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Transitioning Your Event Lighting from Summer to Fall

Professional event lighting can make all the difference between a summery Sunday brunch and an intimate fall wedding. From earlier sunsets to seasonal ambience, there are a number of lighting considerations as we transition to autumn.

Generally, fall welcomes in warm and cozy lighting features that complement the rich seasonal color palettes of deep reds, oranges, and yellows. However, there are many ways to achieve an autumn-friendly lighting design — it all depends on your client’s event vision and the venue space at hand.

Here are a few tips for making your lighting plan strategic and versatile throughout the seasons.

Photo courtesy Jenny DeMarco Photography –

Consider the venue

In autumn, we start to see a shift towards more indoor events which is excellent for taking lighting to the next level. Candlelight will always be a popular choice for fall, as it creates the perfect atmosphere of warmth and romance.

Photo courtesy Sunshower Photography –

Chandeliers are another favorite choice for bringing a touch of elegance to any event space. Innovative lighting installations, like hanging Edison bulbs and webs of LED bistro lights, add a next-level dynamic feel that can serve well as a focal point.

Manage the timing

As we get into the fall season, the days become shorter and the sun starts to set earlier. Do yourself a favor and print out a calendar of sunset times so you can plan your event timeline around it.

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Then, put your lights on a timer so they naturally enhance the venue as the sun begins to set. This will prevent ambient lighting from being washed out in broad daylight, while also keeping your guests out of the dark.

Go neon

Neon is in, and we could not be more thrilled. With neon becoming increasingly affordable and accessible for event clients, they add an extra funky touch to any event. Neon lighting is a great way to make elements stand out, so consider using it for a couple’s monogram, a company logo, or an accent wall backdrop.

The great thing about neon is that it comes in so many colors, so you can truly customize it to your customer’s vision. Stick to one or two colors, or adopt the rainbow — with neon, it always works. Just be cautious about placement to avoid flashback in photos.

Incorporate video mapping

Event lighting technology continues to advance and, in that, video mapping has become a great option for customizing an event. The new projection methods have made this effect more affordable for clients, so it’s no longer reserved for luxury events only.

Video mapping turns a venue into a blank canvas with lighting patterns, textures, and shapes that can be personalized to a client’s wishes. Turn plain white linens into something special with the flick of a switch, or jazz up the dance floor for a special moment in the night. The possibilities are endless!

Fall is the perfect time to explore lighting options and experiment with new technologies. Keep an eye out for inspiration and work closely with your clients to find a solution that fits their needs. Most importantly, get creative and do not be afraid to try something new — you will be surprised how powerful lighting can be and the impact it can have on an event’s atmosphere.

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.