Uplighting

Hire for £10 per uplighter

Uplighting is a very quick and easy way to transform a room. You can choose the colour and number of uplighters required and all you need to do is position them against the walls and plug them in (unless you choose our battery powered uplighters – which don’t even need to be plugged in!). You don’t need to decide on the colour in advance. You can simply use the control panel on the back of each light to select the colour.

Purple uplighting at Nawaab Persian Suite, Manchester
Our uplighting at Manchester's Midland Hotel

Uplighting:

  • You can order as many uplighters as you require for only £10 per light
  • Indoor or marquee use only – Not at all waterproof or weatherproof
  • Each light can be set to any colour
  • Fits in the boot of almost any car
  • Very easy to set up and change the colour with full instructions provided

Our uplighters use high power LEDs to create any colour and are small and light enough to fit in any car. To set them up just plug in and use the panel on the rear to select the colour. That’s it!

Uplighting looks best when lights are positioned around the whole room approximately 3 to 4 metres apart. If setting them up yourself then it’s a good idea to take some extension leads with you in case you need to position a light somewhere without a nearby plug socket.

We have written a guide to help you decide how many lights you will need. Please see our guide to planning your uplighting.

Download the instruction sheet from the Essential Documents page.

Compare our uplighters

 Standard uplightersBattery uplightersWarm white uplighters
Hire price£10 each£10 each£10 each
Power sourceStandard mains powerBattery powerStandard mains power
LED coloursRGB (Red, green, blue)RGBW (Red, green, blue, white)Warm white
LED power5x 3-watt12x 1-watt1x 7-watt
Watts per colour5 watts3 watts7 watts
Beam angle40°25°36°
LED typeTri-colourSingle colourSingle colour

Beam angle and watts per colour

Uplighter beam angle

If you think about how a garden hose spray head works, you can either have a thin stream of water that travels further, or you can set it to a wide spray where the water doesn’t travel as far, but covers a wider area. Both use the same amount of water but the projection is different.

To apply that to uplighting, a thinner beam angle will project the light further at the expense of wide coverage and a wider beam angle will give wide coverage but the beam will be less intense.

Watts per colour

The watts per colour can help you understand how bright a given uplighter will be. For example, if you set the uplighter to blue, how many watts of blue light will the uplighter produce? The reason this is relevant is because many uplighters will be advertised by the total output, but some uplighters have up to 6 colours of LEDs, so an 18-watt uplighter with 3 colours will actually be twice as bright for a single colour than an 18-watt uplighter with 6 colours.

6 colours uplighting? How does that work?

Well, this gets a bit technical, but the 6 colours that some uplighters produce are RGBAWUV (Red, green, blue, amber, white and UV / ultraviolet). Red, green and blue are the base colours which allow you to produce most shades that you would want, however RGB lights generally struggle to produce whites and warm colours, like oranges and yellows.

To address this, manufacturers have started to produce lights with amber LEDs to help with the warm colours and white LEDs to improve pastel colours and pure white. The UV element is more of a functional addition (you could even call it a gimmick). Having UV in an uplighter allows the light to be used as a basic UV light as well as for mood lighting. UV doesn’t really add anything useful for colour mixing.

The problem with using a 6 colour LED light for UV applications is that UV lights have to be much more powerful than any other coloured light to have any effect. As an example, our UV lights package includes 4x 30-watt UV lights for a total of 120 watts of UV light. You’d need an impractical number of 6 colour LED lights to come close to this output level.

The amber and white LEDs certainly do have a place in uplighting and they genuinely do provide a better quality output for the more subtle warm or white shades, but we have a solution to that problem which is even better. The problem with using coloured LEDs to mix other shades is that this is what’s known as an “additive” colour mixing process and whilst that gives the most vivid and bright colours, it actually does this by tricking the brain into seeing a certain colour.

Additive colour mixing looks great for bright pinks, purples, blues, reds and greens, but it simply doesn’t work for subtle warm oranges, yellows or whites. The solution is to use subtractive colour mixing where you take a pure white (or warm white) and use a warm coloured filter to remove the blue elements, leaving all of the fuzzy warm full-spectrum goodness.

To clarify, the 6 colours are the base colours of the LEDs, not the total available colour options the uplighter will produce. That number is actually incredibly huge.

(Some silly maths – don’t read this bit)

3 colour RGB uplighters actually have 16,777,216 colour combinations and 6 colour RGBAW+UV uplighters have an unbelievable 281,474,976,710,656 combinations! Yes, that’s two hundred and eighty one trillion, four hundred and seventy four billion, nine hundred and seventy six million, seven hundred and ten thousand, six hundred and fifty-six shades. And, if you wanted to take a look at each one for one second then it would take 8,925 millennia, or around 111,562 lifetimes. Sometimes less is more.

True brightness

The true brightness of the uplighters is a combination of the beam angle and the watts per colour. To cut a (very) long story short, the two varieties of coloured uplighters that we stock have a similar true brightness, because the mains powered uplighters have more watts per colour than the battery powered ones but this is spread out over a wider beam angle so the intensity is similar. The downside of the lower power, lower beam angle lights is that whilst the beam of light looks about as bright, it doesn’t fill up as much of the wall, width-wise.

Tri-colour vs. single colour LEDs

Single colour LEDs are the simplest type of design, where each LED has its own lens. The tri-colour LEDs that are used in our mains powered uplighters have the a red, a green, and a blue LED very tightly packed in together behind a single lens. This is actually better because it allows the colours to mix together right at the source of the light.

The disadvantage of a single colour arrangement is that when placed very close to a wall or other surface, you will be able to see the red, green and blue that make up the final mixed colour. The further away from a surface that the light travels, the less it matters, so the solution is to move the light slightly further away to give the light some room to mix before landing on the surface.

If you’re using one of the primary colours, so that would be having the light set to a basic red, green, or blue, then there is no difference because both arrangements will have a single colour being projected through a single lens.