BizBash’s list of “San Francisco’s Top 100 Events of 2016” includes many of our standout favorites! Congrats to our amazing design partners for creating these spectacular events:
Technology Industry Events | Dreamforce
Benefits | California Academy of Science’s Big Bang Gala | Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco Mid-Winter Gala | SF Symphony’s Opening Night Gala | SF Ballet’s Opening Night Gala | SF Opera’s Opera Ball | San Francisco Jazz Gala
Got Light’s Michael Kuhlmann, Director of Event Design, Featured in Special Event Magazine’s ‘25 Young Special Event Pros to Watch!’
This lighting expert has an impressive roster of events under his belt, from the San Francisco Ballet Gala (winner of a Special Events Gala Award in January) to a general session for 1,200 to a wedding for only 20. His specialty, says Got Light marketing director Kristen McDonnell, is “a dash of five-star customer service and a pinch of Got Charm make him the perfect recipe for a stunning event and production experience.”
As Kuhlmann puts it, “Lighting is one of the most powerful visual tools at your disposal to transform an event and I love helping people create the environment they want for their event. We’re really able to transform a room into a completely different space,” he says. “Whether you’re looking for a Midsummer Night’s themed wedding at a private residence or a coral-reef themed gala, I love working with people to create their vision for an event.”
Read full article here: http://bit.ly/under-40
Recognized for transforming their clever ideas into live experiences, Got Light co-owners and lead designers have been named to the 2016 list of most innovative people in events by BizBash, the leading trade media for event professionals. Holt and Retsky are honored among select visionaries and pacesetters in an industry whose imagination and use of live events continues to fuel connections between people, brands, and causes.
“We are honored to share this recognition with our team of talented and devoted artists, engineers, and technicians who daily bring astounding lighting and audio innovations to our clients,” says Russell Holt. Jon Retsky adds, “We wish to thank BizBash for expanding ideas with cutting edge event style, technology, and tools to the events industry.”
Download Press Release: http://www.got-light.com/docs/2016_Event-Innovators-GotLight.pdf
Thanks to our friends at San Francisco Magazine for naming Got Light’s very own Russell Holt and Jon Retsky among the Bay Area’s most influential LGBTQ business leaders!
Read full article here: http://bit.ly/press-sfmag-2016
Read full article here: http://bit.ly/bizbash-trondeliers
‘Rodin by Moonlight’ Gala featured in Gentry Home Magazine!
Honored to light up this dinner dance fundraiser benefitting the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University. The evening featured cocktails in the museum’s courtyard with dinner and dancing outdoors amid the Rodin sculptures.
Read full article here: http://mydigimag.rrd.com/publication/?i=278023
Read full article here: http://bit.ly/vogue-gotlight01
“Receiving our first Special Events award, as determined by fellow event professionals, is an extremely flattering honor,” says co-owner Jon Retsky. “Over the past twelve years, our success has been built on creatively transforming empty spaces by employing innovative solutions and designs,” explains co-owner Russell Holt. “We are proud Got Light has been recognized as an international leader in event lighting design.”
Read full article here: http://bit.ly/award-specialevents2016
Download Press Release: http://www.got-light.com/docs/2016-GotLight-Special-Events.pdf
Super Bowl 50 Events Take the Field
The big game is bringing big business to the San Francisco Bay area
Special Events Magazine, by Lisa Hurley, February 4, 2016
“The beginning of the year is typically a quieter time in the events industry, but with the excitement of Super Bowl 50, our operations have heated up with preparations for the big game,” says Jon Retsky, co-owner of san Francisco-based Got Light, which just won aSpecial Events Gala Award for its lighting work.
“Got Light is lighting up private celebratory parties for incoming NFL owners, coaches and players throughout iconic San Francisco locations. Corporate celebrations leading up to the big game are also being thrown throughout the San Francisco Bay Area,” he says.
Retsky adds, “We are thrilled to be part of the excitement as Super Bowl 50’s viewing audience falls in love with San Francisco all over again!”
Read full article here: http://bit.ly/press-superbowl02
LGBT-owned business tackle Super Bowl contracts
Bay Area Reporter, by Matthew S. Bajko, December 10, 2015
One company that has been able to take advantage of the Super Bowl-related business opportunities is Got Light, named in June to the San Francisco Business Times’ first-ever Top 25 LGBT-owned Business List. Founded by gay co-owners Jon Retsky and Russell Holt, the company supplies lighting as well as audiovisual services, staging and other needs at special events.
“We are proud to be a supplier of Super Bowl 50 through the Business Connect Program. It has been a very exiting project for all of us,” said Retsky, whose company worked on the Super Bowl 50 host committee’s kick-off event held November 10, 2014 at the San Francisco Ferry Building.
In a phone interview this week, Retsky told the B.A.R. that it took some time before his company started to field calls about additional Super Bowl-related business.
“To be honest, when we were first connected to the program we were not flooded with calls. I said at the time, ‘What’s going on here? Where are all the calls?’ Slowly but surely the calls started coming in,” he said. “Today, we get on average one phone call a day it feels like.”
Not only is he fielding requests to bid on events the NFL and the local host committee are putting on, but also from Super Bowl sponsors such as Visa and major news media organizations like CNN and ESPN that will be setting up camp in town for nearly three weeks in order to cover the Super Bowl.
Got Light is also the exclusive provider to the Ferry Building, and due to its proximity to the Super Bowl fan village and views of the bay, many companies want to hold their events inside the historic bayside structure.
“That is becoming a hot spot. Lots of people are asking about doing events there because it is so central to everything,” said Retsky.
All of the LGBT-owned businesses expect their relationships they are building through working on the Super Bowl will generate future opportunities once the festivities wrap up.
Read full article here: http://bit.ly/press-superbowl01
Setting the Stage: Lighting, lectern selection, and accessibility are all key components in creating an effective presentation space for speakers
BizBash Magazine, by Alesandra Dubin, Fall 2015
Setting up a stage for speakers and presenters may seem like an uncomplicated matter compared to creating an elaborate performance platform. But the success of a presentation—and of the people delivering their messages—depends on nuanced (and sometimes overlooked) details like size, lighting, and accessibility, as well as the right selection of microphones and lecterns. Industry experts offer their tips for producing stage setups that are operational, effectual, and impactful at meetings and conferences.
Choose the correct height. Consider attendees’ sight lines and comfort when raising the stage. “For any presentation, I always like to be at least 12 inches high off the ground so that audience members have a good line of sight,” says Jon Retsky, co-owner and lead designer of San Francisco-based event design and production company Got Light. “For larger galas, big stages, bands, big fund-raising events, or fashion shows, we typically go as high as three to four feet off the ground to help elevate the speakers and presentations and give a good line of sight for all guests.”
Read full article here: http://bit.ly/bizbash-stage
Great Gala: S.F. Symphony Celebrates its 104th Season
Special Events Magazine, October 13, 2015
View full gallery here: http://bit.ly/sfsymphonygala2015
The Light Touch: New Worlds from Event Lighting Designers
Special Events Magazine, September / October 2015
First 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.”
Read full article here: http://bit.ly/special-events-02
The Bright Price: Here are six cost-savings tips for lighting your next event
BizBash Magazine, Summer Digital Series 2015
“Not only is it an environmentally friendly way to go, but wireless lighting can reduce costs up to as much as 50%, says Jon Retsky, the co-owner and lead designer behind San Francisco-based Got Light. “While the cost of wireless equipment may be a bit pricey, the savings in cords, wires, gels, tape, and labor adds up, especially in venues that allow very little time to setup and remove.” Going wireless can also lead to savings in power consumption fees from venues.
“If there isn’t money for pattern washes or an elaborate lighting design, sometimes a handful of wireless uplights will transform a room and create high drama in the flick of a switch,” Retsky says. “Uplighting is the first place to start when lighting a room — and frankly you could stop there and still make a huge impact.”
Read full article here: http://bit.ly/bizbash-gotlight01
Got Light brightens up events, lights up LGBT pride
Upstart Business Journal, July 19, 2015
Huge thanks to Upstart Business Journal for featuring Got Light’s origin and success story!
“Eleven years ago, Jon Retsky and Russell Holt started a two-man lighting-for-weddings operation out of Holt’s basement in San Francisco’s Russian Hill. Little did they know that in this dark little space they were building a bright future for themselves and the San Francisco event scene.”
Read full article here: http://bit.ly/upstart-gotlight
Bay Area venues offer tips for unconventional conventions
San Francisco Business Times, July 10, 2015
“Lighting carries a strong and immediate presence, defining personality, style, vibe, time, season, theme, emotion, and energy from the moment guests enter a space,” said Jon Retsky, co-owner and lead designer of Got Light.
The San Francisco lighting and dsign company notes that current lighting trends for corporate events include illuminated decor or props; wireless LED lighting; video as light, including live kinetic video and video mapping; and maruee letters and signs.
Got Light Lights up Events at San Francisco City Hall
Special Events Magazine, June 25, 2015
“Got Light had one busy night on June 19, creating lighting for simultaneous events at the stately San Francisco City Hall–the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting as well as the San Francisco City Hall Centennial Celebration.”
Enjoy an amazing gallery of the night’s festivities at San Francisco City Hall with event partners e2k l events x entertainment, McCalls Catering & Events, Stanlee R Gatti Designs, SFGMC – The San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus, John Fogerty, Kronos Quartet, Basil Twist, Patti Austin Music, Beach Blanket Babylon, U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Read full article here: bit.ly/1Cw2G9E
Got Light Tops the 25 Largest LGBT-Owned Businesses in the Bay Area
San Francisco Business Times, June 12, 2015
Ranked #4, San Francisco’s special events production and design team Got Light tops the San Francisco Business Times (SFBT) list of the Largest 25 LGBT-Owned Businesses in the Bay Area. 130 employees and growing, Got Light employs the fourth largest number of local employees of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender-owned businesses in the Bay Area. Additionally, Got Light is featured in SFBT’s historic ‘Business of Pride’ special edition, profiling LGBT business leaders advancing equality in the workplace and beyond in ‘Got Light brightens up events, lights up LGBT pride.’
“We are honored to share this award with our team of talented and devoted artists, engineers, and technicians who daily bring astounding lighting and audio innovations to our clients throughout the Bay Area,” says co-owner Russell Holt. The company Got Light began in 2004 when San Francisco State University graduates Russell Holt and Jon Retsky scraped up a couple hundred dollars to rent lighting equipment to produce their first event for a small nonprofit fundraiser. Today, Got Light’s co-owners design over a thousand events a year from intimate gatherings to blowout events like the recent Asian Art Museum’s Opening Gala, San Francisco Symphony Chinese New Year Gala, and San Francisco City Hall Centennial Celebration.
Co-owner Jon Retsky adds, “We wish to thank San Francisco Business Times, as well as our friends at the Golden Gate Business Association and National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), for their continual efforts in expanding economic opportunities and advancements for LGBT-owned businesses, such as ours.”
Read full article here: http://bit.ly/businessofpride
Download Press Release: http://www.got-light.com/docs/2015-GotLight-LGBT-Award.pdf
From San Francisco to Belgium, Got Light’s co-owner and lead designer Jon Retsky reveled in the company’s first pilgrimage to the triennial Ghent Light Festival 2015.
Enjoying four days of light sculptures, spectacular projects, and installations by contemporary national and international artists, the globe-trotting journey provided explosive inspirational artistic concepts for Retsky to bring back to his San Francisco-based lighting design company.
“For over a decade, our success has been built on creatively transforming empty spaces by employing innovative solutions and designs,” explains co-owner Jon Retsky. “We relish opportunities like the Ghent Light Festival, which showcases revolutionary lighting design using surprisingly basic grass-roots technology.”
As an added bonus, Retsky visited the Design Museum Gent’s current exhibit ‘Lightopia,’ encompassing over 300 works revealing how lighting design has influenced modern living spaces.
Enjoy Retsky’s photographic journey and experience the surprising variety of light creations he discovered.
‘Rating the Oscars: Event Producers Give the 2015 Academy Awards a B+‘
Some of the country’s top industry professionals discuss what they liked and didn’t like at the 87th Academy Awards.
February 23, 2015
by Claire Hoffman
Jon Retsky, co-owner and lead designer of Got Light:
“While slightly and possibly a bit too reminiscent of last year’s Oscars (I’m still not sure what the intention was behind recycling bits and pieces of 2014), this year did offer a dynamic new level of design and production that was refreshing to see. When the show wasn’t being upstaged by Lady Gaga performing The Sound of Music (shocking) or Neil Patrick Harris in his tighty whities (refreshing), it offered a dynamic and layered design, bringing together lighting, video, and scenic in a way that nearly fooled the eye—in a good way! There were many moments where it was difficult to discern what was scenic and what was video. Frankly, I enjoyed the fact that even I was tricked and couldn’t make the distinction at times. While last year offered simple and classic elegance, this year built upon that by adding in an industrial and futuristic layer, bordering on some new hybrid form of steampunk? I think it’s fair to say that the antique Edison lightbulb in all its exposed, raw glory isn’t going anywhere soon! Clearly this look is still very much the trend. The fluid movement of flying the bulbs in and out during transitions was a sexy and smart move. The opening number (which, let’s face it,is the most important moment in the entire show) was smart. Very smart—and super high-energy from a design standpoint. It offered scenic video in multiple layers and in a way that created an ever-changing depth and fluidity. What more perfect a way to ‘fall in love with moving pictures’ again then to embody that very element.”
Letter Grade: A-
‘Why tech companies spend so much on holiday parties‘
San Francisco Chronicle
December 14, 2014
by Wendy Lee
“It’s not a buffet station and bar, and thank you for coming,” said Jon Retsky, co-owner and lead designer for Got Light, a San Francisco lighting company. “It’s custom-designed props. It feels like the dot-com days are back a little bit.”
Retsky said business is so busy this holiday season, he’s had to turn potential customers away.
Got Light’s ‘Brilliant Lighting’ | Photographic Gallery
Special Events Magazine
November 4, 2014
The talented team at San Francisco’s Got Light shares a gorgeous gallery of special event lighting.Video mapping has become the leading and driving force for event design.
Using video as a decor and scenic element tells your story and invites guests into a fully interactive experience.
Video mapping allows an event to dramatically change colors, moods, and themes within a singular space.
‘The Light Fantastic: New Trends and Tools for Event Lighting‘ article featuring Got Light
Special Events Magazine
November 1, 2014
by Susan Cuadrado
“Lighting carries a strong and immediate presence — defining personality, style, vibe, time, season, theme, emotion and energy from the moment guests enter a space, immediately informing guests of the event’s environment and story,” says Jon Retsky, co-owner and lead designer at San Francisco-based Got Light.
San Francisco, California (October 28, 2014) San Francisco’s leading lighting design team Got Light has been named BizBash National 2014 Event Style Awards Winner for Best Event Lighting Design for their ethereal Redwood Forest Wedding.
“Receiving our first BizBash award, as determined by fellow event professionals, is an extremely flattering honor,” says co-owner Jon Retsky. “Over the past ten years, our success has been built on creatively transforming empty spaces by employing innovative solutions and designs,” explains co-owner Russell Holt. “We are proud Got Light has been recognized as a national leader in event lighting design.”
We are celebrating this honor with our amazing staff and crew who made this enormous undertaking happen! And a big thank you to our event partners Paula Le Duc Fine Catering, Ken Fulk Inc., Preston Bailey, and Zephyr Tents!!
San Francisco, California (July 10, 2014) San Francisco’s leading event design team Got Light is proud to reveal their ten new illuminated decor collections. From chandeliers to marquee lights, rustic to chic, their entire collection has evolved to match the latest architectural trends. Their online decor gallery (http://www.got-light.com/decor) provides a visual, in-depth look of ten collections.
“Nearing our tenth anniversary, launching these new decor collections is an exciting step in Got Light’s continued growth. These exciting new products are providing renewed character and energy to all events,” says co-owner Jon Retsky. “Got Light’s success has been built on creatively transforming empty spaces by employing innovative solutions and designs,” explains Got Light co-owner Russell Holt. “With these newly launched collections, we are taking events to the next level.”
San Francisco, California (April 23, 2014) Entering their tenth year as San Francisco’s premier event design and production company, Got Light announces an event-first for SFMOMA’s The Modern Ball 2014, the museum’s biennial fund-raising gala on Wednesday, April 30, 2014. In partnership with San Francisco’s resident creative genius Stanlee R. Gatti, Got Light will delight guests with high-voltage visual energy at the Bay Area’s biggest art bash held outside the museum for the very first time.
Got Light is planning new surprises around every corner at all three signature experiences: The Gala Dinner, The Supper Club, and The Post-Modern Party. Beginning with cocktails at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum, Gala Dinner guests will enjoy a unique, tented space atop its waterfall at Yerba Buena Gardens Terrace; Supper Club guests will retreat to City View Terrace at Metreon. Throughout all locales, the reveling art benefactors will be immersed in Got Light’s lighting, audio, and video.
San Francisco, California (September 24, 2013) We are happy to officially welcome reFRACTion to the Got Light family! Together, Got Light and technical design firm reFRACTion, LLC, will bring astounding lighting and audio innovations to the Bay Area.
Our combined synergy of ReFRACTion’s team of artists, engineers, and technicians within Got Light’s fold will further expand our ability to execute astounding events for our clients.
San Francisco, California (August 7, 2013) Entering their tenth year as the Bay Area’s premiere wedding and event lighting designers, Got Light was honored to create the setting for the lavish affair alongside celebrated event producer and caterer Paula LeDuc Fine Catering, and under the direction of designers Preston Bailey and Ken Fulk. With newly released photos featured in Vanity Fair Magazine and the internet abuzz leading up to the event, Got Light is happy to have been a part of the team!
Got Light consists of passionate designers, producers, and engineers, all of whom were dedicated to the creation of Sean Parker’s vision of a “performance-art project” set in a modern-day enchanted forest. Got Light expertly layered color, texture, kinetic movement, and subtle highlights to create the ethereal fairytale environment the couple envisioned.
San Francisco, California (May 11, 2013) Got Light, San Francisco Bay Area Event Lighting Design Company, will design another spectacular event for revelers at San Francisco Symphony’s Spring Gala on Thursday, May 16, 2013. Headlined by Grammy-nominated artist Janelle Monáe, the concert event will benefit the Orchestra’s music and education programs. Both the pre-party and after-party at San Francisco City Hall will be transformed by Got Light’s signature style of elegance, artistry, and fun. Entering their fifth year as the Symphony’s exclusive fundraising event lighting designers, Got Light is also established as one of San Francisco City Hall’s featured and preferred companies.
San Francisco, California (April 26, 2013) Got Light celebrates their nine-year anniversary as San Francisco Bay Area’s leader in producing artistic lighting and event design, creating dramatic environments with light, audio, video, projection art, video mapping, drape, and staging. Nearing a decade in the events industry, they have recently expanded business development by relocating to a larger office and warehouse space, presenting their first-ever client showcase, undertaking a rebranding process, and creating new staff positions.