112: Up Lighting
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A Simple Guide To Up Lighting
Prior to about 2007, the only lighting for weddings or formal affairs in hotel ballrooms were the chandeliers mounted in the ballroom ceilings and the stage lights for the band or DJ. Things have changed for the better since then and now we have UP LIGHTING.
Up Lighting is simply a light fixture sitting on the floor, next to a wall and pointing up against the wall. The light fixture usually has a color gel over it to project a colored beam against the wall that gets wider as it reaches the ceiling. Up Lighting can be as simple as one light fixture or as elaborate as 1000 light fixtures and a controller that makes them slowly change colors to the music or time. It can be as subtle as the sunset or as dramatic as a tornado. It's all up to you.
The first Up Lights were standard stage lighting flood cans with color gels, mounted on a small flat base that held them up, aiming at the ceiling, against a wall. The next generation of Up Lighting came when the new LED stage flood lights were introduced about one year later.
With LED stage lighting flood cans, you have the ability to create a multitude of colors on each fixture and you can add a controller to the system that allows you to create millions of colors as well as having them all change colors together or in sequence and brighten or dim as you desire. These Universal DMX controllers have the ability for you to program hundreds of different scenes to be played back whenever you want.
To get started with Up Lighting, you need to decide if you want the cheaper traditional stage lighting flood can with a colored gel sheet over it (about $20), or the more elaborate LED stage lighting flood can that allows numerous colors to be created at the touch of a button (about $40). Each of these types of lights has a standard power cord that plugs into a wall socket. The traditional stage flood light uses much more electricity than the newer LED flood lights and that can be extremely important when using them and other electrical equipment in ballrooms with limited electricity. Most standard halogen stage flood lights have a 90 to 120 watt bulb while the comparable LED flood light uses less than 13 watts.
The next step is to determine how many Up Lighting fixtures you need. You can have one, two, four, twelve, 24, or more. Only you can decide what is right for your application. If you use more than one fixture, you then need to decide if you want to set the color on each fixture or get a controller and program the lights to change colors, brighten, dim, flash, or strobe. If you use a controller, you will need to run a DMX cable from the controller to the first Up Lighting fixture, another DMX cable from the first Up Lighting fixture to the second fixture and so on. This is called "Daisy Chaining" the fixtures.
Usually it's cheaper to buy these fixtures than to rent them and these Up Lighting fixtures, cables and controller are all usable for many years, so don't consider it a one use expense. You can even buy waterproof Up Lighting fixtures at CheapLights.com to use indoors at your wedding and then take home and use them on your house!
For more info on Up Lighting, call the pro's at CheapLights.com or check out Section 112 of our web catalog 112: Up Lighting