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Event Lighting: Everything You Need to Know About Spotlights

Spotlights don’t have all the glitz and glamour that elegant chandeliers and bold gobo washes have, but don’t discount them for their simplicity. While they may not bring on all the “oohs” and “ahhs” from clients, spotlights are arguably the most necessary light fixtures used in events. In fact, there are spotlights on every single contract we sign out simply because they’re so essential to the event’s lighting design. Read on and learn a thing or two about subtle yet influential spotlights. 

Credit: Jasmine Lee Photography

Spotlights are great for bringing attention to something, whether it’s the cake table, dessert bar or sweetheart table – pretty much anything in the room that needs to be highlighted! For weddings, this may mean the dance floor so that everyone is drawn to the sweet first dance, whereas a corporate event would have spotlights focusing on the stage or wherever the speaker(s) will be standing.

Credit: Viera Photographics

Generally, spotlights aren’t a one-size-fits-all piece which makes sense seeing as no two events are alike! Various options offer different intensities, different area size and even different colors.

When it comes to placement, spotlights are generally best directly above whatever is being lit up – this avoids as many shadows as possible. It’s also best to place them high up above guests’ heads so that they’re subtle and unobtrusive. Not only is this perfect for highlighting all of the beautiful décor, but it also provides the right amount of lighting for intimate conversation without blinding the guests.

Credit: Blueberry Photography

Although it may be difficult to get clients excited about the spotlights, the difference between a space with and without them is definitely noticeable. While spotlights may not be the more popular or ‘sexiest’ of light fixtures, they are certainly an integral part of any lighting design so be sure to keep them in mind when planning out the event space. Paired with other lighting pieces, it’s sure to be a client’s dream come true!


Kevin Dennis is the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the current chapter president for Silicon Valley NACE, and the immediate past national president for WIPA.

Kevin Dennis

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the past president for Silicon Valley NACE, and national vice president for WIPA.