Goodwin Lighting Services, a Cincinnati Favorite


One of my favorite moments during the wedding day is a reception room reveal! It gives the couple a chance to see how their venue has been transformed for their guests. At Debbie and Adam’s wedding we couldn’t wait to see everything come together – from flowers to the cake – and one of the best parts – was the lighting! The Hilton’s Hall of Mirrors room is a great room. But dim the lights and add some color and it becomes breathtaking! Goodwin Lighting has to be one of my favorite companies to see at an event. They truly are artists!

What is your design training or background? How long have you been in business?
I have a BA in Theatre from NDSU (North Dakota) and an MFA in Lighting Deign from Purdue. I have been in Cincinnati since 1988 and have run our own business since 1995.

What is your favorite part of a wedding?
My favorite part is seeing the whole room ready to go for the reception. Tables, flowers, cake, everything turned on for the lighting. Really great to see the finished product.


Where do you go for inspiration?
Inspiration comes form many sources, trade shows, magazines, seeing live performances, working on other types of events like business meetings, galas, theme parties etc…

What are your favorite upcoming trends?
Trends come and go, some are technology based and some are design based. I always key in on the interior design industry which helps define colors, textures and style. Right now the "LED" is the hot button word. but it’s like Kleenex and is becoming so common place that it’s losing it’s design appeal. One type of light is not the one solution for every design. One has to know the tools available and select the right one for the right job. That’s part of being a designer, rather than just a guy with LED’s.


How can lighting make a difference at a wedding?

Lighting is the best way to create drama, highlight decor items such as flowers and cake and make a connection to other design items by way of color and texture. It’s the binding agent which allows everything else to make sense. Lighting design it also about what NOT to light. If the room has "issues" not lighting it and letting it fall into shadows can make it disappear. Most people feel that up lights or trying to disguise it with lighting is the best approach, but the real answer is to not bring focus to it all and let the other elements within the room take priority.

What should we know about lighting?
Lighting is more than just owning the actual lights. Its having a design eye, knowing where to put the lights to do the best job, selecting the right color and choosing the right texture patterns to make the lighting look like it belongs to the event. This goes beyond the actual design, and includes the way an event site looks. We run our cables and place our equipment in a most discrete way possible. Our goal is to make the equipment blend into the existing architecture as much as possible. It’s not about the equipment but about what the actual lights do. Safety is also a big concern, any lights on the ground can become a trip hazard and suspending lights overhead takes special training to know how to do it safely. We make it look easy, but there is a lot to be considered when suspending items over head. We have special rigging insurance to cover our methods of suspending our equipment.


What makes you different from other companies out there?
What makes us different is that we trained in lighting design and are total team players. We look out for red flags from all aspects of an event and bring up potential issues such as power, color choices, and timing for installation, room turns etc… We have been known to help place flowers during a room turn, and help out others when a need arises. We also try to protect the customer from making bad decisions. We are not afraid to tell a client that their request is not a good one. Once example is we often get asked to light the dance floor in white light. We strongly argue against this. We have seen that a bright dance floor creates a psychological barrier and guests feel self conscience and will not go on the dance floor. We have a great "comparison shopping" page showing examples of what we do and what others try to do. It’s a great resource to show the difference.

Goodwin Lighting Services





Comments are closed.