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The Future of Event Lighting

In a feature by In Tents Mag, Pamela Mills-Senn writes below how LED's will be the future of event lighting. See full article here 

The LED advantage

LED fixtures are popular for many reasons, such as reduced power consumption and output, says Todd, mentioning their output is anywhere from 1/8 to 1/10 that of conventional lights/fixtures. This takes away the heat element that can damage tent fabric and be dangerous to the touch. Unlike some conventional (dimmable tungsten) lighting fixtures that utilize much heavier cable, LED fixtures require less and smaller cabling, making concealment under carpeting or matting easier. Also desirable is their ability to change color.

“Conventional lighting fixtures do not change color without adding an expensive color changing accessory that is completely out of fashion,” Todd explains. “For this reason, conventional lighting fixtures have a gel filter added in a single color. The majority of LEDs have vast color-changing capabilities.”

There are several types of LED fixtures, explains Todd. The broad-beamed washes provide a light that is more diffused and are commonly used for tented events. The profile/framing projector-type LEDs allow users to put in gobos, very useful for logos and branding or to frame light very specifically, such as on a podium, dance floor, stage, wedding cake and so on. There are also the aforementioned wireless, magnetic pin spots (“extremely popular”) and LED retro/vintage lighting. This latter is a “trend to watch,” says Todd, especially the oversized lamps with large filaments.

The battery-operated LED fixtures—of which there are a goodly amount that are very high quality, says Todd—are also often deployed to light up pathways or for up-lighting trees, tent exteriors and so on. Among their advantages is that they don’t present a trip-and-fall hazard, you can drop them anywhere and they’re ready to go, with most operable by a wireless control. They can also be programmed to change color.

Mertens says he’s seen customers trending to shatter-resistant, acrylic LED bulbs or lights.

“The LED bulbs allow the customers to plug in more lighting together, use less electricity, and because they are shatter-resistant, they don’t need to be replaced or even taken out of the sockets when moving the lights,” he says. “Although these currently have a higher upfront cost to the customer, they’re proving to be worth the investment in labor hours saved and not having to constantly buy and replace traditional glass bulb options.”

“For these lighting solutions, we see LED bulbs dropping in costs over time, making them a more affordable option,” Mertens says. 

Pamela Mills-Senn is a writer based in Seal Beach, Calif.'