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DIY Uplighting



  1. Spotlights

    1. PAR 56 Cans and Pink Gels

    2. PAR 36 Pinspots and Pink Gels

  2. Spotlight Stands

The walls of our reception venue were black, which is not exactly the most appropriate wedding color.  We therefore softened them with pink uplighting, like that shown in this picture.


PAR 56 Cans and Pink Gels

For the uplighting, we got four PAR 56 cans and four bright pink gels from Bulbamerica.

We got two 500-watt wide floodlights for them from eBay seller multicom336, and two more from Bulbamerica.  With these, we were able to get a wide wash of pink onto the wall, without having the light be overwhelming.

PAR 36 Pin Spots and Pink Gels

We got four smaller spotlights--PAR36 PIN SPOT with PLATINUM 4515 Spotlamps from Bulbamerica--which we originally intended to use for accent lighting on the cake, the buffet area, the chocolate fountain, and the ketubah. We also got four sets of gels in a total of seven different colors (red, green, yellow, blue, pink, purple, and amber) from Bulbamerica and Musician's Friend to go with each of them.  However, it turned out that they were not really needed for accent lighting, so we ended up interspersing them with the larger spotlights for uplighting.

Spotlight Stands

The only problem with the lamps we used for uplighting was that although they swiveled on their handles, there was no way to set them on the ground and have them point the right direction.  If you try to stand them on the handle, they topple over.  And since PAR lights can get quite hot, this could have been a fire hazard.

We therefore made a stand for each light, based on the suggestions originally found on this site.  (The site has since deleted the instructions, and replaced them with a link back to our site.)  We got a 2' x 2' sheet of ½-inch plywood from Home Depot, and cut it into four quarters, each 1' x 1'.  We then drilled a hole, using a ¼-inch drill bit, in the center of each of the four squares of plywood.  We used flat black enamel spray paint to paint each of the pieces of plywood.  (The paint is not necessary for functioning, but makes the plywood less conspicuous in use.)

We then took a ¼-inch bolt, a corresponding nut, and two large washers with ¼ holes in the center.  We threaded the bolt through the first washer, then through the plywood, then through the hole in the lamp handle, then through the second washer, and finally into the bolt.  We then turned the whole thing so that the plywood was on the floor, and the lamp was attached upside down to the plywood.  This provided a stable base for the light, and also kept it a few inches off the ground so that its heat would not create a fire hazard.  The washers provide extra stability, and ensure that even under pressure, the nut will not slip through either the plywood or the lamp handle.

The first picture above shows the detail of the attachment of the spotlight to the stand.  The bottom black layer is the plywood.  The next layer is the handle to the spotlight.  Above that is the washer, and then the nut, screwed onto the bolt that goes through the plywood.  The other two pictures show a) the stand in use, but with the light turned off, and b) the stand in use with a light turned on.

We also got an extension cord for each of the lights.  It is important to make sure that the lights plugged into the extension cord do not exceed the maximum wattage shown for the extension cord.  This is particularly important if you are plugging several lights into one extension cord, or hooking multiple extension cords together.

The final requirement was gaffer tape.  This is special tape that you can use to stick the cord down to carpeting, that can be pulled up without leaving a mark on the carpeting.  This was used to secure the cord to the floor and prevent people tripping over the cords.

Last Updated: August 4, 2013 at 1:29 am
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