How to Choose the Right Lighting for Your Outdoor Event

If you’re planning an outdoor event this summer, choosing the right lighting is essential to its success. Lighting can seem like an afterthought, but it’s an important part of any event. The right lighting can help you set the mood, keep guests safe and make it possible to execute your event flawlessly.

But, how do you know what kind of lighting to hire? Whether you don’t consider yourself an expert event planner or just want to make sure everything goes well, these tips are for you.

Choosing the right lighting is a matter of analysing your needs and then understanding your options. There are literally dozens of types of lighting you can choose from so you have lots of options when it comes to keeping your event well lit.

As you plan your next event, ask yourself these questions to determine what kind of lighting you need.

Where will I need Lighting?

First, determine where you will need lighting and make a list. For example, do you want to light up an entire event area or just provide lighting in food-service areas, athletic benches, bleachers or parking areas? This decision is entirely up to you and depends on what kind of event you are hosting.

One important thing to keep in mind is safety. While you may not want to fill an entire area with bright light, you do need to provide enough light to prevent tripping and other accidents.

If you aren’t sure where you’ll need lighting, you can visit your venue at night and make note of ideal places for lighting. When you determine where you need lighting, you can more easily decide what kind you need and what options will be best for your situation.

How much Lighting Will I Need?

Now that you know where you need lighting, you can easily find out how much of it you will need. You can read the descriptions of different products or talk to a sales associate at the tool and equipment shop you are working with to find out how much light different models emit.

It’s hard to determine exactly how much lighting you will need but when you have an idea of what kind of space you need to light up, you can compare that to various models and choose the best ones.

It’s a good rule of thumb to hire more lighting when you are in doubt of how much you need. That way you will be more likely to have enough as you set up for your event. Having some extra, or emergency, lighting on hand is also a good idea. As the sun starts to set, you may find more places you want to light up or some areas may be darker than you thought they would be.

Is my Event Planned Around Electrical Outlets?

While you are determining where you will need lighting and how much of it you will need, make sure your event is planned around electrical outlets. If you need to, make a sketch of your venue and mark where the outlets are so you can plan where to arrange things like tables, chairs and podiums.

Now is a good time to pick up on any discrepancies between how your event is planned and where you plan to use lighting. Make sure you have lighting arranged in such a way to make your event possible, safe and comfortable.

If you need to, make changes to the way your event is set up and arranged before you hire the lighting for your event. When your venue, activities and lighting all work together and complement each other, your event will be gorgeous and go very smoothly.

Be careful not to overload electrical outlets and use power strips where necessary so you can safely power several units. If you will be using long power cords or extension cords, be sure to use covers to prevent people from tripping.

What kind of Mood do I want to Create?

The lighting you use will help you create a mood and ambience at your event. As you choose what kind of lighting to use, consider what kind of mood you want to create and then make sure the lighting you pick is consistent with that.

Floodlights are the perfect fit if you want to light up a very large area. These lights let out a very bright, clean light that will bathe the entire space in light. If you are going for a cheerful mood or your event requires guests to be able to work or see details very clearly, this is a great choice.

If you need very focused lighting, tasklights are your best bet. These lights allow you to illuminate a small area very well so using several of them is a good way to use them at an outdoor event. Tasklights are also great for lighting up cooking areas, steps and entryways. They aren’t designed to light up a very large area, so consider using them in combination with other types of lights.

Festoon lights are very common at events and for good reason. Their design makes them ideal for covering a large area since they are meant to be strung across a fence or along stakes in the ground. These lights are usually waterproof, so they are perfect to use outside.

If you want to create a casual, soft mood during your event, these lights are an excellent choice. They provide enough light to make holding an outside event at night possible, but they don’t shed bright or overbearing light. Festoon lights can add a charming, laid-back feel to your summer event.

The right lighting will take your event from ordinary to amazing. It can help you make activities possible and keep your guests safe, but it can also add that special something or feeling to your event. When you choose the right lighting, you’ll be able to set the right mood for your event and pull off the perfect summer evening!




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About the Author

Lauren King

Lauren works in our Ecommerce Team, with over 6 years of experience at HSS. She brings product knowledge and is able to give her advice on the right tool for the job no matter how big or small.

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