours it's important not to overdo it, and also be aware that colours can impact many factors - such as how warm (or cold) the guests feel and the ambience of the room. Equally the amount of colour put into a room can affect a guests ability to focus on a speaker or food for example, so often effect lighting is accompanied by subtle functional house lighting.

Generally for formal occasions having colours change is a 'nono' as it can be distracting for guests and make it more difficult to focus on a speaker or food. Once you've achieved the right colour combination you've then got to give consideration to brightness - an important factor which will ultimately contribute to the ambience of the room. Brighter colours tend to give more of a party atmosphere, whereas softer lighting tends to provide more of a relaxed atmosphere in a room.

Sims Hospitality interior uplighting in use at a wedding, complementing other lighting in the venue. Here you can also see light up love letters, which are available to hire through Sims Hospitality.

Other Types Of Event Lighting

Texture Lighting

Texture lights project patterns onto walls, ceilings, dance floors, floors, stages - basically any surface. These types of lights help to create depth, contrast and interest. The projection light fixtures use 'gobos' inside to create patterns that can be matched to your events design. Texture lighting may also be referred to as leko lighting, gobo lighting, source 4 lighting or altman lighting.

Pin Spot Lighting

Pin spot lighting is usually very narrow beams of light are focused on specific items in the room, essentially highlighting them. This could be table centerpieces, the wedding cake place cards, guestbook area, sweet tables and even bar areas. Pin spot lighting can have a 'hard' edge where it is perfectly focused on a particular item, or softer edge to give a pool of light in a particular area.

Pin spot lighting can create a high end, elegant, high contrast appearance. The additional light provided allows the overall ambient light in the room to be lowered, creating the perfect ambience.

Monogram Lighting

Monogram lighting works on the same principle as texture lighting is a form of gobo lighting. This often involves creating a custom gobo for the client, with a monogram on, which is projected onto a surface - often the middle of a dancefloor or wall. Monogram lighting is often a talking point of guests and can give an event a refined feel.

Centerpiece Lighting

Centrepiece lighting is used where the light is in the centrepiece itself, often below a sheet of glass. Centrepiece lighting normally invovles using battery powered 'light discs' that can be placed underneath items like centerpieces, buffet displays, photos. They project their light from underneath and can be set to any color. Centerpiece lighting is a great way to highlight centerpieces on your table and add warmth and color into the room above and beyond traditional candles.

Sparkle Trees

Sparkle Trees are often used as accents or markers, such as on the entrance to a venue. These can be real or artificial trees or bushes, such as topiaries, with hundreds of small LED lights in that can be either static or set to give a 'sparkle' appearance.

Fairy Berries

Fairy berries hit the market recently and have been one of the biggest hits with weddings to date. A fairy berry is a 3/4in opaque white ball with a light and battery that slowly fades on and off at random times. This creates a firefly effect that is unbelieveable. Fairy berries come in a rainbow of colors to match any event's decor and color choice. Each berry lasts approximately 16 hours on one charge and are waterproof. They are great for hanging from arrangements, putting into arrangements, or creating a shimmer effect throughout the entire room.

Pipe & Drape / Starcloths

Pipe and drape, or starcloths, are fabric panels that can be used to define spaces, cover up unsightly room features, create cabanas, or create beautiful backdrops behind features in the room. They can be hung up onto an existing feature or have a hidden frame integrated so that they are freestanding. They often have hundreds of small LED lights built in, which can be set to a variety of effects but are invisible when off.

White and black drapes are standard (though we can source other colours). White fabrics work well with uplighting or other lighting (as they take the colors from the lights really well) whereas black. Sheer fabrics and customized colors can also be used to achieve a high end, matched look that will help set your event apart.

The Number 1 Rule

The key to effect or atmospheric lighting for any event is don't overdo it, in the world of event lighting often less is very much more.

Why not contact us today to discuss your event and how our lighting and decoration addons can give your event the wow factor.

Venue Lighting Gallery

Below are some examples of recent lighting projects that Sims Hospitality have undertaken.


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