Event Lighting Ideas

Lighting is an effective and often cost-effective way to transform the ambiance of an event or conference or to create special effects. It can be used to set the mood and tone and to create stunning visual effects. Here are several cost-effective event lighting ideas to inspire you!

The different type of effects that can easily be created by clever and creative use of event lighting can be baffling. Here are some simple but effective event lighting ideas to consider when planning your next event.

Event Planner Top Tip: Don’t forget to chat to your photographer and/or videographer about the lighting levels and effects before the event gets underway so they know what to expect and have the right equipment and settings prepared to capture the event in all of its glory.

event lighting ideas

Dim The Lights

A Dimmer System is available in many venues and is a great way to have control of the lighting levels and to easily subdue or brighten the lighting in a room, without costing any money.

Coloured Gels and Bulbs

Coloured gels can be placed over bulbs to create lovely muted, soft lighting.  Coloured lighting can really help to set the mood and can also be matched to corporate or event colours as desired.  We regularly use a conference set covered in grey felt and then introduce lighting to create a wash of the desired colour to give a bespoke look to every event.

event lighting ideas


Light can be used to draw attention to certain areas, such as a venue feature.  Uplighting by placing a light at floor level shining upwards can highlight an architectural element such as a pillar, walkway, arch, etc or draw attention to a banner or event branding.

Light Flow

Light can also distract from other areas and can be used to control the flow of visitors around an event, in essence drawing them towards the light and “blocking off” areas in darkness.


Often it is important to highlight speakers and performers to ensure the audience can see them clearly.  This could be via lighting at the lectern or follow spots.

Top Tip: Don’t forget to check that lighting is comfortable for the speaker/performer – you don’t want to blind them!


Gobos are like a stencil put over a light to project logos, patterns or photographic images.  They are a great way to add branding to the event – e.g. the event logo and can be static or moving.

Special Effects

Smoke and haze effects are a great way to highlight light beams and make them stand out for a far greater effect.

event lighting ideas

Ambient Lighting

If you are running a dinner don’t forget the ambiance and intimacy that traditional candles and tea lights can create on the tables too! Or what about fairy lights and lanterns to give an ethereal feel?

Programmed Light Show

If you need to create something really special your audio visual company will be able to suggest and create a unique lighting show for your event.  This can be pre-programmed from the lighting desk and even set in time with music and other special effects.

Projection Mapping

A more expensive option but a great talking point is to project onto a building.  We projected a sponsors logo and message onto the Natural History Museum in London, whilst the launch and gala dinner took place inside.  It gave a big welcome to guests as they arrived but also helped to spread a much wider message to people passing by.

A huge talking point from the Queens Jubilee concert was when Madness used lighting projected onto Buckingham Palace to transform it into a street of terraced houses!  


Baffled by event lighting options or working to a set budget? Talk to your event management company or audio visual company and they will be happy to help and to suggest creative lighting options to match your budget.

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