• Ajay Manaktala

Ballroom and Wedding Lighting 101

Updated: Sep 29, 2019

Are you getting married or hosting an event soon and using a ballroom/venue for you special occasion? You’re probably confused since many people realize they also need to pick lighting and decorative packages.

Since for most of us renting a ballroom isn’t exactly a yearly activity, I put this guide together to explain all you need to know for lighting up your event. 

wedding lighting ballroom guide
Pinspots are small lights in your center pieces and flower, pattern projector look closely at the back wall.

Ballroom Lighting 101

What is Ballroom and Event lighting? Event lighting usually refers to:

  • Lighting up the walls, called Uplights

  • Lighting up the stage and dance floor with spotlights and movable intelligent lighting.

  • Decorative detailed lighting like stencils/designs/patterns you see on walls and dance floors called pattern projection. 

  • Market lighting or fairy lights, which are very common for outdoor functions to really give the terrace or cliffside some mood and decor. 

  • Pinspots, which light up the tables, flowers and centerpieces and basically try to act like stronger candles to light up tables, pillars, etc..

  • Wash lighting which is less common in weddings, but very common in raves and concerts and late night parties.  It’s basically when you try to fill up the entire stage or venue as one color like green or red or yellow. You see this a lot at high school dances and concerts that might have one consistent theme (like green for St. Patty’s day)

  • Gobo lighting to stencil your name or hashtag. 

Event lighting usually does not refer to:

  • Candles on walkways or trees

  • TV screens and Led Screens (but most companies offer these)

  • Light shows like a bellagio fountain or light-dance performers (although most companies can arrange those as well)

  • Fireworks

  • Chandeliers (although your DJ, event planning and/or hotel will have their own suggestions as well). 

A common plain ballroom would look like this which is what the hotel provides:

hotel lighting before
This is what you get when you book a ballroom.

The same ballroom after being decorated and lit up would look like this: 

ballroom lighting before and after orange county los angeles
same ballroom with conference seating removed, dance floor added and stage built.

Event light is extremely important at: 

  • Indoor weddings receptions and ceremonies  

  • product launches, 

  • birthday parties, 

  • Corporate events

  • Trade shows

  • Award shows

  • Industry dinners and galas

  • And many more special functions. 

If the above images and explanations are adequate, I’m glad and hope it helped.  

However, if you’d like to know specific details on each type of lights, what type you’ll need for your event, how much they generally cost and tips on how to save and hacks you can do, please read on! 

This post is structured in the following way if you want to skip ahead:

  • Importance of Event Lighting

  • Types of Event Lighting

  • Common Lighting Mistakes

  • Costs of Event Lighting

  • What Factors Af