2018 Buffet Lighting Trends

At special events, we often focus many of our lighting design ideas on guest tables, accent tables where we place focal items like escort cards, guest book or sign in tables, dessert displays, and on areas reserved for dancing. Sometimes we miss the opportunity to highlight one of the most important features of an exceptional event—the food. Great cuisine deserves great lighting, so we’ve assembled some buffet lighting options that incorporate the latest lighting trends.

Elaborate backdrops

One way to draw major attention to beautiful food displays is to set up an eye-catching backdrop. Suspend sheer panels behind the buffet in one of the colors of your event’s palette to define the area. Add strings of light behind the panels to create a warm, inviting glow. You can add strings of crystal beads or even the heads of flowers on transparent filament in front of the panels to give the appearance that they are floating for extra effect.

When planning a lighted backdrop display, make sure that you account for your power needs as you create your floorplans. Or, plan to use battery-operated strings of LED lights.

Not sure what to suspend the panels from? If you are handy, you can create an inexpensive structure from PVC pipe that can be painted a neutral color and used again for future events. Your floral designer may already have something on hand, or consult your venue for ideas. Of course, a professional lighting designer is also sure to have great ideas for you, too!

One of the top trends for 2018 is the rise of hanging installations. Suspended above a focal area like the buffet, these elaborate displays are often lattice-like or crate-like structures covered with thick layers of greens, or even flowers.

Clusters of pillars

Between trays, bowls or service items, and on raised areas to give the table a variety of heights, cluster groups of pillar candles in different sizes. Consider using LED battery operated candles so guests don’t inadvertently touch flames or knock over traditional wax candles. You can also scatter smaller candles in votive cups. Try a variety of colored cups or different designs that complement your event theme.

Hanging installations

One of the top trends for 2018 is the rise of hanging installations. Suspended above a focal area like the buffet, these elaborate displays are often lattice-like or crate-like structures covered with thick layers of greens, or even flowers. From the base, you can hang pretty paper lanterns with glowing LED lights, pompoms, and flowers. Hang them from different lengths of fishing line, twine, or ribbon for the best effect.

Do make sure that any hanging décor is high enough that it does not get in the way of guests as they get their food and that creative children can’t get hold of it.

Photo courtesy Stephanie Yonce Photography - https://www.stephanieyoncephotography.com/

Marquee lighting

Consistent with the popular Industrial Chic concept, but also available in designs that can easily complement other styles, marquee lighting, or 3D letters with built in lightbulbs is on-trend. Shorter is generally better with marquee lighting. Use it to spell out BAR or FOOD, or to add other short words drawn from your theme like VIP, ALOHA, BBQ or even a very short hashtag.

Food is a main attraction for event guests. Give it the love it deserves by adding exciting light features to your displays.

Find more trends at Catersource 2019! Click on the logo above for updates!

Audrey Isaac

Audrey Isaac is the spokesperson of 100 Candles, a wholesale market for candles and lights. Since 2002, thousands of wedding and event professionals have entrusted 100 Candles with their wholesale candle accounts. For more information, please visit https://www.100candles.com/.