5 Tips to Creating a Memorable Holiday Lighting Event 

In the past, decorating for Christmas holiday events was all about buying a bunch of lights, hanging them everywhere you could, and being merry about it. The biggest challenges were figuring out if you used too many lights and making sure nothing started a fire. Then we transitioned to LEDs which meant more lights with less power and an increasing selection of light styles. More options meant more design planning was necessary and adding more lights meant needing more open power sockets! And praying it doesn’t rain or snow too much! Now our Holiday Events have an astounding variety and capability of products and…systems?!  The biggest challenge we face today is that anything is possible and how do you figure out what you need to make something great happen? 

1. Evaluate Your Opportunities 

Taking a moment to review and evaluate all the options you have to present a memorable show comes with a little strategy and planning. What can you do to create a memorable event for your audience? Are you looking to create a simple atmosphere or an immersive environment that people will want to experience again and again. What new possibilities do you have for upgrading your existing show? Do you have any technical or environmental challenges? Creating a clearly defined list will help you make a plan and optimize the return on your investment.  

2. Choose Your Products Wisely 

It’s time to think outside the light string. Choosing the right product will help you create a memorable experience for you and those who see it. S4 has a variety of decorative lighting products that can transform any event into a lasting memory to share. Low voltage lighting options with compatible power and infrastructure can help ensure you have a safer more reliable display. You can learn more about our Versaline system of products and how to create dazzling displays here. If you are looking for a main attraction to up your light show game our Pixel Pines Tree with a Snowburst RGB Tree Topper would be a great choice. If you have a lot of space to work with our patented Extendable RGB series where you can connect hundreds of feet of pixels on a single output without the need to inject power along the way would also be a good choice to create an-awe-inspiring show! You can explore many different products in use on our Making The Magic page or reach out to one of our product specialists and they can find the best options to match your creative vision. 

3. Execution Is Key 

Now that you’ve made a plan, you’ve picked out great products and have identified opportunities to help add wow moments, it’s time to implement those choices. There are many aspects that go into making sure all the pieces of the event come together and that is where S4 Lights can help. Our experts can help you finalize your plan, help you create the visual impact you are looking for, and make sure you have a reliable show for the duration of your event. The devil is always in the details and you want to partner with a company who has decades of experience not only with decorative lighting products but also in executing decorative lighting displays big and small.  

4. Share The Magic 

Don’t underestimate the value of sharing what you have created even if it’s geared towards a smaller audience. If you are investing a lot of time and money into your event display then you want to let people know and get credit for your hard work. Word of mouth is powerful and digital media gives you an easy way to get the word out. 

Recognize areas where you can Increase your digital presence. Maybe it’s more Social Media Shares. Pin down the platforms you’re going to use, how you will use them and what you will talk about. It only take a few minutes to create memorable posts with snapshots you take yourself or your guests share.  

Find ways to keep guests engaged by creating a plan for them to see the show in different ways. Maybe that is creating different ways of experiencing the show at your venue or sharing snippets of the show online so they can pass it on to friends or find something they may want to visit again. 

Always keep things relevant, if someone was to do a search for you what would they find? 

Help Build Tradition by incorporating Audio & Visual (link to S4i creative content)  elements to your show this can create lasting memories all season long. 

Add WOW Moments to the event. Things that people will talk about and post about. Ex.” Oh my Gosh, did you see that tree?! 

5. Analyze and Improve 

Now the show is over, you’re coming down from the high of a picturesque season and you’re gearing up for the next one. Don’t forget to analyze the results of your event. From how many people attended, to your web and social analytics, and even the overall technical challenges that you faced along the way. Taking a moment to debrief and analyze what you have done aids in preparing an even better show for the next season.  

A well-rounded show will bring people back every season so they can continue to build memories with loved ones, talk about how spectacular the show was and hopefully tell someone else, so the tradition keeps going from year to year. 

Have questions about our products? Want to talk to one of our experts about creative content for your next event? Contact one of our sales experts today.

Check out our full line of decorative lighting products. View our Catalog.

Three Tips to Prevent Decorative Lighting Headaches

With seasonal light displays beginning to shine in theme parks and botanical gardens, in small town squares and along city sidewalks, professionals devoted to creating lighting magic are crossing their fingers that it all goes off without a hitch. No string failures. No GFCI issues. No popcorn lights ruining a moment. The stress level is high. And before this year is over, pros will be plotting how to do things differently to make displays even more spectacular next year. Here are three tips to prevent lighting installation headaches before they happen.

  1. Find a manufacturer that has available product and proven deliverability

This past year, supply chain issues caused havoc for every industry including decorative lighting. Product arrived late, and if you didn’t order enough, you scrambled to figure out how to find the right lights and complete projects the way you envisioned them. It’s important to work with a supplier that has more than enough product — and the right products — when you need them.

Most decorative lighting products are made in China, which means several months of creation plus weeks of ocean time. If a manufacturer doesn’t forecast accurately, it won’t produce enough to meet your needs.

To make sure customers’ projects can be completed, S4L analyzes trends and uses a robust CRM system and historical bill of materials data to help forecast yearly product numbers. We typically order more than is necessary to make sure there’s product on the shelves for last minute emergencies.

Dedicated regional sales managers who understand their customers’ purchasing habits make sure they know what products are going to be be difficult to find. Then they reach out early to make it easy for customers to place orders and verify inventory.

S4L is able to deliver the right product and the right amount of product season after season.

2. Find a partner to help you achieve your design vision

Designers and installers need support to carry out what are often complicated decorative lighting projects. When you’re seeking a decorative lighting manufacturer, avoid resalers, those who merely purchase product and slap a label on it before delivering it to you. Find a fully integrated manufacturer with creators on staff and a dedicated force of technology experts that can help support your vision and answer your questions.

S4L’s own dedicated staff in China works with individual factories to make sure products are built according to S4L’s specifications. Some manufacturers may cut corners to meet demand; for example, they may swap in lower grade LEDs if higher grade bulbs are unavailable. But S4L staff maintains quality control and bin selects LEDs. That means you get advanced quality LEDs that take longer to degrade and can be color-matched year after year to give your designs a consistent look. No pinkish or bluish hues twinkling in the middle of your warm whites if that’s not what you want.

Once your projects are installed, S4L has technology teams that can help you troubleshoot and help you through the pain points. During peak season, S4L offers tech support for our S4 Interactive line of products. On regular strings, sales representatives will help troubleshoot. IF there’s an issue in the middle of the night, there’s no reason to stumble around in the dark when you can easily schedule a support call for the following morning. (Visit s4itech@s4lights.com or call 470-545-1676.)

3. Find the right products that make installation easier

There are so many boxes to check when it comes to installation, you don’t want to find yourself having to revisit project sites. By choosing the right products you’ll guarantee yourself fewer string failures and fewer emergency visits. S4L experts have thought through installation every step of the way, designing products with the installer in mind.

Start by choosing a higher-grade LED that will last longer. Consider using S4L’s NxG decorative lighting innovation that has a premium LED set in a unique, multi-patented epoxy-filled husk design that keeps water out and current in — so you won’t be called back for string failures or GFCI tripping.

Look for low labor options. For example, consider the couplings. How much time does it take to twist each coupling? S4L has a simple twist-lock coupler, so you can connect five times more string in the same amount of time. And it will prevent accidental separation — again saving you a possible call-back.

And think about packing materials. Be sure to find string that comes wrapped with just a cardboard band and not in a sealed packaged, so you don’t have to open bag after bag after bag. Save time with ball packaging; just toss it on the floor and unroll.

If you’re planning on a labor-intensive project like wrapping the trunk and every branch of a tree, for example, check out S4L’s Lite Snap N Go. The infrastructure can remain in place year-round, and you can quickly customize light features each season from ponytails to curtain drops and beyond. S4L’s most forthcoming innovation, King of Strings, will make it even easier to change out entire color palettes with just the click of a button. Ultimately, creating a relationship with the right manufacturer that has knowledge, expertise and support will set you up for success season after season.