Lighting is Transformative
Event Lighting, Stage Lighting, & Lighting as a Decorating Tool
The room goes silent. House lights go down. The curtain rises to reveal the opening scene. Stage lighting adjusts and transports you into the performance. We need lighting to see, instruct us, create mood and transport from the usual to a fantasy.
Daily in our life, everyone feels the influence of lighting. Recall the anticipation of the performance and the hush that overcomes the audience as the house lights go down. Add color, shapes and brightness to the stage and increase the intensity of the scene. At the podium, all presenters are illuminated, but not flattened. Lighting creates depth and dimension. At a gala, ladies gowns and jewels should sparkle. Special event lighting is transformative and the most important tool to “set the stage” for performances, meetings and special events.
Ampa Events maintains inventory of over 50 different traditional incandescent and modern fixtures suitable for every event or performance. A search light that announces a grand opening, a follow spot to attract attention, chandeliers for elegant illumination, pin spots highlighting dining tables and centerpieces, gobo projectors to tell a story, artists and tradesman must have the right tools in their tool box. Ampa has all the tools, accessories, knowhow and more.
what is a gobo? What is an iris? Why do I need color correctors or diffuser paper? How do we use gel paper? Do I need to worry about electricity?
For these answers and more, please read on. From full room lighting designs to traditional stage lighting or the addition of color to support branding and the projection of a logo, lighting has many applications. As one of Ampa Events many tools in our large toolbox for event services, lighting is the important finishing touch to the whole ensemble in the same manner the right shoes, the right bag, and the right jewelry are necessary to finish the look of a lady’s evening gown for a gala!
The Parts to a great event lighting design
Creativity and knowledge lead off the list. Traditional knowledge and experience with light comes from a traditional education in the theater arts. LED Lights are everywhere, but to truly be effective with lighting as an event design tool, knowing, understanding and using traditional fixtures to illuminate people and scenery is Ampa’s starting point.
The common fixtures of theatre: ellipsoidals, par cans, fresnels and follow spots are equally applicable for live events. Technology has brought us variations on these fixtures, such as computer driven movie lights using lamps and lenses to mimic par cans for illumination and ellipsoidals for the projection of imagery. LED lighting has cut power requirements immensely and thus helped to reduce some installation time and need for venue support. Stage lighting and full room decorative lighting use a mix of these fixtures.
Full Room Lighting Design
Lighting sets the mood. Color, brightness, movement or static, all play an important part in event lighting. Why should you care? Because your lighting is one of the most important elements of decorating. Over all, it is highly cost-effective because it can cover large areas with ease. It is impactful and a tool that give the room a pop!
Lighting for illumination and decorating are important for every event. Ampa establishes themes with lighting and turns blah rooms into a wow!
For corporate meetings, galas, worthy causes and fundraisers, the program stage must be illuminated properly both for the guest and AV systems. For political or public events, special care is needed for the press and their camera crews. Ampa hires lighting technicians with University BFA degrees in technical theater. The traditional approach, as found in theater, is the best source of training for this work, providing clients with appropriate designs and equipment for the best outcome.
There is one more factor to consider with Stage Lighting and that is a professional interface with the venue. Stage lighting can be installed with ground bases systems, but also, a fly rig gets the equipment up and out of the way plus fly rigs provide the best “angles” for the lighting. With proper angles, we support the shape of the human form and stage design features, not flattening them out which is always a risk with too much lighting or bad angles. With over 25 years in the business, venues in the mid Atlantic know us for a respectful, cooperative approach. We are insured and understand the technical factors and engineering that goes along with fly rig lighting systems.
The most frequently ordered lighting options and rightly so. Uplighting takes a mundane room, warms it up and brings it to life. Uplighting creates depth and dimension to an otherwise flat wall. Adding color helps to establish a brand or support a design motif. Versatile, impactful, and cost-effective, uplighting should be ordered with every event as the basis of a special event lighting program.
What type of lighting fixture should I choose?
Traditional incandescent theatrical lighting fixtures or LED lighting fixtures?Variables to consider when selecting a lighting instrument include electrical power, desired color, ease of use and installation time. Incandescent lamps provide softer warmer light. If the goal is a soft blush tone to wash sheer drape for a wedding reception, the use of gel paper with traditional par cans is the better approach. Here is one of our advantages at Ampa – former theatre lighting technicians have the background, knowledge and knowhow for the best recommendation.
LED instruments are all the rage. Their costs have come down, quality has improved and they are easy to use and quick to install. Offering a wide variety of color options, they are also friendly on power consumption, thus cutting down on possible electrical fees from venues.
Up Lighting - Conventional Fixtures
Multiple fixtures with incandescent lamps for soft colors.
Up Lighting - LED Fixtures
Flicker Free LED Systems. Why is this important? Lower quality LED lighting systems will appear to flicker or strobe in a video recording. Ampa inventories only high quality LED lighting systems that avoid this problem that affects video and media cameras.
Pin Spotting Tables & Highlight Lighting
A pin spot highlights the table. This option is mostly used to specifically highlight beautiful centerpieces which creates a pop. A dim room contrasted with lighting highlights on the centerpieces or the entire table is very dramatic adding additional depth to the room. Ampa highly recommends pin spotting for a very exclusive look.
Food and Beverage Service. Equally, use lighting to highlight the cake table, the award table, buffets, bars, carving stations and more.
Gobos & Image Projection
What is a Gobo? The most basic gobo is a cut stainless steel, paper thin lens about 3 inches in diameter. Gobos are also available as glass black & white to full color. All are inserted into a theatrical fixture called an Ellipsoidal (or Leko). With the high wattage lamp and superior glass lenses, the fixture projects the cut image where desired. Much like a camera, each fixture is available in Wide or Narrow Lens beam angles – narrow for long throw and wide for short throw distances. Now, imagine a bazillion snowflakes projected on all the walls of your event or twinkly stars!
Monogram Projection and Branding
Gobos are great tools to personalize or brand an event. It is easy to insert a lighting image most anywhere – on the dance floor, walls, or in the foyer.
How do I order a Customer Gobo?
Ampa is a Dealer for Apollo Design Gobos. If you have artwork, logos or images, just send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For wedding monograms, to review a variety of templates and fonts please click the link below. All orders are managed by Ampa’s team of graphics artists. Min 1 week advance notice.
- Par Cans
- Follow spots
- Cyc Lights
Effects Lights, Lanterns, Chandeliers
- Market Light Strings
- Paper Lantern Strings
- Twinkle Lights
- Night Sky FX and Designs
- Chandeliers: Crystal, Fabric and Floral
- UV Lighting
- Lit shadow box letters – Carousel letters
- Lit bars and Lit furniture
Not really and considering how much decorative coverage you get with special event lighting designs, dollar for dollar, it is probably one of the most cost effective approaches to decorating?
There are 2 things we can do. First, select LED based fixtures and, if the program is rather large, rent and use generators.
We get it and as designers, we do everything we can to position and disguise providing support systems to minimize their presents in the event. White event drape, Black event drape for an appropriate colored is used to hide support systems. Remember, as theater people, we know how to direct your eye to the main event and away from the support structures. On stage, areas we do not want to see are left dim. Key areas of the environment are illuminated Bring your eye to the beauty of the event.
All lights are not created equal. We live in a disposable society. Frankly, there’s a lot of cheap junk on the market. The advent of the LED lighting has proliferated a great deal of poor quality equipment what’s inconsistent Lighting color and effectiveness. Traditional incandescent lighting has its benefits with consistent quality being one of them, however higher quality and more expensive LED fixtures provide benefits that keep overall costs reasonable. The old adage that you pay for what you get holds true invited.
Some companies have higher costs of operations due to their location in high rent districts. Others may have higher costs due to business structure and inefficiencies. Some companies Will do a great sales job for the use of very expensive large computer-driven moving lights that were originally designed for Rock concerts. While of these fixtures have plenty of bells and whistles, traditional fixtures effectively do the same thing at much lower prices. Well-known companies tend to charge more because of their well-established and worthy reputation. Additionally Price can be affected by the “mark ups” that our usual and customary when the lighting company is being subcontracted. There are many unnecessary reasons for why Lighting and general production costs shoot through the roof.
Ampa Events owns all of its own lights, and support gear as a direct source of the equipment, technical and design services. Working directly with a company that owns all the equipment and can provide many elements required for an event, such as lighting in combination with drapes, stage sets, theme decorations, centerpieces, as well as general party rentals creates deficiencies in executing the program and it is a better approach to managing a budget.
Full-Service A/V and lighting programs are necessary for corporate events and most galas. Included in our services is a for contingency technicians including lighting and sound technicians. For smaller weddings and special events with only up lighting and maybe one logo projection, technicians are available but may not be necessary.