How Much Uplighting Do I Need for A Wedding

If you came across our guide then you are more than likely planning an event and 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 and can point you in the right direction!

This is the most informative guide available on calculating uplighting quantity

Not only will we help you determine the best number of uplights, we will also go over the pros and cons of hiring a vendor compared to doing it yourself (DIY is actually very easy). 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 Wedding 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. Uplights are small (usually the size of a very thick old school laptop) and weigh 10 lbs or less. We recommend reserving uplighting that has more control with 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 to 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 to your budget. The reason why is because they are compact, easy to set up and have many options with programming. 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 it will cost less to rent per light because it has limited features. Typically wireless uplighting costs a couple 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 colors 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.

This 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 a 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 has 255^3 which equals 16.5 million color choices. RGBWAP uplights has a staggering 255^6! This equates to almost 275 trillion colors. In a 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 are wireless uplights (aka battery powered). If it takes you 20 minutes to set up plugin uplights it will take you 20 seconds to set up wireless uplights. There is a HUGE difference in time needed.

Wireless uplighting sets up in (3) easy steps:

1. Turn on the uplight rental

2. Select your uplight color

3. 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. If not, 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.

Here is a breakdown of the benefits of wireless uplighting:

1. Saves on time and is easier to set up

2. Looks more clean for management of cables

3. Freedom to lighting up spaces not near a power source

Here is Why You 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 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. Because of this they 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 rentals should be at least 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.

Pro 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.

How Much it Costs Renting Uplighting from a Vendor

Now comes the part of this article you are really wondering. How much does it cost to rent uplighting from a company? First you need to consider a company has rent, utilities, storage, labor, transportation & gas. These fees are included in the price of uplighting packages 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 More with 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? 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)

Use to light up drapery for a pipe and drape backdrop

Place on a 45 degree angle and aim at lower ceiling

Use under high top with white linen to light up table

Have on a table and aim at cake to give it color

Aim on your dance floor to add energy during open dance

Light up step & repeat backdrop (white lighting improves phtos)

Tips for Outside Uplighting (click & view)

Use tent clamps aim on ceiling to wash canopy in color

Place on ground in pavilion to light up pillar or draping

Use at the base of a tree (to light trees up to 150 feet tall)

Have uplighting light up a house for a very dramatic look

Use on an ice sculpture to give the ice stress cracks color

Place along a path aimed at ground (to light walkway)

Have white light in catering tent (so they can see late 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 image 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 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.



Final Thoughts on 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 if your event is inside or outside you can choose creative locations to light up and get the most from your rental experience.

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. Finally we have shared (3) ways to calculate how many uplights to rent based on your number of guests, sq ft size of room and event space dimensions.

Congratulations, 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

Let's Plan Your DIY Wedding Under Budget

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