Tag Archives: Tampa Event Lighting

A Year In Review: Technology

Pixabay - event lighting4

From massive walls to brighter bulbs and more powerful software, there’s no denying that 2015 was the year of the LED.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with LEDs (light emitting diodes), our blog post “Getting Started with LED Lights, Fixtures and Colors” provides a crash course in this technology. You can also check out, “How LEDs Have Changed The Event Lighting Industry” for a more detailed look at the advantages LED bulbs bring to the event world. Many of these benefits also apply to the LEDs you use at home.

Now, let’s get into the changes in LED technology this year.

LED software for the lighting industry is going crazy right now, but in a good way. The phase-out of incandescent light bulbs has greatly assisted in pushing LED technology forward. Everything is getting beefed up by becoming more powerful and user-friendly.

At the moment, everyone is trying to make everything LED. Many people who have their own specific vision about LED software, now have the opportunity to make it happen. It’s an exciting time to be in the lighting and design business.

At the same time, a lot of retailers are pushing out old products to get rid of their stock. It’s difficult to want to buy anything in anticipation of what new technology will be coming out next year. Right now, we’re in a similar situation to what happened 20 years ago. We’ve just about hit the threshold of what’s possible (with the LED), and are now waiting to see who will be first to break through to the other side.

Although LED software is quickly becoming easier to use, it’s still geared towards professionals, not the average person. Those who work in the lighting profession are hearing what people want to use, and they’re tweaking the technology accordingly. This is a big reason why everything is converging into one.

Once LED technology has been maximized, our prediction is that we’ll go back to standard-looking sets. We also anticipate further development of holograms. However, that’s at least five years away from happening. Virtual concerts are yet another future trend. These events could be fully virtual or just incorporate virtual in a small way. Right now, it’s just an interesting concept, but something will happen down the road.

At Bay Stage Live, we’re ecstatic to see what the future of event lighting and design holds. No matter what happens, you can always be sure we’ll share what we learn with you, our valued customers. If you have any questions about lighting design, products or need our help with an event – contact us today.

Bay Stage Live Services

BSL Photo

At Bay Stage Live, we deliver epic experiences.

During the past 58 years, we’ve built our reputation as the creators of extraordinary events. We’ve succeeded by pairing cutting-edge trends with our most innovative ideas.

Over time (and at the request of many clients), we’ve branched out to other areas, including: supply sales, equipment rental and repair. Next, we’ll share a brief explanation of each service we offer, so you understand the many ways we can help you.


Amidst our massive complex sits a state of the art Dream Theatre; the only one of its kind in Tampa Bay. Once we’ve developed a design concept, this theatre uses its amazing 3D technology to present you with a digital replica. You’ll be able to see the entire set design including audio visual, lighting, and staging. You can also calculate seating arrangements that produce detailed floor plans and layouts.

At Bay Stage Live, we feature the latest trends. And as you’ll soon find out – our custom designs boldly go where no designs have gone before.


Producing live events has been one of our specialties since we started this business back in 1957. Our world class staff of lighting designers, event producers, and production support know exactly how to customize your experience one idea at a time. When the time comes, you can be sure our systematically trained production team will deliver a meaningful experience for your audience.

After all, we understand the importance of executing a flawless event.


You deserve quality equipment, and that’s why we have a strict rental process. There is always a routine inspection of the gear before it leaves the facility and also upon its return. This inspection includes cleaning, testing and performance evaluation to ensure everything is working as it should be.

There’s also a 24 hour technical support line for questions before, during or after your event.

We carry current and NEW audio/visual technology, including: lighting fixtures, cables, pipes, trusses, dimmers, power distribution, consoles, LED technology and special effects.


When it comes to repairing your equipment, our staff has the expertise to fix what’s broken. We’re also certified to handle warranty repairs. Our top of the line diagnostic equipment ensures a reliable analysis, allowing us to quickly identify and resolve any issue. And since we keep our warehouse well-stocked, there’s often no need to order and wait for repair parts.


The warehouse stock room is brimming with our entire expendables sales inventory. In addition to MANY other items, here are a few of the supplies we often carry:

  • Gel (color filters)
  • Lamps
  • Tape
  • Gel Frames
  • Theatrical Paint
  • Batteries
  • Pattern Holders
  • Clamps
  • Fluids (haze, fog, etc.)
  • Gobos

For your convenience, we also provide the option to order additional items (for you) from these vendors:

  1. Apollo Design Technology, Inc.
  2. Rapco Horizon Company
  3. The Light Source Inc.
  4. Kennedy Webster Electric Company
  5. CITCFX Special Effects Equipment
  6. Rosco
  7. LEE Filters

When you hire Bay Stage Live, we consider ourselves an integral part of your team, and you are considered part of our family. Whether you’re hiring us to produce a live event or need advice with equipment rental, we are here to help.

If we sound like a good fit for you, stop by or CONTACT US today!

How to Enhance your Decor with Gobos


In our last blog post, we introduced you to the gobo. If you haven’t read it yet, you can find it here: The Beginner’s Guide to Gobos.

We’re already revealed two major advantages of gobos; they’re economical and effective. Yet another benefit is their versatility. They can add texture to an object, realism to a situation or highlight something specific. They’re a popular technique for spicing up a party as well as a great way to brand a corporate event. Best of all, you have tons of options.

Choose one gobo or blend multiple gobos together to create one giant image. Design a custom gobo or select from a multitude of stock pattern options. Both Apollo Design Technology, Inc. and Rosco Laboratories, Inc. offer thousands of stock options.

Now we’ll move on to more specific ways of incorporating gobos into your next event.

Add Texture:

Texture comes in many forms. A few examples include rough, smooth, slimy and furry. Textured gobos work wonderfully for themed events because they can easily transform bare walls in any number of ways. A wave pattern could help convey a tropical theme. A winter-themed holiday party could use snowflakes or icicles to create a chilly vibe.

When choosing a stock gobo, you may find yourself automatically gravitating towards images which relate directly to your preferred theme. We encourage you to try a different approach! As an alternative, relate the theme to an abstract concept by using texture. This will still convey your motif and provide the added benefit of a very unique affair.

Enhance Realism:

A TV show will often use gobos to make you believe something exists when it does not. For example, a brick pattern gobo may be projected onto a blank wall to portray a brick wall. Or a garden image may be cast on a window, so the show appears to be taking place during the daytime in someone’s home, rather than on a TV set, at night. This same effect can be used for any event.

When using a gobo to enhance realism, choosing the correct color temperature becomes vital. This can be tricky. If your event requires a realistic gobo image, our team at Bay Stage Live is well-equipped to provide recommendations.

Create a Focal Point:

This is a very effective way to get your point across without saying anything at all. It can be done with almost anything you wish to highlight. The moving, intelligent lights at a concert are a great example of how gobos can draw your attention. The same “focal point” concept is also used at corporate events to display a company’s logo on a wall. Similarly, churches often use this type of gobo to emphasize objects of religious importance during certain times of the year.

By now, you’re probably realizing just how common gobos are. You see them every day without even knowing what they are. It may surprise you to learn that gobos have been around for at least 50 years. The technique has recently been perfected, allowing gobos to become multipurpose. For your next event, we encourage you to consider a gobo as an affordable tactic to stand out in a very memorable way.

At Bay Stage Live, we’re always available to help with your event needs. For questions or to schedule a consultation, call (813) 877-1089.

The Beginner’s Guide to Gobos

BSL - CustomGobos

You have so many extraordinary choices when it comes to event design. A gobo is one such prospect. Gobo refers to an insert which is placed into a light fixture, and then projected onto a wall as an image. The name comes from the idea of ‘go between’ a gobo goes between the optics and the light source, hence its name “Gobo”.   Although the term may be new to you, its use has become quite common throughout the event lighting industry.


It’s an affordable way to make a huge impact on a room.

The type of gobo you pick is best determined by the image you’ve chosen. Gobos are constructed from either steel, glass or plastic. Color is an option with all three, although the process does differ.

Steel gobos are the sturdiest option. Gel filters are used to display color, thus your shade choice is limited to the selection of available colored gels. The metal construction requires a technique called, “bridging”, which does not affect uncomplicated designs, but may be an issue when attempting to display images precisely.

Glass gobos are well-suited for detailed images because they allow more words and can handle smaller print. Custom colors are created by using several layers of dichroic glass. There’s no limit to the number of colors you can use, however, the more colors you have, the higher the cost. Glass gobos are more fragile and tend to be more expensive than steel or plastic. Since glass is so good at accurately replicating any image, it is the preferred choice for more intricate designs.

Plastic gobos are newer to the market. They combine the custom colors of a glass gobo with the durability of the steel gobo. Plastic gobos are often used because the selected image could not be accurately portrayed with a glass gobo. The one major drawback is their sensitivity to melting.

At Bay Stage Live, we aim to make your event one-of-a-kind. For questions or to schedule a consultation, call (813) 877-1089.

… Stay tuned for PART 2 on how to use Gobos to enhance your décor!

How LEDs Have Changed The Event Lighting Industry


Since 1879, we’ve all been using the same incandescent light first created by Thomas Edison. Until about five years ago. That’s when LED technology popped up, and began radically changing the lighting world.

On a similar note, you’ve likely heard a smattering of information about switching to LEDs at home. Although the focus of this post is on LEDs in event lighting, many of the topics listed below will also apply to how LEDs are used in homes. For that reason, we’ll explore how LEDs stack up to incandescent bulbs as well as CFLs (compact fluorescent lights).

  • An LED has a longer life span. LEDs last longer because they require less energy to work properly. An Incandescent bulb lasts around 1,000 hours before it completely blows out and becomes unusable. In comparison, a CFL bulb averages 8,000 hours of usage while an LED bulb lasts up to 50,000 hours!

{TIP} As your LED approaches the end of its life, the light will become dimmer. Buying bulbs with built-in heat sinks will help your bulbs remain cool to the touch and ensure a long lasting LED.

  • An LED has reduced power consumption. The power consumption of an LED is significantly less than an incandescent bulb, and slightly less than a CFL. A 60 watt incandescent bulb is equivalent to a 13-18 watt CFL and an 8-12 watt LED. The lower power consumption results in a lower energy bill, which means more money in your pocket.
  • An LED has decreased heat output. All light bulbs put out heat. And as anyone who’s touched a working light bulb knows, they can get quite hot! Any additional heat buildup leaks out into the surrounding space, causing your air conditioner to work harder at cooling down the air. Here’s how much heat you can expect from each type of bulb:

One 60 watt incandescent bulb produces 205 Btu’s/hour. An equivalent LED bulb produces 27 Btu’s/hour, and one CFL produces 44 Btu’s/hour. In this real world example, the incandescent is generating 7.5 times as much heat as the LED!

{TIP} You can easily convert any wattage to Btu’s/hour using the equation: 1 watt = 3.414 Btu’s/hour.

  • An LED has fewer cables. LEDs need fewer cables because they need less power. Since each cable is limited in the amount of power it can handle, the only way to add more power is to add more cables. LEDs are a great workaround to this particular problem. Using incandescent bulbs, you can only get 3 fixtures on one cable. With LED bulbs, you can place 30 fixtures on one cable. That’s 90% less cable required for the same amount of light output!
  • An LED has a lower long-term expense. The cost of an LED bulb has greatly decreased since they first hit the market. Although it’s still more expensive to initially purchase an LED, you will pay less over the long-term because you won’t have to replace them nearly as often as a CFL or an incandescent bulb. What’s more, those energy savings we mentioned previously should also be taken into account when viewing your long-term expenses.

At Bay Stage Live, we’re big supporters of LEDs! They’re easier to work with, they save energy and money, and they last far longer! Most companies agree, and are making the change to LEDs; however, some are still hanging onto the old technology.

The next time you need lighting for your event, choose a company that utilizes the newest technology and equipment!

For questions, concerns or guidance – call us at (813) 877-1089.


Event Lighting: The Many Benefits of LEDs

LED lights are the #1 choice for your event. They’re safe, convenient, and as of 2015 they’re your best option for event lighting. If you haven’t heard – 2015 is the year when incandescent lights were officially outlawed. That’s right – these lights are no longer manufactured, and it took a lot of people by surprise.

It didn’t bother us a bit when incandescent lights were banned because at Bay Stage Live, we use LED lights. Why? They’re a superior light source! LEDs are safer, more lightweight and use less power than incandescent lights. It’s amazing how many lights you can truly utilize, due to their small size and weight. Both of which make transportation and setup much easier.

There are many options in LED lighting to suit your needs! If you need flexibility, choose battery-powered LEDs. There are no wires attached so this allows for more possibilities in placement, making wireless battery powered LEDs especially handy for uplighting.  You won’t be restricted by the location of power outlets or have to hide extension cords.

LEDs come in a variety of colors and you can get multiple colors out of one fixture. Newer filters now mimic a warmer look, similar to that of an incandescent light. Some LEDs even offer wireless communication –this is an exciting topic for another day!

Incandescent lights consumed a ton of power and became very hot. In fact, all that heat was necessary for the light to work properly. LEDs just don’t need that much heat to work. They do get hot, but much of the heat disappears through metal heat sinks, which wick away the heat from the light source itself. Less heat means less energy and that’s exactly why you get more life out of an LED light than you do an incandescent one.

Incandescent lights are history, and LEDs are here to stay. That’s just fine with us because we know LED lights are the best choice for your next event! If you have an upcoming event you’d like our help with, contact Bay Stage Live today.

How to Create the Perfect Mood at your Event

Bay Stage Live

Creating the right mood for any event is essential to its success. Since lighting is such a large part of setting the mood – it’s fair to say that mood and lighting go hand and hand.

So how do you create the perfect mood? By focusing on these four aspects…

1) COLOR – It’s long been understood that certain colors evoke specific emotions. Some colors make people feel relaxed, others keep them alert. Taking that one step further, the best lighting professionals also know how to use color transitions to make the most of an event.
We’ll use a speaking event as an example. As the speaker moves from one topic to another, Bay Stage Live will transition from one color to another – to mimic the change in subject. It is a slow change, yet it helps the audience to remain engaged in the speech.
2) SET DESIGN – Another way to play with mood is through set design. If a bold color is used for the set, the color of the light will always complement it. Since Bay Stage Live offers both lighting and set design, integrating these two aspects of your event can be easily done.BIC blue mood

3) HEIGHT & ANGLES – Hanging lights from various heights allows you to make a huge room feel cozy and a small room feel large. Additionally, adjusting the angle of lighting is a great way to achieve strange or scary moods. Just lighting something from below instead of above – automatically creates a spooky appearance.

4) MOTION – Whether or not motion is used, and the type of motion utilized, is determined by the event itself, as well as its content. Whenever motion is considered an asset to your event, Bay Stage Live will personally create a background to sit underneath your content, adding that extra special something.

Because so much of what an event specialist does is “in the moment”, it’s vital to have someone who can “feel” what the crowd, the presenter or the band needs. Some people can do it and some just don’t get it. Bay Stage Live excels at it! When hired to light your next event, you’re guaranteed a creative professional who is focused on making your event incredibly special.

For more information, contact Bay Stage Live today!

3 Hidden Venue Charges Everyone Ought to Know About


Although most venues often don’t include professional lighting services with your space rental, they still have a VERY BIG say in how much it will cost you. Why? Because each venue sets its own fees for rigging, electrical and any additional labor services.

Read on to learn what these entail, and how to avoid being overcharged.

First, we have rigging. This is the structure which supports the light and sound equipment, both above and around your event space. Rigging can make the difference between an okay event and an incredible one! As it could be quite dangerous if anything falls, rigging should only be handled by a professional.

Second, there’s electrical. The type, amount and location of electrical power is what’s important here. Sufficient power is not always easily accessible, especially in older buildings. Even newer buildings may not have enough electrical service for the type of event you want. It may require additional costs, and it’s important you know this upfront.

Finally, there’s labor. As with rigging and electrical, labor is a varied expense. Some venues have in-house labor rules forcing you to pay for additional employees to shadow the professionals you’ve already hired to create, setup and run your event.

These expenses can and do affect your event budget. As an event specialist, Bay Stage Live is well aware of the questions you should ask your venue before you book it, and will guide you through the process.

If you’ve already found your venue, make sure to ask if there are separate charges for electricity, rigging or in-house labor. If so, require that these charges are presented to you, in writing, and prior to the event.

By asking good questions and picking the right companies to work with, you’ll be able to either avoid hidden charges or have enough time to work around them. No matter what, Bay Stage Live is here to help.

Wedding Lighting 101

Bay Stage Live

A wedding is arguably the most important day of your life. You’ll be creating a memory that will last a lifetime. Don’t let the lighting be forgotten or trust your DJ or band to take care of the lighting. Take as much care with your lighting design as you have with every other detail of your wedding.

Bay Stage Live is here to help! Here are five tips to make sure that your space looks as beautiful as you do.

  1. Up lighting– this is by far the easiest way to transform a space. You can change the color of a room without ever picking up a paintbrush. Don’t be afraid to use colors. Conversely, we don’t recommend that you try to match all the colors from your theme, flowers or the bridesmaids’ dresses. Often, a complementary color works best. Keep in mind we cannot make certain colors out of light…Burgundy, gold, silver, grey are just a few colors that cannot be created out of light.
  2. Highlighting the Head Table and Wedding Cake. These are areas that are often forgotten or ignored but consider that they could and should be highlighted and stand out from the rest of the space.
  3. Patterns are an option- Instead of a wash of color or used in conjunction with up lighting, patterns can be used to transform a space. We can even design a monogram using the bride and grooms initials, or a custom pattern from your wedding stationery.
  4. Have a budget in mind- This may be the most important tip of all. We prefer to have at least a budget range to work with. Be honest with us. We promise to give you as much bang for your buck as possible. We want to look good in front of your family and friends too. Wedding lighting packages can range anywhere from $500-$100,000 and we are happy to work with any budget in between
  5. What’s the process? We work with planners and/ or brides and their mothers. Depending on the package you select, we will set up a time to visit the space and design according to the space specifications and the wants and desires of the bride. We can even recreate your wedding space in our 3D Visualization software, complete with your floor plan, lighting design, and color scheme. Once we have approval, our crew will set up the day of your wedding or the night before. We run and test all equipment to ensure everything is working properly and as planned. The very best part of the entire process is when the bride walks in to preview the space. There is no greater pleasure than the look on her face as she admires how stunning it all looks. Lastly, we will strike all equipment and leave the venue just as we found it immediately following your guest’s departure.

New Gear for the New Year- Part 1

We were very good boys and girls last year, so Santa brought us lots of new equipment to share with you!

Below you’ll see some of our new gear in action!

Chauvet Legend:

This fixture features a 2.25° beam angle creating a bright tight beam of light. Compact and agile, it also features a zooming 8-facet prism and 17 gobos (plus open) for beam shaping effects, along with automated focus. In addition to 14 solid colors plus white, the color wheel delivers seamless split colors.  We now have 24 in our rental inventory.

Chauvet Legend

Chauvet Q Wash:

This is our new LED moving wash light.  They feature a wide zoom range and a variable beam angle. The incorporation of 91 high intensity and calibrated RGBWA Cree LEDs ensure a uniform wash, excellent color rendering and a vast color palette of soft pastels and vivid hues.

Chauvet Q Wash

Chauvet RGBA Fog Machine:

This is the newest kid on the block for Chauvet and adds serious fog and effects to our tool kit!   Vesuvio™ RGBA brings together high output LED washes to towering fog output with ferocious intensity. The Vesuvio™ RGBA atmospheric effect generator allows you to add red, green, blue, and amber color mixing (RGBA) to voluminous fog output for multi-colored atmospheric columns, bringing a new level of effects to your production.

RGBA Fog Machine

Look for our blog next month to find out what other new products we’ve added to our inventory.

Got any ideas for your upcoming event? Call us today! We would love to bring your party ideas to life!  Bay Stage Live services the Tampa Bay Area, all of Florida and beyond.