A successful event is made up of a lot of different parts. You don’t have to tell most DJs that music, a DJ setup, and speakers are practically essential. But what if we told you that we think lighting is essential, too? That’s right, we’re big believers in the importance of bringing lighting to each and every event, and today we are going to tell you why. A simple and effective bit of lighting can make even the smallest event more successful. Many people disregard lighting or only bring it along for select clients, but there’s a better way. In this article from our DJ Lighting Tips lineup, we talk about the how and why of bringing lighting to every single event.


Want more lighting tips? Be sure to check out our Ultimate DJ Lighting Buying Guide



DJ Lighting Tips – Lighting Matters

You’ve seen it before – you attend an event that you are not DJing and as soon as you walk in your eyes are assaulted by the harsh overhead fluorescent lighting. Sure, it’s just a community gathering and not a dance party, but the atmosphere is essentially a hospital waiting room. The guests of the event are unconsciously tightening up. The event feels clinical, devoid of life. It’s simply another day at the office. The DJ is playing some great tracks but people are sitting around discussing the weather. People aren’t acting differently from their day-to-day selves because the space doesn’t feel different.

dj lighting tips wash

Picture a new scenario. You’ve been hired to DJ a small company holiday party. You’ve DJed for this company before, and most years it’s a laid-back affair. People come, eat their free meals, sip on a few drinks, and chat while you struggle to pull these coworkers to the dance floor. In the past, it’s been basically a non-starter. After all, who wants to let loose in front of all their work acquaintances?

But this year is different. The company has never wanted to pay for a light show, but you’re sick of playing to empty dance floors. You brought along a couple of wash lights and a simple effect light for later in the night. This time, as people walk in they are greeted with a different sight. The ceiling is bathed in red and green and the room is dimmer. When dancing starts and your effect light kicks on, people turn their heads and take notice. “We certainly don’t have this in the office.” Slowly, they slide out of their seats as you drop the second track of the night.


Want more lighting tips? Be sure to check out our Ultimate DJ Lighting Buying Guide



DJ Lighting Tips – Why Every Event Needs Lighting

This somewhat dramatic story highlights a simple truth – lighting is powerful. Music is everywhere; people throw on Spotify every day in the car, the gym, the living room, and even the shower. However, if you’re not a DJ, seeing colored lighting, moving heads, and uplights is not something you experience every day. For some people, it may not even be something they see every year. The entire DJ industry is increasingly focusing on creating experiences for clients. DJs would do well to remember, then, that simply playing music is not much of an experience for most people. Many people own some sort of home or car stereo. Far, far fewer have reason to own LED dance lighting.

The argument for bringing lighting is pretty straightforward. Doing so allows DJs to create an environment that most people infrequently experience. It pulls people out of their comfort zone and shifts their mindset. When someone walks into even a minimally lit event space, they mentally pause and think “well this isn’t something I’ve already done this week.” Lighting can even be unconsciously associated with other great experiences the person has had, like their favorite concert or festival. All of these thoughts allow people to loosen up instead of tightening. Many DJs don’t include lighting at every event because their clients aren’t asking for it. They wrongly assume they don’t want or need lighting. The truth, however, is that people simply don’t know to ask. They don’t realize the importance of lighting and so fail to even consider it. We, as the event “experts,” need to recognize the importance of lighting and take initiative in making sure each event has it.

Now, before anyone comes at us, we’ll get this out of the way – of course there are exceptions to this rule. We aren’t stupid, and we know you obviously aren’t bringing lighting to your daytime outdoor events. But if your event takes place in the evening or is indoors? Yep, bring it along.


Want more lighting tips? Be sure to check out our Ultimate DJ Lighting Buying Guide



DJ Lighting Tips – How Can That be Worth it?

We know that many of you are probably already internally screaming. How can we possibly afford to give lighting away to everyone? Are you expecting me to haul out my big light right to every event?!

dj lighting tips uplightsNope. Like any change to your business, it can and should be implemented correctly. We are definitely not advocating for “giving away” lighting. We’re also not saying that the 50-person wedding reception needs your 500-person frat house DMX rig. But even that 50-person wedding should have some sort of lighting to create that ambiance we mentioned before.

Instead, we’ve found it best to create some sort of base lighting package. This can be minimal, easy to transport, and relatively low cost. Even something as simple as 4 powerful uplights can be game-changing to a room’s atmosphere. Maybe you choose instead to bring along a pair of ceiling wash lights with a wide, diffuse beam spread. Or, if you are mainly a party or wedding DJ, you can add an “all-in-one” lighting solution like a Gig Bar or Dotz TPar. If you do more high-end events, it’s possible your base package could be a pair of lighting tubes and moving heads.

Regardless of what you choose, your base lighting package should be simple, effective, and versatile. It should be made up of lights that can work well in a variety of event situations. The lights should also be configurable to work with static colors and more upbeat programs, whether automatic or programmed. That way, the event atmosphere can again be altered as the event energy changes.


And… pricing?

Oh, and once you’ve picked a setup, don’t give it away. Simply build the cost of the system into all of your DJ packages. Even raising your prices by $50 or $100 can easily cover the cost of the lights over a few events and won’t be something potential clients will make a big fuss about. You don’t have to mention your prices have increased due to lighting. The impact of a light show on your events will be much more significant than the small increase in pricing. Over time, you will simply become known as a DJ who includes lighting with their services. And of course, if you already offer larger lighting packages and services like full-room uplighting and DMX-programmed shows you can continue to offer those as upgrades and add-ons to your clients.


Now it’s your turn to let us know your thoughts on this new addition to our DJ lighting tips lineup. Do you bring lighting to every event? What have been the most effective and compact lights you’ve found for your base lighting package? Be sure to let us know in the comments and follow The DJs Guru on social media for more tips and educational articles!


Want more lighting tips? Be sure to check out our Ultimate DJ Lighting Buying Guide