How to use lighting to establish ambiance

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Hosts typically emphasize music, seating and food as they prepare their homes for their guests. But lighting also merits significant consideration when planning a party. It can be easy to overlook lighting and its importance for an event. Lighting plays an essential role in setting the mood for a party, and its visual clues will alert guests as to the scope of the event. A room filled with bright light indicates a lively and festive party, while subdued lighting may foretell an intimate, quiet affair. It’s a good idea to have several sources of light so that you can adjust lighting as the party changes throughout the night. Distribute lighting evenly so that it is soft and ambient, and use dimmers so guests can adjust lighting if they need to. Turn up the lighting slightly during the meal so that guests can see what they’re eating, and turn lights down when guests are mingling. Candles can be used as accent lighting, but avoid using them as a primary lighting source. Stick to unscented candles so guests are not irritated by any scents they may find unpleasant.