When it comes to planning events, the first things people think of is: decoration, food, alcohol, costumes and music, although not necessarily in that order. Lighting, however, is usually the last thing on the list although along with the music, contributes greatly towards ambience and atmosphere. Lighting is all about setting the tone of the party, perhaps even more so than the music and is key to highlighting (pardon the pun) the focus and theme of the party.
Are you going to be seeing in the witching hour this year with spooky music or motion-activated sounds from a 1970s horror movie? While these are all great to have and to scare your neighbours with, don’t forget your lighting. A haunted house at a theme park just wouldn’t have the same effect if all the lights were on inside, would it? Turning them off altogether just wouldn’t be conducive to successfully getting visitors in one end and out the other either.
There are plenty of budget lighting solutions out there and several rentable options too. Flicking candles are wonderful to create that eerie feeling and green, orange or even while ultraviolet light bulbs can have a dramatic effect on any room, hallway or garden path. Remember that the aim here is to set the scene and change people’s perception of something that would otherwise seem ordinary. The power of connotation is to be used to its absolute advantage in this sense, just the same way as horror movie producers spike adrenaline levels with creepy, dramatic movie. Nothing has to happen in the movie but the insinuation is enough to encourage fear. I am not however, encouraging you to traumatise your youngest niece and nephew or best office buddy but such a little effort with the lighting can go a long way in creating a great party atmosphere.
Further reading: Halloween Party Guide
The Christmas party is currently the trending topic in the office. We may not even be in December but preparations are certainly getting underway and we don’t want you to be left behind. Themed parties are extremely popular and hot topics include: Spy themes, anything from the 50s to the 70s, winter wonderland, vintage, masquerade ball, Moroccan, mad hatter, rock n Roll, Caribbean or Hawaiian party.
Much of the ambience at any of these themes can be simply be created by the lighting you choose. Just imagine the difference fairy lights along a driveway or spread around a garden can create or the seductive intimacy created by the dim glow of tea lights hidden in Arabic-styled candleholders. Lighting serves a double purpose here, the first being to create illusion and the second to illuminate. Moving away from being a necessity, it has now become an integral part of the decoration.
Further reading: Christmas Party Planning Guide
Lighting Solutions for Party Themes
There are some fantastic lighting solutions available today that can be ordered online and would suit many different types of party although it important to remember that it is just the type of lighting that succeeds in establishing a certain party atmosphere but what you do with it.
Professional lighting experts give a lot of thought of how and where to place lighting and the different effect each position creates. I don’t of course expect an event planner or the deemed “office party organiser” to be lighting professionals over night but lots of fun can also be had in experimenting with different angles.
Think about the distribution of light and what your intentions are. Do you want to create a focal point or a softer, more subtle glow that slowly directs the eye, perhaps illuminate certain areas of the room, cast shadows over others or create visual directionality. Lighting has a psychological effect on humans and as it has been proven that people will naturally turn towards bright light, use this to highlight certain features of a room or guide people down the garden path….literally!
Further reading: Crash Course in Lighting
Written by Fiona Warren-Bassett, juice & UK Flash Mob