LED light­ing for events: It’s the best for the busi­ness

Light­ing is an im­por­tant as­pect of all ma­jor events. Event or­gan­is­ers can now in­cor­po­rate bet­ter light­ing set­ups by us­ing LEDs, even while sav­ing sub­stan­tially on costs.

Electronics Bazaar - - Contents - By Baishakhi Dutta

Event plan­ning is big busi­ness these days. Whether it is prod­uct launches by big cor­po­ra­tions or ma­jor press con­fer­ences, the or­gan­i­sa­tion of events in­volves big spend­ing, and a lot hinges on the suc­cess of a show. One of the ma­jor re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of an event man­ager is to cre­ate an at­trac­tive am­bi­ence to at­tract a big crowd, and to set the rel­e­vant mood. So a ma­jor chunk of what is spent on the set­ting of a stage and the au­di­ence space goes into light­ing. Ear­lier, con­ven­tional light­ing tech­nolo­gies like flu­o­res­cents dom­i­nated the light­ing at events be­cause of their lower up­front costs. The in­tro­duc­tion of LEDs has changed that, be­cause these of­fer higher en­ergy sav­ings, lower op­er­a­tional costs, a longer life span and bet­ter light­ing ef­fects.

Dif­fer­ent types of light­ing for events

De­pend­ing on the type of event be­ing hosted, one can choose from

a va­ri­ety of LED light­ing sys­tems of­fered these days. Thanks to the technology avail­able, there is so much more that can be done with light­ing.

Up light­ing: This is a tech­nique by which lu­mi­naires are placed on the ground and aimed up­wards to project light ei­ther onto a wall or at a spe­cific ob­ject. It’s a use­ful way of high­light­ing cer­tain dec­o­ra­tions, parts of the room, the speak­ers dur­ing their pre­sen­ta­tions, or other el­e­ments.

Gobo light­ing: A gobo is a type of sten­cil that gets placed over a light source. As the light passes through the gobo, the sten­ciled image gets pro­jected onto what­ever sur­face it’s pointed at. Go­bos are pop­u­lar for the end­less imag­i­na­tive pos­si­bil­i­ties they en­able.

Out­door light­ing: If your event can be held out­doors, sev­eral ex­tra light­ing op­tions be­come avail­able. Pa­per lanterns can be strung to evoke a dream­like aura while main­tain­ing a fun mood. And string or bistro lights can be used to cre­ate a ‘light’ canopy over a dance floor or din­ing area.

Spot light­ing: As the name im­plies, spot light­ing is when the light is fo­cused on a sin­gle point and is usu­ally used to high­light a spe­cific ob­ject or per­son. This is sim­i­lar to when up light­ing is used, but the dif­fer­ence is that spot light­ing doesn’t need to be beamed from be­low. This kind of light­ing is most com­monly used in stage light­ing, to high­light speak­ers, ob­jects or per­form­ers.

The ben­e­fits of LEDs at events

To­day’s en­ter­tain­ment in­dus­try re­quires highly cre­ative en­gi­neer­ing to ac­com­plish what clients want. LEDs are be­com­ing more and more com­mon on film sets. They can be pow­ered by bat­ter­ies, which makes them very por­ta­ble. And they do not re­quire sep­a­rate bal­lasts or heavy ca­bling.

While their higher up­front costs have pre­vented LEDs from pick­ing up mo­men­tum in the In­dian mar­ket, the high sav­ings dur­ing op­er­a­tion can re­cover the in­vest­ments quite quickly. A se­nior tech­ni­cal engi­neer from a na­tional events com­pany, on con­di­tion of anonymity, shares, “The big­ger play­ers in the events ver­ti­cal have com­pletely shifted to LEDs. How­ever, the hes­i­ta­tion to switch comes from the small and medium scale com­pa­nies in In­dia. Some of them have par­tially tran­si­tioned to the technology, and are re­ceiv­ing about 10 to 12 per cent cost ben­e­fits. If they adopt LEDs com­pletely, the sav­ings will go up to a guar­an­teed 30 per cent, at the very least.”

En­gi­neers are cur­rently work­ing on cre­at­ing cut­ting-edge de­signs, which use the lat­est technology in the LED mar­ket. Man­u­fac­tur­ing so­lu­tions for LED de­vices and equip­ment are on the rise. The stage, film sets and event lo­ca­tions in the en­ter­tain-

ment in­dus­try are us­ing LEDs on a large scale. The aim is to cre­ate vis­ually ap­peal­ing scenes that evoke the right re­sponse from the au­di­ence. LEDs are much more ef­fi­cient, longer last­ing, have higher ef­fi­cacy, are nearly main­te­nance­free and op­er­ate at much cooler tem­per­a­tures.

Se­lec­tion tips

A good event light­ing com­pany will en­sure that it has a good se­lec­tion of up­lights, string light­ing, pipes and drapes, as well as cus­tom go­bos. Those look­ing for light­ing so­lu­tions at events must en­sure that up­light shields are be­ing of­fered for the safety of guests. Light stands must be cov­ered to make the light­ing sys­tem look el­e­gant.

The light­ing ser­vice must have a re­mote con­trol which dims the lights ac­cord­ing to the pro­gramme’s re­quire­ments. For ex­am­ple, light­ing dur­ing a speech re­quires a spot­light to fo­cus on the speaker. Other lights in the room or area must be dimmed to

their min­i­mum lev­els to high­light the speaker bet­ter. Dance light­ing will re­quire a con­stant change in the light­ing and must suit the mu­sic.

Fi­nally, while hir­ing an event man­age­ment firm, one should read a few re­views about the com­pany to get some feed­back on their work. Check the types of event light­ing they of­fer on their web­site. Look­ing at an event com­pany’s pre­vi­ous work will al­ways give you a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of their knowl­edge and ex­per­tise.

What the fu­ture holds

The me­dia and en­ter­tain­ment (M&E) in­dus­try and the events ver­ti­cal is a sun­rise sec­tor for the In­dian econ­omy and is mak­ing great strides for­ward. It is cur­rently go­ing through a growth spurt, backed by ris­ing con­sumer de­mand, im­proved ad­ver­tis­ing rev­enues and a greater reach due to the In­ter­net. So the de­mand for en­ergy-ef­fi­cient, in­no­va­tive LED light­ing in this sec­tor will con­tinue to in­crease.

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