When it comes to setting a mood at any event, marquee lighting is essential. Not only does it offer practical benefits and reduce the risk of injury, but it also allows you to create an environment perfectly tailored to your needs. Whether you’re saying ‘I Do’. Whether you’re announcing a new product launch to colleagues. Whether you’re celebrating a milestone birthday. The right lighting, especially in a marquee, can make or break the success of an event. That’s why we’re bringing you this guide, with everything you need to know about lighting a marquee.

Why is lighting important?

It may seem like a ridiculous question but, when choosing the right lighting for your marquee, it’s good to understand its importance. Lighting offers heightened safety, reduces the risk of tripping and allows you to extend the event longer into the night. With the versatility of marquees and their ability to be erected in a wide variety of spaces, it’s likely that your event will be without fixed, static lighting. Unless you’re working with a company that regularly hires out this space, there will be a significant lack of light in the middle of a field or open space. Marquee lighting, therefore, helps to create an enjoyable and functional event. And even within the marquee itself, you need lighting to ensure good visibility. So understanding the scope of options available will ensure your event succeeds.

Snowflake light
Frame Marquee with Garden Uplighters

What are the different types of marquee lighting?

Most marquee lighting falls into two categories – functional and decorative. Both are important when creating a unique event and should be incorporated together for true success.


In order to host an event safely and effectively, you will need functional lighting. This helps to flood the indoor and outdoor space with light. This form of lighting should be considered as a priority – after all, if you can’t see within your event space, there are going to be problems. Depending on the theme or style you’re going for, there are a variety of functional lighting options available for your marquee.


If you’re opting for something more classical and traditional in style, you may choose chandeliers. These can be strung throughout the inside of your marquee to provide warming light over tables or specific areas. Traditionally found in stately homes and a sign of opulence, these ornate lights can be crafted in gilt, ivory or black – depending on the look you’re going for. Chandeliers are supplied with dimmer switches so the lights can be dimmed for dancing.


For a more ornate and delicate look, opt for our snowflake lights. These spherical lights feature a scattering of snowflakes all clustered together. When the light shines through, it scatters across the marquee lining and provides a soft and subtle glow. They are a particularly popular option for weddings as, when paired with floral accents, help to create a charmingly romantic setting.

Festoon Lighting

Incorporated with chandeliers or on their own, festoon lighting provides ample lighting to accompany dinners, dancers or conferences alike. They come in a variety of colours too which gives you the freedom to enhance a theme or decor preference while also focusing on their undeniable practicalities. Decorative Lighting As opposed to functional options, decorative lighting is just that – for decorative purposes. It allows you to create magical settings and to add your personal stamp to this covered space. With decorative lighting, you have much more free-range – the purpose of these options is less about heightening safety and more about the look you’re trying to achieve.


As some of the most popular lighting options, uplighters are highly effective and remarkably simple. When turned on, they senda stream of light upwards, helping to illuminate columns and specific areas around your space. The ones we provide are available in a chrome finish and can be programmed to emit light streams of all different colours. Equally, they can be programmed to dim or change in colour with the beat of a song.


Starlight linings are fitted to the roof of your marquee and emulate the sparkle of a night sky. This is perfect if you’re looking for the true ‘WOW’ factor. The black cloth is fitted with white lights and the occasional blue sparkle which makes it look even more authentic. One of the most popular features is the speed controller – this can be used to speed up or slow down the twinkling effect.

Pin Spots

Similar to a spot light, pin spots are fitted to the upper frame and provide an individual stream of light that can be directed according to the specifications. They are a popular choice for dance floors and to enhance table centres or showpieces. These lights are showstopping and have a truly glamorous feel.

Fairy Lights

For a gentle sparkle that can be added to any area of your marquee space, opt for fairy lights. In contrast to starlight linings, they don’t have a black backing and can be fitted against any surface. They are also impressively versatile and can be hung around poles, behind linings and even outside to decorate trees and pathways. Fairy Lights are supplied with dimmer switches so the lights can be dimmed for dancing.

How to choose the right lighting for your marquee event

The best way to identify the functional lighting for your event is to look at the proposed layout for your event. Where is it vital that people have full visibility? Perhaps this is at tables where colleagues are required to undertake tasks. Or, maybe it’s on the dance floor where the happily married couple will take their first dance? These areas need to be properly lit. Equally, the pathway to the toilet, cloakroom and out to the car park.

If you work with an experienced marquee hire and design company, they’ll be able to help you identify these areas. And, they’ll be able to advise on the right lighting to match these needs. If you would like to discuss an individual project or have a question about any of the marquee lighting options available in our range, get in contact with the Carron Marquee team.

The Great Gatsby
15m Frame Marquee
12m Frame with coloured lining