As the nights draw in and we begin to lose the sunlight earlier and earlier it seems an apt time to talk about the amazing impact that the right party lights can deliver.
There’s a world of options for lighting party marquees, temporary event structures and party venues. From simple mood lighting to elaborate operator manned lighting systems, the right combination of party lights will create dramatic impact and an exquisite party atmosphere for you and your party guests.
In this blog post we’ll take a look at festoon, flambeau and fairy lights, uplights, downlights and pin spotting, intelligent dance floor lights, gobo’s, star cloth, LED props and tape.
Lights, camera, action!
Lighting is an integral component of event design. It’s not just about lighting a room or space, it’s about creating a mood and atmosphere to enhance the theme or style of a party.
When we sit down to design a party or event we carefully consider the types of lights we’ll use throughout the event space, the position and colour of the lights, the amount of power that the lights will require and the cables and rigging. It’s about taking a creative approach to lighting while understanding the technical requirements of producing a brilliantly lit event.
Here’s some of the ways we’ve used different lighting options at recent parties that we’ve produced:
Festoon lights work very well outside, off the front of event structures and to light walkways and side passageways. They also work well across a pond or swimming pool. Festoon lights give a general warm affect and light large outdoor areas without the need for large amounts of rigging. Look out for professional industry event standard festoon lights that provide a sweet ambient light. We also prefer durable plastic bulbs rather than glass to eliminate the worry of any accidental broken glass.
We use two different types of paraffin flambeaux lights;
- metal – for a high end look
- wicker and bamboo – which work well for certain themed parties like jungle or beach themes
Our top tip for flambeaux is to make sure you don’t have too much wick sticking out of the top of the to avoid excessive smoke.
The larger propane gas powered flambeaux featured in the photo above from a Havana Nights themed party, create a dramatic entrance to an elaborate and colourful celebration in the grounds of our client’s home. They also work well as a statement piece when placed on both sides of the doors to the entrance of a party venues.
This table setting makes use of candelabras alongside fairy lights. Stings of fairy lights were placed inside coloured glass bottles with the battery neatly hidden inside the cork.
We use fairy lights extensively for lining entrances and walkways and for creating points of interest in outside areas surrounding party venues and garden marquees. We treat every area that the guest is in as a party space – and fairy lights being battery powered are super useful for this.
You can combine fairy lights with uplights on the outside walls of your house when you’re having a party at home and in the tress and shrubbery in the grounds of your home. This sets the scene for the party from the very beginning when guests enter the space.
Wireless rechargeable battery-operated LED uplights provide remote controlled colour choices and dimmer options. As there are no cables these lights are super versatile and an easy option to position below draping for maximum affect.
Downlights, as opposed to spot lights, can create a gentle wash of light. Party areas to consider for their use include stage, bar and DJ booth. When you’re making a speech or if you have a cake table downlights are well suited to highlight these focal points of your party. Downlights can be rigged into the venue ceiling or onto freestanding stacks.
For the essential mirror ball over your dance floor make use of a couple of pin spotting lights for that lovely little dot affect. If you’re also planning on formal dinning at your party, pin spots on each table picking out the table setting is a very beautiful affect.
Pin spotting also works to pick up on detail like these floral table pieces.
This central chandelier has eight globes with colour changing lights working off remote control. The chandelier is encased in mirrored draping and paired with LED downlights to contrast colour and light the circular mirrored bar.
Intelligent Dance Floor Lighting
Mirage offer an intelligent dance floor lights package with our RAGE pop up nightclub. This lighting package includes a proven successful combination of downlights, pin spotting and laser to bounce off the mirror ball above the dance floor. The nightclub lighting also provides a dramatic atmosphere for guests as they enter the club. You wouldn’t want to have a club party without a professional lighting package. The moving wash of light lifts the club energy. Scanners project light through a lens and then a mirror to create a staccato effect – a sharp and punctuated light that moves in time with the music for party guests to delight in.
Lighting Desk with DMX Control
For parties at venues like this one at The Worx we can offer a lighting system with DMX control for a bespoke lighting atmosphere. This is your option for dedicated operator manned lighting perfect if you have multiple bands, DJs, acts and entertainment that require tailored lighting options throughout your event.
A gobo is a little metal or glass disk that sits within a specialised lighting unit to give pattern or texture for movement. They work well when projected onto string curtains, down banqueting tables or across floors and walls for dramatic affect. Gobo’s can be personalised with a logo or motif.
Star cloth is used to great affect as a back drop on walls, for ceilings or to cover a whole room like in the space themed party photo above. Different colours are available as well as interactive star cloth which send waves or bubbles of colour across the cloth.
Consider your use of warm white or ice white carefully as your choice will impact the party atmosphere. Warm white is more soft and romantic while ice white is dramatic and sharp.
The sky is the limit when it comes to creative LED prop options. Our event designers have curated a wide range of LED props for various themed parties over the years. These light box style props in the photo above are from an extraordinary 1980’s themed party. The panels are created by using an LED batten behind a custom silhouette.
The 1980’s themed party also featured twin LED neon effect palm trees behind the bar.
Looking to get everyone up and dancing at your next party? Party guests love our LED lit sax and percussionist. They’re a central point of interest for guests to get down and dance alongside.
Party guests always make great use of our LED photo frame which is lined with a strip of LED tape. Our party photographers make great use of this very popular party prop to capture photos of party guest. Our hostess at this Katy Perry themed party above also shone bright in her LED costume.
A final word on colour – when it comes to party lights, we’re carefully with the colour combinations that we plan for each party. The party lighting plan has to work in combination with the venue, theme, entertainment and overall styling. The photo above shows a 1920’s soho street scene designed for Great Gatsby party extravaganza and created in a disused warehouse. The purple hue is well suited to this central space where guests mingle before moving to the dance floor.
Some colour choices will work better in different areas that others. It’s about carefully considering all the small details. Light amber works well for cocktail bars while purple light in a bar area needs to be carefully considered. For example in your dinning area, plates and crockery will look dramatic under a blue hue light, but food may look unappetising. And those fresh limes behind the bar ready to make yummy mojito’s will look brown under purple light.
Planning a party?
We’re full service party planners available across London, the home counties and internationally. Do get in touch. You can call us on 01883 740400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
All of the images shown on our website are from events that have been planned and produced by Mirage Parties.
Read more Mirage blog posts for party tips and inspiration.