Proper Lighting for Toronto Music Venues- The Top 4 Tricks

If you’re playing a local venue, you know how important lighting is to get the job done.  If its too dark it can be hard to see your instruments and wires, and this can be dangerous.  However, if its too bright, then you’re just flooded with light, and you can barely see anything at all!

If you are a local music venue owner, whether it be a bar that doubles as a live venue, or owner of an actual legit venue, it’s important that your lighting be up to high standards.  You need to have the right lighting for the musician, the audience, and the vibe.  I’ts not an easy balance to get right.  For example, if you own a dive bar, you’ll want to keep the lights low, but at the same time make sure that the musician and audience can see well enough.  In a case like that, it may be useful to get some recessed lighting installed by an electrical contractor.  I personally have used Transfer Electric’s services in the past and have great results.  Their website is  They did excellent electrical work in North York, ON recently for a friend’s music venue.

The Top Lighting Tips for Live Music Venues

1) Plan in Advance Before Gigs

A typical small music venue won’t have that many power outlets.  A small pub may only be able to provide you with 3000 watts of power for all your equipment and lighting.  A larger stage may possess a 32 AMP outlet that can power up to 7000 watts of equipment.  It’s important you figure out your power needs before the gig, and compare that with what the venue can handle to make sure there are no disappointments on the day you play.

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2) Rent Rigging Equipment

Rigging equipment is what actually you place your lighting on.  This allows you to place the lights at an elevated position, which obviously has its advantages in terms of providing more of an effect.  Purchasing rigging equipment is expensive, but if you’re just doing 1 or 2 big gigs, you may be better off just renting some rigging equipment.

3) Start Cheap and Simple

There’s no point in going overboard with your first gigs with lighting.  Instead, invest in very cheap but cool looking lighting and play around with it.  Once you’ve learned a bit about lighting, and your band is a bit bigger, that’s the point where you can actually start thinking about more elaborate and expensive equipment.

4) Have Someone Take Care of Lighting Controls

This is more of an advanced tip.  You can have another person at a lighting control box to actually play around with the lighting while you play.  This is what the biggest bands do, and this can lead to some amazing effects.  This is definitely something only a high end band should try out as this kind of lighting control isn’t cheap.

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