Modern lighting has advanced so much compared to the last few decades. There’s more to lighting than a solitary spotlight to highlight the performer or an object. Nowadays, lighting can be subtle to create ambience and paired with video content and other forms of spectacle to create a show that the audience will remember.
You have more control with today’s lighting equipment and can, therefore, create whatever effect you want. Technical knowledge and innovative techniques are some of the factors that can make or break a presentation. Apart from that, you will need the right kind of equipment. Whether you’re a newbie or a professional, you should be familiar with the types of lighting and what you need.
If you need more info, here are some tips on how to choose the best lighting equipment.
Lighting equipment can be expensive, so whether you’re renting or buying, you need to plan and pay attention to details. First off, know what kind of event you’ll be using the lighting on, and keep in mind the location and space. A big event located outdoors may need strobe lighting to help light up the place and other pieces of equipment, as compared to an intimate indoor affair.
It pays to know what kind of theme it is. You won’t be able to evoke the intended mood for soft-glow night time audience if you use glaring spotlight fixtures rather than wash lighting. There are so many things to take note of, so here are some questions you need to ask yourself:
- What kind of event is it?
- What kind of mood or ambience does the client want? (Soothing, solemn, exciting, mysterious, etc.)
- Will the lighting be indoors, outdoors, or both?
- Will there be access to AC power and outlets?
- Will your current setup work with existing lighting equipment at the venue?
- What kind of lighting setup and control do you have, or will there be lighting performances?
Know Your Options (and Alternatives)
You have a lot of options when it comes to lighting equipment. There are conventional lighting fixtures, and there are new LED-type fixtures. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages depending on what you need it for.
Conventional lighting equipment makes use of filament-type lights, and the most common examples are halogen lamps and household light bulbs. They definitely consume more power, but they offer the best color rendition. If you want to capture a video or photo using filament bulbs, you can easily control the glow or dim because of how easy it is to control. Additionally, some clients like the look of the “old-schoolness” of filament lamps, so they’re great to have for era-specific themes or events that are set in older periods.
As for LED lighting fixtures, they’re less energy-consuming and offer a lot of versatility when it comes to different colors, like red, green, and blue (RGB). The RGB is versatile as it can be mixed to produce millions of specific colors at will and the light intensity can be controlled as well. Furthermore, LED lights are sturdier because having no filaments mean they can survive wear and tear and bumpy roads during transit with no problems.
As to which one is the best, there is no straight answer because it all boils down to preference and needs. Both types are useful in their own ways. In fact, most lighting equipment professionals tend to mix both to get their desired outcomes.
Consult a Lighting Cheat Sheet (or Make One Yourself)
When you don’t have a lot of experience, you often rely on tips, advice, and basically what information you can get from the internet or from experts. There’s no shame in using a cheat sheet because, as a beginner, knowing about lighting can be overwhelming. You have a lot of factors to consider when doing lighting for an event, so it’s handy to have a reliable cheat sheet you can count on.
As you get more and more experienced, you will know firsthand what works and what doesn’t. If you can remember it at the top of your head, good, if not, you can always make a cheat sheet of your own to help you out.
Another thing to remember when choosing the best lighting equipment is portability. You may have the best strobing lights, beam effects, or lasers, but you won’t be able to use them if you can’t transport them to the event itself.
Even if you have the means to get the equipment where you need it to be, you will also need the technical know-how to assemble and disassemble them. You can start small and opt for battery-operated and less-heavy gear instead. When you have the best lighting equipment you can find coupled with a few accessories and some knowledge, it can produce amazing results.