Let’s Talk Lighting

If the aim of your event, whether it is a birthday, school function or wedding, is to party the night away – lighting is the key element. You may be thinking ‘shouldn’t it be the music?’ and yes, the music and song choice is important. But lighting is your make-or-break element. 

Creating an atmosphere that encourages your guests to get up and onto the dance floor is essential, and that’s created by darkening the environment and allowing the party lights to do their magic.

Photograph by Rift Photography
Venue: South of Perth Yacht Club
Occasion: Jake & Abigail’s Engagement Party

Types of Lights

Our most requested and recommended light set-up is our elite party light set up which consists of laser lights, two-party lights, two small moving heads and two wash lights. These can be customised to any colour (RGB + UV) and are remotely controlled by the DJ to the sound of the music. Most Diesel Productions DJs have similar setups to this and take this setup to each event. If the event venue is larger than a regular-sized venue, we have seen that one set of elite party lights hasn’t been enough, so we recommend two sets. The two small moving head lights in the set-up are perfect for dinner time while everyone is seated and calm. If these lights aren’t meeting the big vision you have for your event (if you want a crazy memorable night), we are able to bring in a professional to set up and control a bigger set of lights, similar to the elite party light set up.

Mackenzie's 21st

Photographer: Rift Photography
Venue: Bathers Beach House
Occasion: Mackenzie’s 21st

Another type of lighting that is popular amongst young people and commonly used for school functions or 18th birthdays are our strobe lights, which are sharp, bright white lights that create a slow-motion effect on the dance floor. Strobe lights recreate a faux club scene and feel like something from a movie. The strobes are automated to follow the beat of any song playing to create a strong build-up for a beat drop. Due to the flashing nature of these lights, we will have to check if there will be anyone with epilepsy joining the party, as this will trigger an episode.

“The equipment is top tier whether it’s the smoke machine or strobe lights to make the experience 10 times better.”

Testimonial from Riley Finerty’s 18th

One final suggestion we make for house parties specifically is to have a smoke machine. Smoke enhances the light’s effects and will carry light in a picturesque way. This can be seen in the pictures below from Patric’s 18th.

Private 18th's

Photographer: Diesel Media
Venue: House Party
Occasion: Patric’s 18th & Riley’s 18th

Why Darken the Room?

We’ve noticed that at the beginning of every party, once people start coming to the dance floor, they migrate straight to the darkest part of the room. As the lights start to dim and the music takes off, we see people begin to disperse evenly onto the dimmed dance floor. We suspect that this phenomenon is caused by guests not wanting to be seen on the dance floor, or at least not the first people to be seen. Emma’s 21st at the Bells Functions Centre demonstrated this ‘phenomenon’ perfectly. The darkest corner was the first to be occupied, then as soon as DJ Diesel told the venue staff to turn off the lights our birthday girl slowly began to dance and everyone else joined in to fill the whole dance floor.

Photographer: Diesel Media
Venue: Bells Function Centre
Occasion: Emma’s 21st

This isn’t a new revelation, lighting has been used for decades to create the perfect atmosphere for people to get their groove on. Think back to the 1950s/60s jazz clubs; dimly lit rooms with a couple of lights to focus on the band. Dim lights allow everyone to start dancing along to what is being performed. 

A more contemporary example is seen in clubs and festivals. The low lights allow strobes and wash lights to come into full effect. Sharp ecstatic strobes create a sense of slow-motion that when partnered with a strong beat from the DJ encourages more action on the dance floor.

Photographer: Adam Levi Browne Photography
Venue: Ambrose Estate
Occasion: Aimee & Aaron’s Wedding


We all know the stages of a reception; speeches, dinner, first dance and party. Hiring a DJ or music entertainment is the first step to creating the perfect memorable atmosphere during the party, but the way to push it over the edge of memorable is with dim lighting.

Reception venues are usually broken into two parts; tables for dinner, and the dance floor. This makes controlling lighting slightly difficult if these areas aren’t separated by space or a wall, but it’s still very possible to achieve the ideal dim light setting. Festoon string lights are very popular at weddings and create a beautiful glow. They are also very easy to control once the party starts. Having them plugged into the wall makes it so easy to switch off once the party starts or you can even have a dimmer to control the festoon lighting.

One wedding reception that stands out in terms of lighting is Kelly & Ryan’s at Black Brewing Co. After dinner and as the music began to pick up, the lights slowly started to dim and were eventually switched off as the hype built. There was enough lighting around the edges of the room to allow people to see where they were walking, but not to disturb the dance floor. This ideally dimmed room allowed our elite party lights to work to their full potential, creating the ultimate party atmosphere.

Photographer: Merge Photography
Venue: Black Brewing Co
Occasion: Kelly & Ryan’s Wedding


If celebrating party style is the goal at your event, lighting is essential and something to think through.