When it comes to event production, event lighting in NYC is an area that can be overlooked by many producers. The fact is, proper lighting can work to create the perfect environment for your event, focusing the eye of your guests on elements of the room, setting the mood and creating intimacy or generating excitement and energy. Lighting is a powerful tool.

Event Lighting in NYC

Technology today has advanced the art of event lighting in NYC to new levels of complexity and creative power. With so many choices available and a depth of knowledge required to make the right ones, working with a professional technical event production company can make your job easier and maximize your event lighting.

A technical event production company like BML-Blackbird has years of experience installing and operating event lighting. A good company will be up-to-date on the latest technological offerings and creative ways to deploy this technology for maximum impact.

When it comes to event lighting in NYC, the choices you make regarding your lighting can be key to your event’s success or failure. Choosing the wrong equipment can often lead to an undesirable outcome. Let’s take a look at some lighting options available with an eye towards understanding the benefits and drawbacks of using them for your event.

Conventional Lighting vs. Intelligent Lighting

While the theatrical lighting industry was built on conventional lighting, today’s computer technology has given a whole new palette and enhanced flexibility to lighting designers and event producers. Conventional and intelligent lighting are often combined to create spectacular light displays. Which you choose, and how you use them either individually or in combination, depends on the type of event you are producing, your overall aesthetic needs, special needs of your artists and often budget.

event lighting nyc

Conventional Lighting

Conventional lighting, while a bit more “static’ than the latest intelligent lighting, has a fair range of depth. Using colored gels, it’s possible to alter the color palette of your lighting, and by remotely adjusting focus and light intensity, can be used to get a number of special visual effects. Conventional lighting is controlled by a dimmer, which is used to increase or decrease light and change colors.

Different types of lighting fixtures create different lighting effects and focus options. A conventional lighting display may use several types of fixtures such as fresnels, pinspots and lekos/ellipsoidals, each performing a specific function in the lighting design. A lighting console is used to control the various parameters of each fixture. Conventional lighting is often used in conjunction with newer technology.

Intelligent Lighting

Intelligent or automated lighting is a newer technology that uses complex computers to precisely control a huge amount of parameters including shape, intensity, color and focus. Because the fixtures are more intricate and use complex shutters, projection of shapes, rapid light cycling and a host of other parameters, they can be controlled, which conventional lighting doesn’t offer. Thanks to computerized lighting consoles, lighting can be pre-programmed in advance and will operate precisely the same way through multiple performances.

The new fixtures use brighter light sources such as LED bulbs and offer a much smaller profile allowing them to be used in tight spaces effectively. These are especially effective for events that need to be repeated over time, such as theatre performances or extravagant concerts. Automated lighting can also be used to transition an event through various color palettes over the course of an evening to change the aesthetics or mood. The technology allows for projecting various geometric designs, or even corporate logos or messages making them especially useful for trade shows or large corporate events.

Many productions today use a combination of both conventional and intelligent lighting. Working with a qualified technical event production company to design, plan and map your special event lighting in NYC is a smart option. With their knowledge of the newest technology and an eye on your budget, a professional company will be able to work with you to help you make the right choices for your event.

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LED vs. Incandescent

Technology has also advanced when it comes to the actual light source, the bulb. Conventional lighting has long been generated using traditional incandescent bulbs. While still in wide use, newer LED technology has changed the playing field.

LED lights shine brighter, with little to no heat, and use energy much more efficiently. Because they need much less power, stand alone wireless LED fixtures are available that can be used to enhance your event environment without dangerous wiring or excessive heat. LED up-lights are available that can be used effectively to set the visual focus around a room, for example by focusing on columns or architectural details.

Because they are stand-alone units that emit very little heat and offer a very small profile, the dangers of guests tripping over wires or burning themselves accidentally are completely eliminated. Their incredibly small profile allows placement into tight, previously unavailable locations and the bright, focused light emitted by LEDs allows for very creative use of these fixtures.

However, the industry was built on the incandescent bulb and they are still widely used. Incandescent lighting will always offer warmth that it’s sometimes difficult to achieve with the newer, more energy efficient bulbs. There will always have a place for the warmth and functionality of conventional lighting and the incandescent bulb!

The takeaway from all of this is that as an event producer, you have more choices available to you than ever before in terms of lighting. The technology is rapidly evolving and it takes an in-depth knowledge to understand the choices, use and creative possibilities offered by the latest lighting technology.

That’s why, when putting together event lighting in NYC for your next production, it’s wise to hire and work with a professional technical event production company. A company like BML-Blackbird has the experience, knowledge, expertise and creative talent to create the perfect event lighting using both the latest technology and the “old school” tried and true beauty of conventional lighting. A good company will work with you to maximize the effectiveness of your budget, while working hard to attain your creative vision for your special event. 

Next time you’re in the market and searching for event lighting in NYC, give the experts at BML-Blackbird a call. We will bring the power of our years of experience, dedication and talented staff to the table. We will explain the options and technology available to you and will work with you to create the perfect lighting environment for your next production on any budget!

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