Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Simple Guide to Lighting--or--Why Have I Never Heard of This Before?

The answer is simple and it's also complex! The simple answer is that just a few years ago, uplighting and pinspotting just weren't available for any but the most expensive celebrity weddings!
An "uplight" is simply a lighting fixture that sits on the floor close to the wall, that shines up the wall in a fairly tight pattern. Uplights are usually placed strategically around a room to create a backdrop of lighting. Uplighting takes boring walls and turns them into decorative highlights that compliment your color scheme.
Just a couple of years ago, the lighting industry came out with LED uplighting fixtures. Because the LED's stay cool, they eliminate a lot of the risks associated with supplementary lighting. They also use a miniscule amount of electricity, and the LED uplighting doesn't require gels to make the colors (gels are very expensive and the colors possible were limited). These fixtures have little LED bulbs in red, blue and green (and sometimes amber, like the ones we have for our ballroom, which were more expensive, but greatly expand the possibilities of colors). The number of colors possible is infinite! Each fixture has a digital display for setting the color. So if you want the same color all the way around the room, we set all the lights to the same numbers. Then, to add to the fun, if you want to be able to change the colors of the lights, all at the same time, we connect them all together with cables and a DMX controller. This gives you the option of having the lights start out light blue, then fade to pale green, then fade again a few minutes later to a soft pink. Whatever you want, color wise, is possible, and all the lights change at the same time. This is called "intelligent lighting" .
I vividly remember Colin Cowie's program at the Association of Bridal Consultants Annual Conference in New Orleans in 1999. Nobody was allowed into the room until everything was set. When we walked in, there was dynamic music playing, the house lights were turned down, and there were uplights all the way around the room. It was breathtaking! Onstage there were 5 tables, decked out to the nines with awesome centerpieces, china, glassware and silver. Most of us had never seen anything like it before! Every attendee in the room was speechless!! He showed us how beautiful tables could be with pinspots on the centerpieces. In his delightful South African accent he told us "I would NEVER do a wedding without uplighting and pinspots on the tables! I put far too much effort in the centerpieces to have them be lost in the dark!"
Pin spots are little spot lights that are aimed at something, usually your table centerpieces, to highlight them and make them "pop". Pin spots can also be used to highlight a candy table, a gift table, a cake table, even the centerpiece on the head table. Pin spots make the difference between your guests actually seeing the centerpieces and having them blend into the overall low light situation in the room. When your guests walk into the room with pin spots on the tables, their eyes are instantly drawn to your stunning centerpieces!
Have you ever noticed how art museums either have spots in the ceilings that shine on paintings, or they might have a light fixture that actually attaches to the picture frame and illuminates the painting? Lighting is everything folks. It's the subtle difference between mediocre and spectacular.
Check out the post from last week of Kristin and Tony's wedding. Notice the uplighting (in fuchsia to match their wedding colors!) and pinspotting on their gorgeous centerpieces. You can bet that their guests are going to vividly remember the moment that they walked into the room! The WOW effect was huge!
Take a look at these two photos.

One is pinspotted, one is not, can you tell which is which? The second picture required flash because of the low lighting, it lost depth, and drama. Pinspots enable your photographer to get some amazing table shots! Think about it. Even a rose in a rose bowl is going to look spectacular if it is TREATED like it's special.
Come see us, and we'll talk about what we can do to create a lighting atmosphere for your wedding that is going to give it real "pow"! We have been working hard for the last several months getting things in place to offer you some fabulous options at reasonable prices.
Let's make it happen!!!

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