With the holidays coming up, the matter of parade float lighting may be on your mind. When it comes to this special area of lighting, here are few tips to set you off on the right track.
1. Do not overload your circuit
With many parade floats, the goal is to be as bright as possible which is usually created by using a ton of lights. While this is a great way to dazzle parade goers, you need to keep safety as a top priority. If you need to use generators as part of your float design to keep up with the wattages being pulled for lighting, then make sure you consider this factor before you head to the parade route.
2. Consider rope lighting
Rope lighting is one of the best ways to highlight your float. You can run it along the edges of the float, as well as throughout any elements of the display for added illuminance.
3. Don’t be afraid to play with colored lights
If you are working with a particular theme in your float, colored lights are a great way to bring it all together. Colored lights can add some extra pizzazz to the parade.
4. Position lights properly
When you choose directional lighting for your float, you want to position it inward instead of outward. When the light is positioned outside of the float, the light spread may be too much for the eyes of the audience. By focusing light inside the float instead, you naturally use lighting to draw attention to your float elements.
5. Choose low or no heat emitting solutions
Most parade floats feature a cast of characters performing on the float. With this in mind, choosing high heat lighting can create accidents. No one wants to burn themselves on a hot bulb! Since certain types of lighting naturally produce less heat, such as compact fluorescent and LED solutions, they are the best bet for areas where people will be moving around in tight spaces.
6. Know your amps
The equation for determining how much power your float will need is watts/volts = amps. A good rule of thumb is to use 120 volts as the general all-purpose guideline when doing this configuration. As an example, if you have a 330-watt solution, you would divide this figure by 120 watts which would be around 2.75 amps of power needed.
7. Have backup bulbs handy
Depending on several factors such as circuit overload, the type of bulb, and the weather, you may want to keep a few spare bulbs on hand in your emergency parade day kit. If bulbs shatter or burn out (an unlikely but still possible situation), you will be ready for a quick adjustment.