It’s ironic to think that bars and nightclubs are usually so dimly lit but still make such generous use of lighting special effects.

In fact when the main lights come on it usually signifies home time for the revellers! In clubs and bars lighting is more of an artistic addition than a practical necessity and as such a sophisticated lighting sequence can really make a venue memorable.

Nightclub and bar lighting is understandably an area that can intimidate owners, after all, transforming a space into a leading venue can require a lot of careful planning and investment. In this post we will focus on popular lighting choices that really create the special effects that make a winning venue. In the next instalment we’ll focus on an equally crucial element – sound, so check back next week for further venue inspiration.

LED Strips

LED lighting has become a popular choice in hospitality venues for its low energy credentials and impressive flexibility and it’s that unique versatility that can really be utilised to the full in a nightclub or bar environment. LED strips are fantastic for creating ambiance and choosing strips that can change colour can be ideal for a venue that transforms from a popular day time meeting spot to a lively bar in the evenings.

For example the strips can be changed from a sober white to a deep red or blue to really give your space that multi-functional effect, not to mention the temptation that your patrons will come for after-work drinks and stay for an impromptu night out!

LED lighting strips are also a simple way to add an impressive overall finish to the decor and many venues use this feature to segregate different spaces. Individual ‘zones’ can often be a crucial element for night clubs hoping to offer ‘something for everyone’ so wall mounted strips can be a cost effective way of shifting the style of a venue.

LED Creations

Your imagination is really your only limit with LED lighting and many popular venues choose to use an LED lighting sequence as a central feature or to create an almost ‘sculpture’ like fitting. Some nightclubs have gone as far as to create LED ‘chandeliers’ by positioning white lights in a tiered or domed formation whereas other have created an ‘icicle’ style effect over significant areas (i.e. the bar or dance floor) using LED pixel tubes.

The benefit of a lighting formation like this is that the lighting can be pixel mapped. This means that your lighting can be manually modified to create spectacular effects such as light ‘rippling’. As well as creating impressive effects this feature can also be used for practical reasons such as safety concerns or to signal the end of the night.

Projected Lighting

So far we have primarily focused on the use of LED effects as a decorative feature but of course, LED lighting can also be used to throw light around a venue and create that classic ‘disco’ effect we all associate with nightclub lighting. Oddly, nightclub lighting could be defined as ‘messy’, but there’s method in the madness and all those glaring lights, spinning colours and lasers all add to that euphoric experience sought by clubbers on a Saturday night.

Lighting that reacts to the beat of the music is nothing particularly new but most venues will understandably demand it for creating the best dance experience and that much needed variety. Range scanners can be ideal for this purpose as they essentially work by reacting to the beat of the music and projecting colourful patterns around the room (that ‘messy’ but effective look coming up again!)

Similarly, moonflowers work by projecting patterns and these work very well for attracting patrons. If you’ve ever walked past a bar projecting whirling lighting patterns on the pavement or seen the patterns on an empty dance floor then you’ll understand how appealing this effect can be amidst a strip of mediocre bars. LED lasers create a similar effect and can be used to promote a club from the outside or flashed across the dance floor for a simple but powerful effect.LED lasers also have the benefit of having the similar bright and intense effect of strobe lighting without being disorientating.

If you would like some expert advice about stunning lighting effects, then get in touch with stage lighting specialists PG Stage. We have a wealth of experience with a variety of venues so we’re used to coming up with some really show stopping effects unique to your space.

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