In the world of event lighting, it’s all in the details. As lighting often plays a large role in how your event looks and most importantly, how your guests feel, getting it right is crucial.
The Good and the Bad
To start with, there are good LEDs, and then there are not-so-good LEDs. Besides price, the major difference is typically quality. Typically… but not always. Unfortunately, a lot of non-reputable rental companies will buy the cheap LEDs yet still charge the high price of a quality LED! However, you can easily avoid this situation by choosing a trustworthy company.
When you purchase or rent LEDs from a reputable establishment, you’ll notice the better quality ones are also a bit more expensive. In return, these lights provide optimum performance, lasting for a number of years. In fact, if you ran a high quality LED 24 hours a day 7 days a week, it wouldn’t even begin to wear out for 20-30 years! Furthermore, if you want your LED colors to match (i.e. all the blues are the exact same shade of blue) then you need a high quality LED. If you opt for the cheap version, you’ll be sorely disappointed.
The drastic differences in appearance occur because each LED manufacturer has their own process for color matching LEDs. Each color is made in its own batch, such that red LEDs are made in one batch, while the blue ones are made in another. Trustworthy manufacturers give you the most consistent color from your LEDs by (1) Sending LEDs from the same batch and (2) Spending extra money testing and calibrating machines to ensure each batch uses the same color mix.
Wired vs. Battery-Powered Fixtures
ColorBlast, Wireless and Hex all refer to LED lighting fixtures. Some are wired (ColorBlast), while others are wireless (Hex). Fixtures also come in various sizes and styles, making it pretty easy to find what you need.
When comparing wired and wireless LED fixtures, we find the wireless to be pretty incredible! They save on labor charges because they don’t require our lighting experts to run a bunch of cable. They also save money on electricity charges due to their energy-efficiency. Additionally, wireless is more user-friendly for anyone interested in running the lights for their own show.
Besides the lack of cables, the biggest distinction between wired and wireless fixtures is their output. Wireless components don’t yet provide the same output as their wired counterparts. As such, these battery-powered units are best for events which last 18 hours or less. At that point, the lights have to be removed from their location and placed back in their cases to recharge the batteries.
RGBA / RGBW / RGBWA / RGBAU
Every fixture is built to create certain colors. Each letter correlates to a color, such that R = Red, G = Green, B = Blue, W = White and A = Amber. Using this guide, an RGBA fixture can provide red, green, blue or amber color combinations.
For most events, an RGBA or RGBW fixture will suffice. They both use red, green and blue to create numerous color combinations. Keep in mind that RGBA will produce warmer shades, while RGBW provides cooler variations of the same color.
RGBWA contains red, green, blue, white and amber which allows you to make any color imaginable! It’s a little more expensive than the RGBA or RGBW so make sure you really need all the colors before choosing it. This type of fixture is ideal for live TV and video recorded events.
The RGBAU is a UV fixture which makes an amazing black light! RGBA or RGBW can “kind of” make a black light but the RGBAU is your absolute best option for a themed event. The UV offers that extra bit of punch to make your lights really stand out. While the RGBAU is versatile, offering many colors in addition to the UV option, it’s higher price and lack of wireless options make it more of a specialty fixture.
By now you should have a good grasp on how to choose the right LED for your next event! Avoid overpaying for low quality LEDs or fixtures you don’t need by choosing a reputable event lighting company like Bay Stage Live.
Our family business has been around since 1957. We have a tremendously talented team of designers, producers and production support ready to customize your next event. In fact, see what our past customers have said about us on our TESTIMONIAL PAGE. Then CONTACT US to discuss your event lighting options!