Floor Lighting for Your Nightclub or Disco

Floor Lighting, Mirror Floor or Floor LED—From Safety to Designer Lighting Effects for Your Club

Floor lighting is one of the designer lighting features that distinguish many nightclubs and discos. We need only remember John Travolta doing the Shuffle on that distinctive fluorescent checkerboard dance floor in Saturday Night Fever and an entire era is summarized—the icon image of 1970’s Disco Generation. But floor lighting can have several uses and not all of them have simply to do with aesthetics. Many floor lighting features are a must for safety as well.

In this article, I will detail both uses of floor lighting for your establishment. Let’s begin with safety first:

Floor Lighting for Safety

Floor lighting is not just about creating super cool disco lighting effects to wow your clientele. Safety should also be a concern when it comes to floor lighting. By necessity nightclub lighting is kept dim and atmospheric. Poorly lit stairs, tripping hazards, and walkways can create all kinds of problems for nightclub owners.

Sometimes these problems are simply of the nuisance variety—customers who can’t find their way to restrooms or who trip trying to negotiate multi-tiered rooms. Poor nightclub lighting however, can form real hazards and lead to legal problems in our increasingly litigious society.

The first consideration when it comes to lighting should definitely be safety.

That’s why having small recessed lights along hallways and especially beneath high traffic steps is a must in dance clubs and discos where you are going to take down the lights. There is nothing funny about being sued by a customer who broke her arm falling down a poorly lit stairwell.

Floor Mirror Lighting

Okay, now that we have that public service message out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff—dance floor lighting options. One low tech, energy efficient, and low cost option is to go with mirror floor patterns. Mirror floor patterns can be the answer for those who want a more classic vibe—perhaps if you are going for a crystal palace feel, or are creating mirrored fun house with mirrored walls and ceilings as well. Mirrored floors can give off quite a bit of reflection and help keep your dance floor litas well. Tinted floor mirror panels work especially well—and by interspersing different shades, patterns can be created.

Some warnings about the floor mirror system however. These tend to be high maintenance floors. Even the most durable kinds tend to get scuffed and must be replaced. Also, they require nightly cleaning. Make sure that you get industrial grade mirrored tiles that will endure the nightly beating they will take in your dance club.

Dance floor lighting

Of all the places where you definitely want to consider going all out, it is on the dance floor. Having really cool floor lighting effects—be they mirror floor reflective tiles or more high tech floor LED systems–can help make your customers’ experience special and unique.

You have several choices when it comes to floor lighting. Here are a few to consider:

Floor LED Designer Lighting

Floor lighting

Photo Courtesy of Sarah Piksie (via WikiCommons)

Floor LED lighting panels are a create way to add not only to the atmosphere of your disco or dance club, but also to enhance the musical experience. By wiring your floor LED system in with your DMX controller, you can synchronize the floor light show with your DJ. (For more on DMX Controllers and LED light system see my previous post: How to Use a DMX Lighting Controller in your Bar or Nightclub )

Here are some floor LED patterns to consider:

The Traditional Checkerboard Disco Floor Updated Think Tony Manero in the 21st Century, grooving to Postmodern techno music instead of the Bee Gees. The LED system can be programmed so that the squares not only light up in rhythm to the beat but change effects depending on what kind of music is being played. LED’s are also more durable and energy efficient than the floors of the Disco Era.

Other Floor LED styles But you need not focus on the traditional checkerboards. You can program the floor tiles not only to light up when they are stepped on or create geometric patterns, but also to work in conjunction to create waves and other kinds of liquid effects—perfect for raves or more psychedelic theme nights. For more on LED panels see The Five Best LED Panel Design Ideas for your Nightclub or Bar.

In addition, you could actually use the tiles almost like pixels on a computer screen (or more accurately like groups of pixels) to actually create images on the ground. Think of the possibilities. Always wanted to have a nightclub where the dance floor seemed to float above a tropical aquarium with sharks trolling beneath the dancers’ heels? Well, now you can create that illusion with a floor LED system.

Floor Lighting Cost Concerns

What does it cost to create an LED enhanced floor? Prices vary and there are deals to be had, but a typical cost for a first class dance floor is $100/sq. foot. If that sounds beyond your price range for filling your entire dance floor, you might consider either getting lower grade LED or perhaps combining types of dance floor lighting so that some section of your main dance floor are enhanced by this feature while others just have the usual kinds of dance floor lighting.

Filed Under: Bar / Nightclub DesignBar / Nightclub Lighting


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