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3rd March, 2022

What is Up-lighting and Why You Should Offer it as a Mobile DJ?

As a mobile DJ, you’ll be working at a wide variety of venues and DJing for a wide variety of functions. While your mixing, music and actual sets are the foundation to your success, every good DJ knows that a great performance is about more than just music. It’s about the experience.

Many factors can shape the experience of a DJ’s audience. From the set-up of the venue to the type of playlist you use and even the lighting. As a mobile DJ, it’s up to you to create an atmosphere that will maximise the enjoyment of the audience.

Up-lighting is an excellent way to set the mood and tone of a particular event, and as a mobile DJ, you have control over the design and style of your gig.

So, what is up-lighting and why should you offer it as part of your mobile DJ offering?


What is up-lighting?

Up-lighting is both a name and a description.

Lights that are placed strategically on the ground, often by walls, columns, or trees, shoot up shafts of light of one colour or another to make the area shine and a particular surface or object glow. Used effectively, a series of up-lights can completely transform a space and make a huge difference to the entire atmosphere of a particular function or event.

Click here to check out DJ City’s wireless, LED mobile DJ up-lights today.

Up-lighting is quite versatile and flexible in application. They can be used in and around a function hall, a club, or outside set beside exterior columns or trees.


Using up-lights as a mobile DJ

It’s not hard to see why it’s becoming more and more common to find mobile DJs offering up-lights as an optional extra in their service offering.

There’s a mutual benefit where the DJ can contribute to the overall design of the space and create lighting effects that will enhance their set, and the client/customer is benefitting from having a more comprehensive service package from their chosen DJ.

Typically, mobile DJs offer anything from 8 to 16 lights depending on the size of the space and the budget of the patron. If the up-lights are wireless, and most modern ones are, they can be deployed anywhere and used in a myriad of creative and effective ways.

The image below shows just how transformative and effective even a simple set-up of up-lighting can be.



What are the benefits?

There are several benefits to offering up-lighting as an add-on as a mobile DJ.

Increase demand

Many venues used for weddings, private functions, parties, and other events don’t offer up-lighting. They may have other forms of ceiling or even wall-mounted lighting, but up-lighting offers flexibility and creativity beyond purely functional lighting.

As a mobile DJ, if you offer the complete package of live DJing and music with the atmosphere-creating effect of up-lights, you’re bound to find an increase in demand for your services.

Lighting helps you set the mood

As the DJ, you’re in charge of ensuring everyone has a good time. If you’re creating an upbeat club vibe or setting the tone of an intimate, ambient experience, up-lighting will work a treat.

Light and sound work harmoniously together to create the total experience of any event, so when you–as a mobile DJ–can incorporate control over the lighting and atmosphere you’ll be better positioned to ensure the best possible performance for yourself and experience for the audience.


Capture and direct attention

Up-lighting is also a very effective way of highlighting certain areas or objects. This is the ultimate secret weapon of a mobile DJ. If you want your audience’s attention, you can use up-lighting to highlight your set-up, highlight the bride and groom with a romantic wash, as well as use it to get the wedding guests onto the dance floor.


Control movement

If you’re DJing a wedding, there might be different sections of the function space. Think bar area, tables, dance floor…

Up-lighting allows you to effectively control movement across these different areas by clearly setting the tone and ambience for each one. For example, you could choose to include warm, soft lighting around the mingling area with purple or magenta lighting around the dance floor to encourage excitement.


Add texture

Even beautiful function rooms sometimes need a bit of extra texture. Up-lighting, especially units offering multiple colours, is an effective way to add texture, colour, and depth to a space.

Whether you array them evenly and symmetrically around the hall, the bridal table, dance floor or a particular object like a tree or archway, a simple display of light and shadow can elevate an entire space.


Create a wow factor instantly

First impressions are important, especially for a DJ. Your first impressions don’t start from when you start playing music for mobile DJs. It starts from the moment your audience walks through the doors.

Creating a real vibe starts with wowing your audience the second they arrive and with up-lights you can achieve that.

If you want to see up-lighting in action, check out the video below.


It’s easy and convenient

Mobile DJs have a lot of gear and equipment to set up and transport. Do you want to include up-lighting in all of that?

The short answer is yes! Up-lights are small, easy to move and very mobile, so it’s super convenient to add these truly game-changing items to your list of equipment.


It’s affordable

Offering up-lighting as part of your DJ mobile services doesn’t require a huge initial investment either. You can find surprisingly affordable and yet high-quality up-lights that will more than make their money back.

The other thing to note is that you don’t need to purchase 16 LED up-lights all at once either. Save up for an initial 8 and slowly start investing in more lights to build up over time as you get more gigs and paid jobs.

How to price up-lighting

How do you price your offering of up-lighting? There are a few ways you can go about it.

  • Charge a set fee per light, around $30-50.
  • Charge a minimum cost (somewhere around $250-$400) for the delivery and set up of a minimum of 8 up-lights, and then charge around $30-50 for each additional light.
  • Charge set fees for different packages making it more cost-effective the more lights your client orders. For example, $350 for 8 lights, $400 for 10, $450 for 12 etc.

If you’re looking to hire out your up-lights, even if you don’t DJ at the event, you can also offer discounts for DIY pick up, set up and return.


How many lights do you need?

The number of lights for any given space or event will depend on a lot of things: the set-up of the room, size of the space, number of attendees and presence of other features.


Number of attendees

As a basic guide, your standard function room with 70 attendees or fewer needs around 10-12 up-lighting units. If you’re expecting around 100 people, go for between 12 and 18 units, and for more than 120 people, think about upgrading to around 24 lights.



Small trees or columns only need one up-light each, but larger archways or trees could often do with two. If you’re lighting up a floral arrangement, be it overhead or against a wall, work on a rough estimate of one up-light per meter. The same applies to material or curtain draping.



Using up-lighting under tables of a sit-down event is also very effective but don’t use more than one unit per table unless it’s very long in which case go with one unit for every 1.5 metres again.


Let’s Light Up Your Next Gig!

Ready to order your first set of up-lighting units? Or do you want to find out more about how to effectively employ lighting to complement your amazing DJing skills?

Make sure to get in touch with our team here at DJ City. Whether you’re just starting or looking to take your DJ offering to the next level, we’re the experts in all things mobile DJing.

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