Keep it Low
Parties that are intimate gatherings such as a dinner party or dance party will require low lighting. Replace any bulbs with a higher wattage with bulbs of 40 watts or lower. Go for a soft glow instead of a bright glare. You can use dimming cords to temporarily adjust the lighting you already have if you wish to avoid changing out multiple bulbs. For extra subtle lighting in the home, consider adding paper lanterns. These are an inexpensive option that can really add a touch of color as well as additional lighting to the party atmosphere.
Flaunt a Space
Depending on the type of party you are having, you may want to accentuate certain elements in the space. A photo area would have a spotlight to alert guests of where to go for photos. The dance floor might have a disco ball or multiple colored lights so that guests know where to get down and boogie. Use various elements of lighting to break up the space so guests can enjoy all areas of the party.
A soft glow of a candle can create a romantic mood. Dinner parties look lovely when candles are lit throughout the space. Consider lighting candles for your next gathering and blowing certain candles out during various times in the night. The flickering light is beautiful in window sills, on mantles or ledges. Once blown out, the space becomes even more intimate, perfect for drinking a glass of wine after dinner.
A Practice Run
When planning for your party, give any lighting ideas a practice run. See how the space looks with your ideas to determine if your plans will work and provide adequate lighting as well as the mood you are going for. If not, make adjustments. It is better to practice now so that your party goes off without a hitch!
What Not to Do
There are also tips for lighting as to what you should not do when adding or taking away lighting from the space. Lighting can accidentally spill into the space from another room. Consider closing off areas or shutting down the breakers to certain spaces so guests are not blinded by indirect lighting. Avoid using any overhead lighting when possible. Many times, overhead lighting will cast a shadow down from above and lead to weird shadows on the faces of guests. Go for soft lighting from lamps or candlelight to create a mood and avoid unwanted blemishes.
Overall, it’s up to you to test your lighting and find out what works best for the party you are throwing. Try a number of options leading up to the party to ensure you choose the right lighting for your next event!