From incandescent to LED, what you need to know before buying

by Joe Barnes, Marketing Manager, Kennicott/Nordlie

Lighting has become as intricate and important as any other part of a wedding or event. Good food, flowers and music are essential elements, but lighting choices can either enhance the experience… or undermine the rest of your hard work. Designers typically face a choice between two types of lighting: Traditional incandescent lighting or LED lights. Knowing the pros and cons is helpful before investing in what should be your go-to lighting supply for many years. 

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How much will LED reduce my carbon footprint?

LED lights are 80-90% more energy efficient than incandescent bulbs, which can be a major selling point with customers who put a premium on using an eco-friendly provider. While it’s unlikely your client will scrutinize the actual energy bill, the gesture will be appreciated.

Which lighting options will complement my flowers?

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It all depends on the effect you’re after. Incandescent lights tend to glow with an orange light, which will cloak the natural colors of your floral arrangements. LED’s emit more of a true, white light that presents petal colors as they are.

Also, incandescent lights are omnidirectional, so at least half the light produced needs to be reflected and redirected towards your flowers. LED lights overcome this inefficiency by being naturally directional, emitting light for 180 degrees. You’ll be able to point the lights directly at your work to a better effect.

How can I prevent annoying outages and breakage?

LED lights dominate in this area. Their lifespan dwarfs that of incandescent lighting, often lasting 10-20 times longer without failure.  New LED lights can last up to 100,000 hours compared to only 1200 hours from incandescent lighting. LED lights also shine through a diode, not a traditional filament which is more fragile; remember this the next time you see your crew manhandling your lights while tearing down a wedding! Another feather in LED’s cap is that they operate with multiple light emitters on a single luminaire. If one or two diodes go out, it won’t take out the whole string.

Why should I pay more for LED lights?

LED lighting costs significantly more, but only on the front-end. Incandescent lights often prove to be more expensive (in the long-term) due to high replacement costs. Wedding and event designers looking to invest in higher durability are wise to consider LED. But those who need a much lower-priced option, and aren’t concerned about product longevity, always have the cheaper option.

5 Design Tips for Lighting Weddings and Events

There are many ways to incorporate LED or incandescent lighting into your event designs. Here are a few ideas to kick start your creative ideas!

Lighting Canopies & Curtains

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led ceiling curtain

Sparkling lights cascading down from the ceiling transforms any room into a scene right out of a fairy-tale, whether used outright or cloaked in fabric. It doesn’t take a lot to pull-off a charming effect, but swinging for the fences often produces stellar results.  Much like ceiling canopies, a wall of lights creates an easily-achievable backdrop that is always a hit with your clients. Combined with the right fabric, they can also provide a lovely cover for areas that would otherwise be an eyesore at the event.

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Polestar Lights

Consider taking advantage of new LED polestars, which can be easily hanged from the ceiling. They possess  a subtle twinkle; 14% of the bulbs incorporate a flashing effect that allows for glimmer without going over the top.

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Lanterns Filled with String Lighting

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led lanterns

If you don’t relish spending time on a cherry-picker, or you don’t have an accessible ceiling from which to hang lights, consider filling decorative lanterns with battery-driven LED lights. Not only are they (mostly) weather-resistant, but they take only minutes to assemble.

 

Wrap-Lighting Trees and Columns

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led ceiling wrap

You’ll need a lot of lights to pull it off, but wrapping or hanging lights from columns or trees is a surefire way to get the most out of your space.

 

Christmas Garland

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Weaving lights throughout Christmas garland makes for a holiday centerpiece that pulls off the yuletide charm people want when celebrating the season.

For more info on LED lighting for your events, contact your Kennicott or Nordlie sales representative.

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