Technical vs. Decorative Lighting: What do I need for my event?

When it comes to lighting up your wedding, you need to know all the options that are available to you. What colors fit your palette? What needs to be staged in a special way? Will technical lighting do? Or does decorative lighting need to be included to fit the bill?

The short answer is: You need both! However, knowing the difference between the two will help you understand where they fit into your design plans, ensuring you procure all of the lighting equipment you need for your wedding.

Let’s tackle each of them:

Technical Lighting

Simply put, technical lighting is used for functional, practical purposes. Composed of LED lights, technical lights use less energy and are ideal for spaces with limited power.

Though technical lighting sounds drab, there is a wow factor to them for you to consider! Are you thinking of having a spotlight at your sweetheart table? Or, would you like a gobo wash as an accent wall? Love the idea of your monogrammed initials on the dance floor? All of this gets realized with technical lights. Yep, spotlights and gobos are only possible with the right LED fixtures in place!

So, whether you want pin lighting to highlight your stunning tiered cake or a full-on stage behind the band, technical lighting is a must for getting your details in order.

decorative lighting

Decorative Lighting

Holding true to its name, decorative lighting is used to amp up the aesthetics of your venue. Unlike technical lighting, decorative lighting is not meant to actually light up your venue but more so to enhance designs and create the atmosphere.

Decorative lights bring the warmth of yellow hues that technical lights don’t provide, setting the mood for a lovely, intimate moment on your big day. It is very versatile and caters to every look, adding that extra oomph!

For example, simply adding colored uplighting to your venue will elevate your wedding design! The color options are endless, but be careful not to overdo it. Less is, indeed, more! Check out our blog, Colored Lighting: How to do it Right, for more colored lighting inspo.

Have you always dreamt of the starry night look? If so, string lights are for you! Or how about market lights that turn any venue into a place where the vibe is just right, and nobody wants to leave? Yes, please! Are you thinking of bringing on the drama? Go for marquee lights!

Wherever you want to add an extra little pizzazz, decorative lights are here to save the day.

Understandably, knowing the difference between lighting elements and what they do is complex. Nobody is asking you to become an expert, but a little bit of knowledge will go a long way when planning your dream wedding. Of course, a lighting professional will know exactly what you need and where — so don’t feel like you have to do this alone!