LightQuest: Your Journey To Legendary Lighting

Hosting Tips for Outdoor Parties

Although winter is waning and Spring is just on the horizon, it’s never too early to start planning your pending outdoor parties. Whether it’s an upcoming graduation, birthday party, religious occasion, or family celebration, outdoor parties are a great way to amplify the celebratory cheer. Chances are, if you’re looking for party rental possibilities, you’ll probably want to cater an all-day affair that can go into the early evening, if not the night. If such is the case, you’ll need lighting to maintain the festive cheer so that you can enjoy the outdoors while you’re celebrating; adding music will also help to set the mood and keep the party going as long as possible. If you’re looking for outdoor lighting and outdoor audio ideas for your next outdoor celebration, the following guide will help to generate some ideas on how to make your next party the place to be.

Outdoor Party Lights

There are nearly limitless lighting potentials depending on the space you will be holding your party, how many people will be attending, how long the party will last, and any features that you wish to incorporate into the party. Some of the following factors you should consider before planning the lighting element of your party include:

  • The size of the outdoor space that you wish to illuminate. Some lighting is better around the perimeter but can’t illuminate the interior of a large yard unless there are structures to support them, while other lighting creates a large illumination field but needs to be set back so that it doesn’t blind guests. Given that this is party planning, all lighting would be mobile and temporary (unless you’re planning for permanent party hosting!).
  • Events that go later into the night will need more direct, overhead lighting, while events that end around dusk can tolerate lighting that focuses more on illuminating pathways or provides indirect lighting.
  • Larger events, particularly ones spread out over a larger area, will require more lighting (since you don’t want people tripping over each other in the dark, especially grandma!). Smaller events, particularly ones where there are designated dining areas, can tolerate more intimate lighting that is either more focused or less direct.
  • Depending on the structures you use for your event (Tents, gazebos), any further building structures incorporated into your event (such as patios, arbors, pergolas or adjacent buildings) and any landscaping features that you wish to illuminate for aesthetic enhancement or safety (decks, walkways, trees, driveways, pools, water features)


Once you take into consideration the above, there are a variety of lighting options that can work for your event.

  • String lights are a great option for decoration as well as indirect lighting overhead unless used in abundance. String lights can come in a variety of forms and colors, from peppers and flamingos to stars and butterflies. One of the advantages of string lights is that they are very portable and can either blend in with the overall design theme, such as if you incorporate vegetation into the string light display, or they can be used to create their own design effect, particularly when draped over features such as pergolas for a starry night effect, when draped along a wall for a light shower effect or when wrapped around trees or vegetation. String lights can come in different bulb styles, such as Edison and LED lights depending on lighting preferences.
  • Chandeliers and orbs make great lighting options, particularly for outdoor dining settings. Chandeliers can be elaborate for more formal outdoor parties that are then strung across dining tables, within a tent, or across an arbor. Orbs, lanterns, and similar designs can be less formal and come in a variety of designs, such as paper lanterns or hoop lights. As with string lights, you can also hang these lights from trees to incorporate landscaping into the design (who doesn’t like a great tree branch?) or to illuminate these features for pedestrians’ benefit. Spotlights and post lights are important lighting features for illuminating landscaping features and walkways as well as providing enhanced decoration effects.
  • Spotlights and LED lights can come in different colors for even more lighting design possibilities, though spotlights are best used along walkways or as backlighting given the strength of the illumination. Temporary posts, electric tiki torches, solar deck lights, and even cattail lights all make great temporary lighting to illuminate various yard features and walkways.

Outdoor Audio

Lighting is great, but sound systems can add a whole new dimension to your party (even if you’re just playing background crowd noise!). Portable speakers and Bluetooth amps allow you to sync with a laptop or other playback system for ultimate portability and control. The nice thing about speaker and amp systems is that you can add as many as you want and position them to amplify sound or provide soft background noise relative to your design features; you can even position them around your property for music wherever you go! For even more of a party vibe, subwoofers can be added to the sound system to provide maximum vibration, turning your backyard party into an instant nightclub. For festive summer nights or end-of-year celebrations, the proper sound system can turn your backyard event into a once-in-a-lifetime occasion.

The beauty of lighting and sound systems to accompany outdoor parties is that they are truly customizable to your tastes and dimensions, with a whole range of possibilities depending on how intimate or elaborate the affair may be. Whether you’re hosting a small cocktail party that needs some soft overhead lighting courtesy of a chandelier or two with classical music softly playing in the background or you want to celebrate your child’s college graduation with a light show and dance party, there’s no limit to what you can do with outdoor lighting and outdoor audio. We hope that this guide on party rental considerations for outdoor audio and lighting has stimulated your imagination for your next event. If you’re looking into possibilities or want to start planning your next celebration, please let us know how we can make your next party a light and sound sensation. Call (262) 358-9100 to schedule your design consultation!

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