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What Makes Great Event Lighting?


Lighting Designers, or “Lampies” as per the term of endearment handed out by us audio brethren, often debate what makes great Event Lighting. Call me a pragmatist but I feel the answer is pretty simple.

I recently went to see Motley Crue on their farewell tour. This was a show that was so over the top on its lighting that it was a complete assault to the senses – I could almost feel my retinas singeing. While I hated the design and the visual ocular pummeling, I hand my hat to their LD for delivering the exact excessive feel he was after.

Great Event Lighting is about augmenting the mood you are trying to capture. It should highlight a theme but not overstate nor detract from it. Throughout my career I have seen the care that goes into getting the design right, all the way through to a complete lack of consideration that detracts from an Event’s message.

When done well, Event Lighting reinforces a point of interest. This can be a performer perfectly framed by a profile or a tableau bathed in colour. These possibilities are only limited by imagination.

Colour has an effect on mood as well – blue is calming while red incites passion (and, in the right circumstance, hunger). We are also taught early on not to wash a room with green during food service as it makes the food appear sickly.

When I discuss a lighting design with a client I’m not concerned so much by equipment specification, rather what I can do to perfectly capture the mood and message. This makes great Event Lighting, and it is what we are about at Amuse.