Dargan Watts of the Birchmore Group Explains the Use of Event Lighting

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ORLANDO, Florida – June 2, 2021: Dargan Watts of the Birchmore Group, a special event production company based in Orlando, Florida says not all lights are created equal. Ultimately, with advancements every quarter in lighting technology a planner must rely on a professional lighting company to determine the best gear available.

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Dargan Watts and his team at Birchmore Group offers over 25 years of experience in the production field staging high-level corporate events, product launches, press conferences and sporting events. Understanding the capability of lighting effects, functionality of lights, types of lights and power consumption are all factors to consider in a lighting package.

A seasoned lighting company can assist you with understanding these options. We all know what a plane is, we know it takes off and lands, but we don’t all the control functions that the pilots use to get the plane up and down, metaphorically it’s the same with lighting, according to Watts. You need an experienced Lighting Director (LD) that knows how to program and position lights.

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They need to know the full spectrum in lighting like how to color correct for TV or not blind an audience during a general session. An LD knows how to wash a stage to enhance certain skin tones or clothing. An LD can make or break your event, says Watts.

Understanding the Types of Lights – Conventional, LED and Intelligent

Back 35 years ago, conventional stage lighting was the standard theater light which typically uses halogen bulbs or something similar. Fresnels, Par Cans and Lekos were in every theater and convention space. Many venues still have these units as they last forever, well made, and inexpensive to maintain. However, if you need color, you’ll have to install gel to create the colors you desire. In addition, if you want to change a color, you must bring up another light to create a new color. These lights tend to get hot and consume quite a bit of power. While these still get the job done, the use of LED lighting is now the standard.

Importantly, LEDs consume much less energy, which saves the client money on that expensive venue power bill. Most LEDs have a full color spectrum allowing LDs to program the lights to change colors with the diodes, no gel needed! In a nutshell the colors are built into the fixture. Also many LED pars are programmable and are battery powered which helps when power is an issue at many venues.


The most exciting lighting options are Intelligent! Intelligent lighting can be a bit misleading because it’s not just the fixture that’s intelligent; it’s the programmer that is the smart one here. With so many different brands of intelligent lights from wash units to dynamic lights that are loaded with colors, gobos, scenes, etc. The programmer has to understand the profiles of these fixtures so they can properly program and build a show. As the lights become more intelligent so does the software updates for the lighting boards and computers. When you go to a large concert or an event like Wrestlemania they use about every lighting effect and special effect in the business. You will see a full display of intelligent lights and skilled crew, like our team at Birchmore Group.

One of the most asked questions we get at Birchmore Group, Dargan Watts regarding lighting is, “What is a Gobo,” according to Watts. It is a silly name, technically the acronym means: Go Before Optics. Still confused? Basically, a Gobo is an etched piece of steel or glass that slides over a light lens and projects a pattern, monogram, logo or image etched on the slide. Gobos can be used in both conventional and intelligent lights. They are one of the most effective pieces of lighting art used today. A couple’s monogram for their wedding, a company logo projected on a building to brand an event or dressing up ballroom walls with snowflakes for a Winter Wonderland theme party.

Professional lighting will enhance your event and guest experience. Many seasoned planners state lighting is arguably one of the most important aspects of a special event. It sets the mood of a room or venue. Simply adding uplights around the perimeter of the room is a game changer and inexpensive. Utilizing the latest lighting technology will help your event come alive and will make it far more memorable.

Combine this with the talent and knowledge of professional lighting technicians and you’ll have a real standout event. Whether it’s highlighting specific areas, creating a dynamic stage presentation, or something else, a professional company will get it done.

If you think your event will benefit from a professional lighting company, contact the team at Birchmore Group in Orlando. We offer a range of lighting options perfectly suited to any event and can use our industry knowledge to suggest the best setup for you. So, no matter the event, we’ll make it light up!!

Birchmore Group Inc. is an award-winning, full-service corporate event planning production company, specializing in staging high-level corporate functions throughout the United States as well as internationally.

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