Lighting in a booth – how difficult can it be?
We all know it – organizing a trade show booth for your company is no easy job. It takes months of hard work and a million micro-tasks to handle.
Luckily, some of these tasks are actually easy to manage. Like booth lighting for example. Isn’t it?
Well, not really.
Do I need lighting?
“After all, the whole show will be lit, right? Why bother adding additional spotlight?“
While it is true that the venue will most probably not be a dark area, what you want is traffic and visibility . More than that, you want to display your product in good… well… light!
You are proud of your products, you want them to stand out, to call visitors to come check them out and, guess what? That requires light.
If you want your booth to feel comfortable and attractive and your products to be visible and appealing, you will need to get more light than the simple ambient one.
Where to put them?
So you’ve decided to add some light to your booth, great decision!
Now, where should you position these additional lamps you will get?
It really depends on the effect you are trying to create, but for most booths, the important is:
- to spread your light everywhere – you certainly don’t want to create a dark corner
- to put special focus on your key products and displays
As a result, you can’t just put one spotlight somewhere, you will need to spread a few spots evenly around your booth and make sure you do not create any blind spot.
For optimal results, you will arrange to have a spot pointing directly to each of your major product / display.
LED versus Halogen
Alright. Now you have identified the best spots to place your light bulbs but your supplier is asking “what type of bulbs do you want?”
For most events, the choice is pretty simple: LED or halogen. If you don’t know the difference, worry not, we’ve prepared a short comparison for you!
A LED light is very white and spread out. If you want to cover your booth evenly, LED is usually a good bet. It also consumes (much) less than halogen and remains (relatively) cold.
A halogen, on the other hand, tends to be a more yellow (more and more halogens can be white nowadays, you should check with your vendor) and have a focus point. While the light also spreads out, you can identify a stronger point in the middle – this can be great for you to highlight a specific product. Unfortunately, halogens consume much more than LEDs and get (very) hot.
“Ok, all this is great but… what do I choose then?“
You will stay 3 to 5 days standing in your booth. If you don’t want to turn it into a sauna, do NOT put halogens all over the place – choose LED lights whenever available.
Keep halogens for specific product highlights and when you wish to create a “warm effect”.
Here is a nice comparison of the two:
Power & Cables
“So, am I done now?“
Not quite yet. Getting light bulbs on a floor plan was the easy part.
Now, you need to consider the cables necessary to bring electricity to your lamps (your supplier should be the one figuring it out, but if you don’t want visible cables running through your booth, make sure to remain on top of it!). You can have cables running above the booth, on the poles or under the carpet. Just make sure you don’t create bumps people might hit and fall!
The last piece of your work is to define how much power will be necessary to light up your booth and how many plugs will be required. Remember: renting the lamps is one thing, but you still need to pay for the electricity!
Budget everything carefully (lamp + power socket + electricity) BEFORE you commit to anything. Hopefully, this short article will help you avoid bad surprises!