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air wall lighting track clamp

Do I Need a Light Stand for My Rental Light?

blacklight stand rental

Example of a blacklight mounted to a tripod light stand

Do I need a light stand for my light?

It depends on how you’ll be using your light and the space, different options are available for mounting and setting up your lights.

Think about light stands if:

  • You expect 100 or more guests at your event
  • Want to get the most effect out of your light rental
  • You want the easiest setup

Generally it’s a good idea to get a light stand.

Below are the stand and mounting options we offer and what’s recommend based on the light and your space.

Types of Light Stands and Mounting Options

Tripod Light Stand (most popular)

Compact, three leg stands extend upwards of 8-10ft, foot print of 3ft in diameter. We match each stand to the light being shipped so it’s a perfect fit. Plenty of room to project above your guests.

super clamp

Super clamps attach to anything 2in in diameter or less.

Recommended for:

  • Gobo lights
  • Texture lights
  • Monogram Lights
  • Bliss lights
  • Black lights
  • Cake and table washes

Super Clamp

Attach light fixtures to anything 2in in diameter or less. Existing light stands, speaker stands, pull up bars, volleyball posts, basketball hoops, truss, deck, railings, chain link fence, etc. Offers a lower cost option to mount lights using elements you already have.

drop ceiling lighting clamp

Drop ceiling clamps attach to the strips in between tiles in a drop ceiling. Good for lightweight light fixtures.

Recommended for:

  • Gobo lights
  • Texture lights
  • Monogram Lights
  • Bliss lights
  • Black lights
  • Cake and table washes
  • Pin-spots

Drop Ceiling Clamp

Clamps clip onto existing drop ceilings and allow mounting of lightweight light fixtures. Improper mounting can result in damage to the ceiling or serious injury to guests.

Recommended for:

  • Cake and table washes
  • Video lights
  • Cake spots
  • Pin-spots
air wall lighting track clamp

Air wall clamps attach to the air wall track available in some venues.

Air Wall Track Clamp

Clamps attach to air wall track in hotel ballrooms. These allow for advanced hanging and configurations. Recommended only for event professionals.

Recommended for:

  • Any of our rental lights

Why would I need a light stand, don’t the rental lights already have a built in stand? 

A light stand elevates the lighting fixture so you can project light exactly where you want it. Stands are most helpful for:

  • Increasing the effectiveness of the light by projecting down on guests
  • Raising the light effect so it doesn’t project in guests eyes
  • Clearing guests heads so they don’t create shadows or block a projection
  • Keeping curious guests from “adjusting” your light during the event
  • Create more useable space in the room
  • Getting the light to the optimal angle for projecting the best effect

Think of your rental light like a flashlight, wherever you aim it light will appear. If something walks in front of the light it will block the effect.

Tripod light stand

Tripod light stands increase the effectiveness of the lighting effect.

All of our lights have basic built in bases. These can be put on sturdy flat surfaces and allow minimal movement adjusting the light fixture. If you have area(s) where you can place the light out of the way of guests or don’t mind guests walking in front of the light, the built in stand may be a good fit.

Lights that may work well with the built in stand:

  • Blisslights (aimed up at ceiling)
  • Blacklights (less than 100 people)
  • Cake Spotlights

We always recommend a stand for gobo/monogram lights, if you don’t elevate the light people will walk in front and block the projection.

Bottom Line on Light Stands

You know your event and the event space best. Make sure you have a place to mount or set the rental lights that is out of the way of guests and people walking in front of them.  This will allow you to achieve the best lighting effect possible.

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peacock inspired wedding lighting

Peacock Inspired Wedding Lighting at The Woodlands

peacock inspired wedding lighting

Peacock inspired wedding lighting tied all the decor elements together for this wedding.

This wedding at The Woodlands at Algonkian Park in Cascades, Virginia shows our wireless uplights and monogram lighting combined to pull together all the decor elements for this peacock inspired wedding.

By setting the lights to two different controllers they were able to pull the teal and the blue elements from the wedding colors and paint on the walls with light. The monogram light does a great job of highlighting the beautiful stone wall in the room and personalizing it with the bride and grooms names.

Altogether the lighting helped transform the otherwise fairly plain reception space into a warm, elegant entertaining space worthy of a wedding reception.

Thanks to our friends at Bushnell Photography for the great photo!


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two toned wireless uplighting blue and amber

Two Color Uplighting, Amber and Blue with Cake Spotlight

wireless uplighting with blue and amber uplights

Blue and amber wireless uplights create a two toned uplighting effect with white under the table lighting with wireless uplights. A cake spotlight makes the cake pop.

Two color uplighting is a great way to create a high end look. In this example at the Gaithersburg Marriott in Maryland, they used our battery uplights to create a blue and amber color combination.

They also used 2 of the wireless uplights to create a nice under the table lighting effect for the sweetheart table. The photo also shows our rental cake spotlights that help make the cake pop at the reception.

The second photo shows a bigger view of the room where you can better see how the cake spotlight really makes the cake pop out and how the under the table lighting makes the sweetheart table pop on the stage.

two toned wireless uplighting blue and amber

Two toned wedding reception lighting with blue and amber uplighting with a custom designed monogram.

They used a screen and a projector to show a slideshow and used one of our monogram designs on the screen before and after the slideshow when it wasn’t playing the video.

So when you are looking to rent uplights in Maryland check out what we have to offer and see how much you’ll save.

Venue: Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center
Entertainment: Wedding DJ – Superlative Events

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Bride and groom dancing with their wedding monogram and uplighting behind them.

Wedding Lighting at Molan Lave Vineyard in Warrenton, VA

Bride and groom dancing with their wedding monogram and uplighting behind them.

Bride and groom dancing with their wedding monogram and uplighting behind them.

A high arched ceiling and simple walls are pretty plain for a wedding. Brighten the walls and the room and pull together your color by renting wireless uplighting and a rental monogram light.

A lot of venues like vineyards are amazing outdoors and offer a great cocktail hour experience but their reception spaces can be somewhat plain. Lighting is the lowest cost option to transform the space for your wedding and make it completely personalized.

Simple walls are enhanced with a monogram and a purple uplighting.

Simple walls are enhanced with a monogram and a purple uplighting.

Even with daylight in the room the uplights did a great job pulling together the bride and groom’s colors and creating the perfect ambiance for their wedding.

Venue: Molan Lave Vineyards  – Warrenton, VA
Entertainment: Wedding DJ & Ceremony – Superlative Events

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white uplighting hotel monaco va

White Uplighting – Hotel Monaco – Alexandria, VA

white uplighting hotel monaco va

White uplighting enhances the beauty of a wedding at Hotel Monaco in Alexandria, VA.

White uplighting is an elegant way to transform a hotel ballroom for a wedding. Wireless uplighting elegantly enhances the elegant ballroom at Hotel Monaco in Old Town Alexandria, VA.

Pin-spot lighting on the centerpieces makes the clean and elegant white flowers pop.

A cake spotlight makes the cake shine and shimmer and looks amazing in the white color scheme used for the wedding. This lighting works really well with the monogram lighting that is projected behind the cake for a beautiful way to personalize the space.

Texture lighting of a vine at the far wall of the ballroom adds a touch of elegance to the stale hotel ballroom walls.

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chauvet zoom gobo 2.0 vs LED 40

How to Choose a Gobo Size

side by side comparison of different gobo sizes

Side by side differences in gobo sizes.

The gobo size that you need is based on the light fixture that will project that gobo. Many traditional theater style lights like a Source 4 ellipsoidal light or LEKO light will use a size B gobo (about the diameter of a coke can). Cheap DJ effect lights like the Chauvet Zoom or American DJ LED gobo projector use a custom gobo size that is about the size of a dime.

Why different gobo sizes?

It’s based on the the power of the light source.

More powerful light sources use bigger gobo sizes because there is more light to shoot through a larger template and the template needs more surface area to dissipate heat. Stronger light sources result in a brighter, bigger image but often comes at the expense of a larger sized light fixture.

Small cheap effect lights like the Chauvet Zoom, American DJ Gobo Projector LED are not recommended. These lights use teeny-tiny gobo templates to project with limiting detail and brightness. These lights may look good in a small dark bedroom or living room but don’t hold up to real life events of more than 30 people.

monogram wedding reception lighting mount ida farm

Example of a D-sized transparency gobo used at an event results in an extremely clear image.

Smaller gobo sizes mean there is less physical space to print detailed images. Smaller gobos are better suited for blockier, less detailed designs like the cross shape used in the smallest gobo in our example photo. More detailed designs like those used for weddings are better suited to larger gobo sizes (E-size or bigger).

When considering a gobo light this is what we recommend:

  • E-Size or bigger gobo
  • A light fixture that supports multiple lenses
  • At least a 30w (LED) light source

Common gobo sizes

Here is a table of some popular standardized gobo sizes and common light fixtures that use those gobo sizes:

Letter Size O.D. (mm) I.A. (mm) Notes
A Size 100 75
B Size 86 64.5 Standard Size for Ellipsoidal lights (Source 4, Source 4 Zoom)
M Size 66 48 Source 4 Jr.
G Size 65.5 48 For Clay Paky Goldenscans
D Size 53.3 38 Martin PR-1, LEDSpot 40
E Size 37.5 28 LEDSpot 25, LEDSpot 30
O.D = Outside Diameter; I.A. = Image Area

The OD (Outer Diameter) number is the diameter of the actual template itself. The IA (Image Area) number is the useable are that can be used to print the image used for the gobo. It’s important to know these numbers when ordering a gobo, especially the IA. The IA can change from light fixture to light fixture even for commonly used gobo sizes. Make sure you know the OD and the IA of the gobo size for your particular lighting fixture you’ll be using for your event. Also know what types of gobos your light supports.

chauvet zoom gobo 2.0 vs LED 40

Gobo sizes compared showing a Chauvet Gobo Zoom 2.0 vs. the LED 40 lights Superlative Events uses.

Bottom Line

When ordering a gobo know the OD and the IA of the light fixture you’re using. Realize that larger gobo sizes can support higher levels of detail in the resulting image. Most corporate gobos are B-size.

Questions, corrections, comments? Let us know in the comments below.

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cake spotlight w hotel dc

Cake Spotlight – W Hotel – Washington, DC – Wedding

cake spotlight w hotel dc

W Hotel Cake Spotlight at a wedding in Washington, DC.

We recently worked with a couple who rented a cake spotlight package, pin-spot lighting and a monogram light for their wedding at the W Hotel in Washington, DC.

The cake was a big part of their wedding and they wanted to make sure that their guests had a chance to enjoy it before it was eaten later on in the evening.

The wedding reception was in the great room on the lower level of the hotel and they created a strong focal point for guests to see as they arrived in the great room pre-function space.

Inside the room they used our batter powered pin-spot lighting to highlight the taller centerpieces.

By using a combination of a cake-spotlight package, uplighting and a monogram light they created a high contrast wow factor feature that greeted their guests and helped create the perfect ambiance.

Venue: W Hotel – Washington, DC

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