The Light Touch: New Worlds from Event Lighting Designers
Special Events Magazine, September / October 2015

special-events-oct2015First impressions are everything, which is why entrances and pathways need careful consideration when it comes to lighting—safety issues notwithstanding. Jon Retsky, owner and lead designer of San Francisco-based Got Light, agrees, adding pathway and landscape lighting to the top of the “to light” list. “These areas are not often a first consideration when planning an event,” Retsky says. “But, the results can be stunning, as well as utilitarian,” he says. From the simple (staked camping path lights, solar rocks, copper hooks with dangling lanterns) to the more complex (customized illuminated inflatables), pathway lighting, he says, can have a huge impact on overall event decor. “Bold washes of light onto tree canopies, pattern washes inside pools, and other landscape uplighting can indirectly create an amazing backdrop for outdoor events.

”Unlike wireless LED technology, however, video mapping does not come cheap. “The costs can be quite expensive; however, it can raise the design level of an event,” Retsky says. “Whether it’s simply kinetic video cut perfectly to the architecture or façade of a building, branding a building with video, or making a room ‘disintegrate’ and transform into an Egyptian tomb, there is nothing more powerful and energetic than using video as light, and frankly, using video as a scenic element to tell your story and invite guests into a fully interactive experience.”

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