12 ideas for using lighting and décor at events venues

ideas para iluminar y decorar espacios para eventos

It could be said that the lighting and audio-visuals are the most important part of an event. As well as the décor, lighting is the element that helps us to create the right atmosphere at any type of event.

It doesn’t matter how well decorated a place is, if the lighting is not used properly you will not achieve the desired effect. On the other hand, with good lighting you can recreate an atmosphere, without the need for decoration.

Along with lighting, the audio-visuals also play an important part as the sound experience is one of the factors that most contributes to the perception of quality by the public. Video projection is a great resource to strengthen the message that you wish to transmit and to create a much more impressive effect.

Often it is difficult to find the right resources or imagine the potential a venue has. On paper it may appear that everything works, but until you visualise it in situ, it is difficult to grasp the idea.

For that reason, we are going to give you 12 real examples of how to use lighting to create atmosphere in rooms and spaces for events.

With good lighting you will be able to transform any venue, even without decoration.  

1. Colours

Colours help to transmit sensations and emotions. Today there is an infinite amount of resources available to illuminate a room and fill it with colour or colours.

All you need is a good lighting system, to employ quality suppliers or to have a little imagination to create your own resources.

We recommend that you do not invent things last minute. Make sure you have tested the result beforehand or work with suppliers that you trust who can provide reliable solutions and give you good advice.

Many venues and hotels with function rooms work with their own suppliers, whether exclusively or by recommendation. This allows you to reduce the number of suppliers you need to contact, but it is always advisable to ensure you know them. Depending upon the complexity of the event, you can also organise a meeting in advance so that everyone knows your requirements and based upon the feedback received, budget, available resources and reliability you can decide which supplier is best for you.

iluminacion_en_eventosImage: Event at hotel Barceló Sants (Barcelona)

2. Video projection

Projecting onto screens, walls or even canvasses can help you energize your events. You can use images, videos or even computer generated animation.

Our advice is that you accurately calculate the duration of the event so that the projection does not become an infinite loop which ends up boring your guests. Define whether you want to transmit messages or simply project a series of images to create atmosphere in the room.

In the case of wishing to transmit messages, ensure that the visibility in the room will be sufficient. It is not the same seeing something on a computer screen as seeing it on a large screen, video wall, wall or canvas. The lighting in the room can distort or boost the image and therefore it is advisable that the audio-visual supplier knows and sees the video in advance.


3. Mapping

Mapping is a new trend that is starting to compete with projections. This new technique must be undertaken by a more technical team, as the images must be adapted to the shape of the surface where the images will be projected. The effect is spectacular, but the development time, complexity and budget required is much greater.

The advantage is that images can be projected onto any surface, it is much more spectacular than a video wall and you can create a 3D effect.

Video: Mapping for the Eubea 2015 event at the hotel Barceló Sevilla Renacimiento

4. Gobos

Gobos are projections of logos and another series of fixed images. They can be moving or aimed at a specific part of the room. They are the perfect tool to use for branding during the event.

There are different image types for Gobos; they can be designs of a logo or message or also real photos in two tones, black and white or multi-coloured. In just a few days a specialised company can have them ready.


5. Backlit furniture

This type of furniture is perfect for creating ambience and to provide points of light at events where the light is faint. They are ideal placed at cocktails, open air spaces, networking zones or in areas designed for relaxation. They work equally well in closed or open spaces.

The great advantage is that you can programme the colour of the lighting, helping to create the atmosphere that you desire or to boost the images of your brand by using one of your corporate colours.

mobiliario retroiluminado eventos Barceló Santseventos en terraza Barceló Hamilton MenorcaImage: Terrace at the hotel Barceló Hamilton Menorca 

6. Candles

Candles transmit a sensation of intimacy, warmth and comfort. There are many ways to use candles; you can place them inside glass recipients, paper bags, recipients with water……But do ensure they cannot present a danger and that there are no elements nearby that could catch fire.

To avoid this, you could use wax candles with a simulated flame. There are some that perfectly imitate the movement of the flame of a real candle.

velas para eventos vela_en_evento_barcelo_atenea_mar

7. LED lights

This type of lighting, which has invaded the market, is a frequently used resource at all kinds of events. They have many advantages. They don’t heat up, some do not need to be plugged in, you can find them in different colours or even that change colour, they are small and they provide lots of light.

There are also different sizes and shapes of LED screens that allow you to project images or messages. On this occasion, we are going to talk about LED lights aimed at lighting venues.

They are perfect for events. You can create an ambience, use them as indirect lighting, they can be placed inside objects so that they illuminate from the inside or you can even hang small LED balls from the ceiling to simulate stars.


8. Luminous garlands

Garlands are perfect for outdoor events in gardens or on terraces, especially if you want the place to have a rustic feel. Many types of luminous garlands exist in different materials. We recommend, however, that you go carefully as you do not want your event to look like the village festival. So, make sure that they are in harmony with the decoration and the type of event that you wish to organise.

Garlands with bulbs tend to be used a lot; the advantage is that they are manufactured for outdoor areas and so there will be no problems if it is damp or rains a little. These allow you to cover long distances that need to be illuminated and in doing so, define the area where the event is taking place.

Use low intensity bulbs in a warm yellow colour so that they do not bother the eyes if looked at directly and to transmit a more countrified look (if that is what you want to achieve).

BARCELO_AteneaMar-0024_2Image: “Bienvenidos Soñadores” event at Occidental Atenea Mar.

9. Black light

Black light is the light typically used in night clubs and music bars, and so this kind of lighting is not suitable for every event. You can, however, achieve very surprising effects if it is used correctly.

White surfaces tend to shine with this light, although not every material does. It can be a very original, fun resource for some types of parties or events with a show.

If you decide to try it, make sure beforehand that the room has no light leaks and that the materials that you are going to use will be seen exactly as you had planned.


10. Vinyl

You can apply vinyl to walls, ceilings, floors and any other type of surface. This allows you to recreate any ambience and transport your guests to anywhere. The cost will vary according to the surface you wish to cover, but it is not usually very expensive. By combining with decoration and lighting you can work miracles.


11. Lamps

Although it may not seem like it, lamps can be a great help as much indoors as outdoors. Placed strategically you can create different ambiences within a room or compensate a possible lack of light in particular areas or at certain times of day. If you combine lamps with candles or torches you can create an almost magical scene.

Lamps providing indirect light are ideal to avoid any possible irritation or damage to the eyes.


12. Vertical gardens

Not a widely-used resource, although they are starting to be seen at some events. This innovative form of decoration can help you to completely transform a room, building or any venue where you are holding your event. You can also use them to simply provide a relief, cover or decorate a certain area, you can even reproduce your company logo as if it were a vertical garden.

If you dare, you can recreate, on a wall or the facade of a building, a parallel world with furniture and décor that defies the laws of gravity.



There are many ways to transform a venue, you just need some creativity and to know where to find the most suitable resources. You can achieve truly surprising effects by cleverly combining lighting, decoration and image projection. There are some proposals that require a greater complexity and budget, but with limited budgets you can also use many of the ideas set out here.

We are sure that there are many more examples out there, and so we would be delighted if you could tell us about ideas you may have or that you have already put into practice.

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