SPECTACULAR PARTY LIGHTING – How It’s Done

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We have just celebrated a great friend’s birthday.  We seem to go too far too many 50ths lately, but strangely no one looks older …………  is it the fact that we light our parties so subtly or that we are all short sighted  ?  I wonder ……   anyway add to that a glass of Prosecco and everyone still looks young and beautiful !!

Mind you this weekend there was a lot more to look at as the setting for the party was in the completely wonderful wacky Orangery in the grounds of Port Eliot.  Helped along the gorgeous Lucy Walker the hugely enthusiastic event organiser at Port Eliot.   What a brilliant venue, the theme was vintage everyone made a huge effort with the dress code, our talented hostess looked divine in her 50’s dress,  had also done some beautiful wild flower decorations, all of which reflected the setting, rain stopped just in time and we danced the night away to a fab band called ‘Lost in Space’ best of all Simon was let loose on the lighting ….  how very creative he is …

The real beauty of the Orangery is the faded grandeur, and the setting of it in it’s own secluded walled garden, somehow Simon managed not to take away from it’s natural charm, but lift the atmosphere to something  very special it felt quite dream like.  Over to Simon how we did the lighting techie bit ……

 

This is how we did it

Simon says ……. The Orangery at Port Eliot is a very special historical room, fantastic for a party setting, beautifully built, with curved wood doors, high ceiling, huge windows and a lovely faded feel to the place.  There are lots of features in the room statues, flower chandeliers and alcoves, lots to think about for a lighting scheme

Firstly I need to get some lights up high in the room, tall lighting stands will look cumbersome and get in the way, so decide to go for a free-standing truss arch in the room from where all my overhead fixture’s can be fitted.

To make the most of the ceiling, I decide to project a gobo wash using a set of Source Four Junior Zoom profiles ( see  https://www.essentialsupplies.co.uk/cgi-bin/sh000071.cgi?WD=junior&PN=Source-Four-Junior-Zoom–Black-ELPROS4J.html#SID=268  )

Source Four Junior Zoom

Each with a flower blossom gobo (fits in with the time of year), this will cover the whole ceiling with a blossom effect.

The room will need some extra light, so I use a set of 8 x Smart Batts, these wonderful little uplighters can be placed at the last moment, when all the tables and chairs are out, as they are totally cordless, with battery power, and wireless DMX. See https://www.essentialsupplies.co.uk/acatalog/Smart-BATT-LED-Uplighter-RGBW-Battery-Wireless-DMX—WiFi-ELLED_BAT4.html#SID=257

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The uplighters will go along the back wall and end walls. The front wall is all glass, and I can have some fun effects, floodlighting the outside of the orangery and using the light shining through the windows to give some extra window silhouette effects to the orangery celling.

Finally a set of PAR36 Pin Spot lights, to highlight the statues, chandeliers and other features. https://www.essentialsupplies.co.uk/cgi-bin/sh000071.cgi?WD=bank&PN=Pin-Spot-Bank-4-Way–Black–ELPINBANK_B.html#SID=263

Colours, Sunset is my theme, so I use a Gold Amber gel in the profile spots, , the outside floodlights will be in a Deep Blue (to give the ceiling an effect of sun going down on one side and dark sky on the other).   Pin spots will be in warm open white. Uplighters will be in a deeper Red/Amber to add contrast to the sundown look. Later in the evening, I will change the colours of the uplighters to a Midnight  Blue, and dim down the Amber gobo wash, all using a wireless DMX system.

Outside, I used some MBI floods gelled in a lime green to uplight a huge palm tree, and one of the walls of the walled garden, plus some smaller LED floods on some garden features, and a festoon down a path and over the loos.

On the night, it did look great, what would I change, maybe add a few more pinspots inside the orangery, that aside, very happy with it all. …….

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