Standing Out at Trade Shows
Trade shows are a great opportunity to showcase your business’s latest products or services. Don’t let this opportunity go to waste by getting lost in the crowd! Creatively illuminating your company’s exhibit can draw more attention to your products and even enhance your sales. Although your options will vary depending on your set-up, below are a few key pointers for creating a unique lighting design that will attract more visitors to your booth.
Layer Your Lighting
Before heading out to your next trade show, expand your lighting inventory. Layered lighting is the essential principle of lighting design. Using different types of lights throughout your exhibit will make it look more interesting and professional, and thus more enticing, especially if the light is coming from two or three different directions.
There are certain areas you’ll want to spotlight, or draw attention to, as well as areas you’ll want to accent, or illuminate for a subtle artistic effect. Areas you’ll definitely want to spotlight include shelves or display cases, logos, wall graphics, and company literature. Areas that would look great with accent lighting include underneath or around countertops as well as behind posters. Each kind of lighting will often require different types of bulbs and fixtures. So what kind of lights would you need (and where would you need them) to achieve these effects?
Spotlight-style lights, such as recessed downlights and track lights, are the most common type of display lights. Recessed downlights are great for highlighting singular items, and are often used inside shelves or embedded within ceilings. Track lights are ideal for highlighting graphics splayed across a large wall, or depending on how you angle the lights, they can illuminate key items on countertops. Usually the same kinds of bulbs are used in both downlight and track light fixtures, so the specific bulb you’ll need depends on the fixture you choose.
Popular bulbs for these fixtures include MR16s, PAR lamps, R lamps, MR8s, and MR11s. The “R” in these bulbs’ names stands for reflector, meaning that the bulb emits brighter, more concentrated light because it reflects light off the inside of its surrounding metal casing. When choosing a reflector bulb for use in a display light, pick one with a warm, inviting color temperature (2700 or 3000K), an excellent color-rendering index (above 80), and a beam angle that is narrow or wide enough to adequately show off your items. To add a little more pizazz to your display, you could even go with colored reflector bulbs.
Due to their versatility, both rope light and tape light are excellent choices for accent lighting. No matter the size or shape of your exhibit, each option could be easily incorporated in discreet, out-of-the-way places such as along the corners of your walls, underneath counters, around cabinets, behind posters, or anywhere that a hint of light could create a dramatic impact. Rope light is durable, rounded, and requires screw-in rope light channels or clips to keep it in place, whereas tape light is flat, thin, and simply sticks to surfaces with its adhesive backing. Both can be cut and capped to different lengths. So which option would be best in your booth?
Although tape light gives off brighter light and is easier to install due its sticky backing, it’s not as easy to configure into unique shapes as rope light is, nor is it as durable. So if you’re going for a quick, easy set-up and don’t want to accentuate a uniquely shaped place, tape light is probably your best option. However, if you want to accent something a little more interesting (for instance, rope light could be easily wrapped around rails or columns) or if you want 360 degree, multi-directional light, you may want to go with rope light after all.
To conclude, these are just a few of our ideas, and there are certainly other fixtures you can use to create layered lighting designs. What are some interesting ways you’ve seen people use layered lighting at trade shows? Share your thoughts in the comments or send us a line on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Pinterest, or LinkedIn!