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Ask Kevin: Different Types of Event Lighting


I’m currently looking at lighting for my upcoming wedding on 2/16/13, and I keep seeing all these different lighting terms. I am getting so confused! This might be a dumb question, but what is the difference between a pinspot, GOBO, and uplight?


Allison from Dublin, California

Hi Allison,

This isn’t a dumb question at all! It’s actually a really common question that we get all the time, so thank you for writing in! Some companies use different terminology, so it’s completely understandable that you have gotten a little confused. Here at Fantasy Sound Event Services, we use the standard terms of pinspot, GOBO, and uplight, and I will be more than happy to help you out!


Uplights usually serve as the foundation for any Event Lighting design. They are placed on the floor of your venue, and are used to create a color wash upwards on the wall or drapery. Gel overlays, which come in a wide variety of colors, can be used to customize the wash to complement your wedding’s color scheme. The image below shows an example of uplighting in pink.

GOBO comes from the term “go between”. GOBOs are metal or glass discs with patterns, names, or initials cutout in it. They are placed over the lens of the light. Their image can be projected onto walls or floors in a wide variety of colors. The picture below shows one of our most popular GOBO patterns, in a champagne color projected onto a wall.

Here is a Custom Monogram GOBO that has been projected onto the floor in a pink color.

Pinspots are lights that shine down from the ceiling, and can be used to highlight the bride and groom, musicians, cake, candy bar, centerpieces, tables, or other key focal points. These lights really help your wedding pop! These can also be called soft washes or spotlights. The image below shows some pinspots on floral arrangements down the aisle.

Allison, thank you so much for submitting this question! Like I said before, we get this question all the time here at Fantasy Sound, and we hope this is helpful to all the future brides out there. Remember, you can submit your own questions by clicking here!

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