Despite being stage and studio installation specialists, we know that spectacular lighting goes beyond theatres and TV studios. Stunning effects can be utilised in every venue imaginable and from stylish bars to leisure centres and museums, when you need to create a space with a difference, lighting is always a clear choice for achieving ambience and style.

We’re used to seeing creative lighting utilised in attractions, theme parks and displays and on a recent trip to Cadbury’s World we were once again reminded of the importance of great lighting for setting a scene to enthral younger visitors (us adults were rather impressed too!). Of course in a chocolate factory, practicality prevails and in all working areas the lighting was strictly high bay, before changing to weird and wonderful for the tours and experiences!

So, exactly how does Cadbury’s World use lighting to wow visitors and transform simple tours into exhibits that attract visitors from far and wide? In between the chocolate feasting, we managed to give the lighting system a thorough analysis to determine exactly what was being used to make the experience magical. In many cases it was surprisingly simple, so while we’re not suggesting you establish your own chocolate factory visitor attraction; take lighting inspiration from the ultimate (non-fiction) chocolate factory to transform your venue on a budget.

Colour filters for ambience

We’ve long been advocates for colour filters and whether it’s intelligent lights for a stage performance or fashionable LED wall panels for a restaurant, colour filters are a simple yet effective way of setting a scene and establishing your brand. Understandably at Cadbury’s World, the signature purple hue was a popular coloured lighting choice, but a full range of colours were also utilised to finish various exhibitions. Typically, a selection of eerie green spots were used to convey the Aztec forest, whereas a cool blue was used to convey an icy alpine scene, again, simple techniques that have stood the test of time for their effectiveness.

‘Experience’ hot lights

Experiencing what it’s like to be roasted in an oven might not be your idea of a good day out, but hear us out, because at Cadbury’s World we underwent the whole ‘cocoa bean roasting’ experience and came out the other side smiling! Sat in front of a cinema screen we were treated to a good shaking (courtesy of a rather robust automated bench!) before halogen hot lights came on and gave us all a good toasting! Why you ask? The experience was basically showing us how cocoa beans are prepared and roasted and feeling the gentle burn of those hot lights really made the experience memorable (if slightly terrifying…!)


You may recall that we heavily focused on gobos (‘goes before optics’) in our post focusing on opening night lighting, but if  the term is completely new to you then a gobo is basically a template that slots in front of a light. This could be as simple as basic shapes or could be used to project small amount of text, either way templates can be highly customised to create your desired effect. In the Cadbury’s World context, gobos were used to create a ‘time travelling’ effect and direct visitors to ‘secret’ rooms! Using suitably eerie music and projecting moving shapes on hidden doors, visitors were channelled around theatrical tours using simple yet high impact gobos. A great idea that certainly doesn’t require a chocolate factory budget.

Video Projections

Video projectors were used extensively throughout the Cadbury World exhibition in order to create small ‘theatrical’ shows. Using a fixed scene and displaying moving video images allowed the sporadically dotted scenes to really come to life in a way TV based film scenes just couldn’t achieve. The children absolutely loved watching the 3D figures and it proved to be the next best thing to a permanent theatre team!

Stage and lighting inspiration is prevalent everywhere, especially in family-orientated attractions, where it’s all about the show from start to finish. Cadbury’s World was a great example of how simple effects can be used to achieve magical results without an astronomical budget.

If you’re looking for dose of lighting inspiration for your venue then please get in touch with our professional team and see how we can create a solution for your space.

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