Lighting lingo

Talk like a lighting guru! Impress your friends, colleagues and event vendors with your knowledge of lighting lingo terms.

Par cans

Parabolic Aluminized Reflector lamps offer excellent beam control and are often used to downlight outside areas like dinner tables and bars. They can survive a little rain unprotected because they have a relatively simple construction. In addition, they can be fitted to bases and used as uplights, although they can become very hot, so we suggest ordering the white boxes that are custom made to house them.


A pinspot is a focused beam of light that shines directly onto an object. It is used to highlight important elements of event decor such as a wedding cake, table centerpieces or an ice sculpture.

LED lighting

LED – short for Light-Emitting Diodes are extremely popular in the event lighting industry. LED Lighting is energy-efficient and environmentally friendly which makes it perfect for larger lighting applications that require dozens of units. LEDs are programmable as well. They can produce thousands of different colors and can be set up to change colors throughout the event with the help of a lighting technician.


The word GOBO is actually an acronym meaning “GOes Before Optics.” A “gobo” is a circular plate made of brass, steel or glass with a cut out design for projection. At Illumene, we prefer working with glass gobos. Although glass gobos are more expensive, they produce magnificent projections of any complexity without the imperfections of brass or steel gobo plates.

Color wash

There are a few different types of light fixtures that can create a “wash,” which is a blanket of colored light covering an entire area. While uplighting creates columns of light up walls or trees, washes leave no wall untouched and completely change the color of your space.


Gels are colored inserts often placed on top of a par can to change different color outputs. Reds, ambers, blush pinks and fuchsia come out well using gels but the rest of the colors are better achieved with the use of LED lighting.


A projection is an image, pattern, or movie projected onto a wall, tent ceiling, or clean event space where you can showcase a meaningful theme or image montage for your guests.