How Much Wedding Uplighting Do I Need


You keep hearing people talk about uplighting… So what is it exactly?

Uplighting is a decorative style of colored lighting that goes up walls to accent your event space. You probably need help with deciding how much uplighting to rent.

Chances are that you have not planned a wedding reception before. How do you know the right amount of lighting to rent for your upcoming event?

Luckily, Ship Our Wedding® has done thousands of events. Our team can point you in the right direction so you achieve wedding planning savings!

this is the most informative guide on calculating uplighting quantity & cost

Not only will we help you determine the best number of uplights, but we will also go over the DIY pros and cons compared to hiring a vendor. This article will cover the different types of uplighting rentals as well as the best places to use uplights.

Average Read Time: 7 minutes 15 seconds

So What is Uplighting?

An uplight is a small lighting fixture that is used to control color and drama. It is great for improving boring venues, adding flair to photos, and working with color pallets. It is a commonly left-out wedding detail that makes a huge difference.

Uplights are small (usually the size of a very thick old school laptop) and weigh 10lbs or less. We recommend reserving uplighting that has more control over color selection.

The uplighting fixture does exactly what it says, it projects the color up the wall instead of down. Because of this, uplighting is placed on the ground and spreads throughout an event space.

Some lights have brackets on them so they can hang from light clamps to be attached to railings, tents, or poles. Because of this, they are the universal go-to solution recommended by local vendors for transforming an event space into something more.

Why Do You Need DIY Uplighting Rentals

Uplighting is hands down the best way to drastically change the look and feel of a room with the least impact on your budget. The reason why is because they are compact, easy to set up, and have many programming options.

Your basic DIY uplight rental will not have a battery (meaning you need to plug it into the wall). The drawback is that this takes more time to set up because you have to run all the power cables and extension cords.

On a positive note finding out how much uplights cost for battery-powered is less per light because it has limited features. Typically wireless uplighting costs a couple of extra bucks more per light fixture.

Up lights come in different shapes and sizes, however not all uplighting rentals are created equally. For example, older generation uplights only have (7) color choices.

Newer model uplights have way more (trillions of color options). This is because outdated uplights have only (3) color diodes to mix ‘RGB’. Newer models have RGBAWP so you can choose almost any color.

RGB stands for Red, Green & Blue. But what if you wanted to create a pastel or ivory color? If you wanted to make a pastel then the light would need a ‘W’ or white color diode. Ivory colors need an ‘A’ or amber color diode.

Most DIY uplighting companies only provide ‘RGB’ uplight rentals. Ship Our Wedding® provides ‘RGBWAP’ uplights (red, green, blue, white, amber, UV). This enables you to create way more uplighting colors.

In the 100 percentile, our RGBWAP lights have 99.999994 more color choices than other online rental companies

Disclaimer: We are going to geek out a little bit. Each color diode has a max value of 255. The higher the number the brighter that color diode. So RGB uplights have 255^3 which equals 16.5 million color choices. RGBWAP uplights have a staggering 255^6! This equates to almost 275 trillion colors.

In the 100 percentile, our RGBWAP lights have 99.999994 more color choices than other online rental companies. That means other companies using RGB lights have a 1/6 millionth choice for possible color combinations compared to our uplights. We don’t offer 100% more choices Ship Our Wedding® has 165,813.75% more colors available… mind blown 🤓

When Should You Rent Wireless Uplights

The next step above plugin lights is wireless uplights (aka battery powered). If it takes you 20 minutes to set up plugin uplights it will take you 2 minutes to set up wireless uplights. There is a HUGE difference in time needed.

Setup up wireless uplighting in (3) easy steps:

  • Turn on the uplight rental

  • Select your uplight color

  • Place lights in your room

Wireless uplighting is great not just for saving time but also for setting up lighting in hard-to-reach places. Just picture your event space and then consider if there is power nearby.

Benefits of wireless uplighting:

  • Saves on time and is easier to set up

  • Better cable management

  • Freedom to light up spaces, not near power

If there is no accessible power, then you will be able to benefit from wireless uplighting. No more having to be restricted by the location of power outlets. Now you can add color to any place.

Why Rent Outdoor Waterproof Uplighting

The previous (2) styles of uplighting are great for indoor events. However, outdoor uplighting needs to be waterproof in case your weather decides to not cooperate at your event.

Knock on wood so that you have clear skies for your event. Regardless, you will want to be prepared.

Waterproof uplighting is IP-65 rated. This means it is water-resistant. So it can be placed outside however not thrown into a pool. This light rating gives it the ability to withstand conditions with drizzles of rain.

Waterproof uplights are more heavy-duty and have added weight. They come at a price premium (because they cost more to ship), but they do a great job! This outdoor uplighting is essential for lighting up tents, pavilions, landscaping, and architectural event lighting.

📦 Rent Outdoor Uplighting Kit

outdoor uplighting should be 30% more powerful than standard uplights

When used in tents you will use lighting clamps to mount the light up higher to make your canopy change colors. Use in pavilions to light up pillar draping and fabric ceiling drapes.

Place waterproof uplights outside at the base of trees to light them up and make your backyard look magical! Couples can even rent outdoor uplighting for structures & landscaping to light up houses, walkways, and gardens.

Any outdoor uplighting rentals should be at least 30% more powerful than standard uplights or wireless DIY uplighting.

The reason why is because it is dark outside and there is no power. You need the color saturation to show and be visible to create a truly breathtaking DIY lighting design.

DIY Tip: the bracket on an outdoor uplight should have a half-inch hole to accommodate a standard size mounting clamp for tents and clamps for engineered structures.

Also, use one of the battery-powered lighting fixtures as a flashlight during your tear down. It will be dark outside and you will need to find all your lights spread through the landscaping/event area.

Others enjoyed reading >> How to Plan a Wedding While Adulting

How Much Uplighting Costs from a Vendor

Now comes the part of this article you are wondering about. How much does it cost to rent uplighting from a company?

First, you need to consider a company that has rent, utilities, storage, labor, transportation & gas. These fees are included in the price of uplighting rentals and help to determine the base cost.

This means the uplighting can cost $40 per uplight and more. Some companies have hourly technician fees for controlling uplighting if it goes with the music.

This fee can vary from $40 per hour and up. So if you were to rent (20) uplights for a room the cost could be as much as $1040 for 6 hours with a technician.

Where did we get these numbers from? We got this from our local production company. These are the prices we charge for clients that hire us.

We got fed up with having to turn down business because couples couldn’t afford our high prices. We decided to do something about it and offer a DIY uplighting solution that is beautiful, simple, and affordable.

Get to Know Us: Feel free to read more about our story & how we got started.

Save on Do It Yourself Uplighting (DIY)

You save a lot, period. Ship Our Wedding® sends you everything you need directly to your door. If you rent (10) or more uplights then your order will ship free both ways.

For added peace of mind, all orders arrive (2) days before your event. Also, our DIY uplighting rentals are easy to set up with QR code technology.

Simply scan the code with your phone for fast access to photos, product descriptions & setup tutorial videos. Watch our video and see for yourself the power of DIY.

Where to Use Uplights

Now that you know the (3) different types of uplighting. Where you use them will be based on their limitations. Are they being used indoors or outdoors?

Are they wireless or wired? Do you want to light up pipe & drape kits? Here are some wedding and event lighting inspirations with photos to get you brainstorming creative places to light up.

Tips for Indoor Uplighting (click & view)

Light up drapery for a pipe & drape backdrop

Place on a 45 degree angle & aim at ceiling

Light up high top tables with white linens

Have on a table & aim at cake to add color

Aim on dance floor & add energy during dancing

Light up step & repeat banner to improve photos

Tips for Outside Uplighting (click & view)

Aim on tent ceiling with clamps to wash canopy

Light up pillar or draping on an outdoor pavilion

Light up trees that are as tall as 100 feet from base

Light up the outside of a house for a dramatic look

Aim on ice sculpture to color ice stress cracks

Aim on a ground path to illuminate a walkway

Use in catering tent so vendors can see at night

Calculate How Much Uplighting You Need

There are many ways when renting uplights to calculate the right number of lights. Typical event spaces that are being used for 150 guests will require 20 uplights.

This number is pretty accurate to light a space sufficiently. As you can imagine the amount of lighting will go up or down based on how many people you are inviting.

Besides the number of guests, you can also calculate how many uplights to rent based on square feet and your room dimensions. To help you with crunching the numbers we have a snazzy calculator tool.

Use this to get a better idea of just how many uplights you need to rent for your wedding reception or party. There are (3) different ways to determine how many uplights to rent.


1. Amount of Guests

Find out how many up lights to rent for your party using the guest count.



2. Total Square Feet

Find out how many up lights to rent for your party using total sq footage.



3. Dimensions of Room

Find out how many up lights to rent for your party using room size.

 

 

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Any Questions Before Renting DIY Uplights

So there you have it. The complete guide on everything uplighting. You now know the basics of uplighting and the three different types of uplighting available.

Depending on if your event is inside or outside you can choose creative locations to light up and get the most from your rental experience. We do not recommend using uplighting in public areas.

We also covered the pricing breakdowns between paying a vendor to set it up compared to doing it yourself. You know why companies charge higher costs and why you will save more if you decide to go DIY.

Lastly, we have shared (3) ways to calculate how many uplights to rent. This is based on the number of guests in your wedding seating chart, sq ft size of the room, and event space dimensions.

Congrats, you are now a lighting designer, well almost

Now you need to rent your do-it-yourself uplights. Our team of lighting pros would love to help you create a beautiful backdrop with lighting at your upcoming event.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us either by calling us @ (844) SHIP-WED or using the chat widget on our website. Thanks again and we hope you found our complete guide on DIY uplighting rentals helpful.

XO Team Ship

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