Trade Show Lighting – LED Light Buying Guide

July 13, 2017 | Trade Shows

Tina Nicola, M.A.

Tina is the founder of Tradeshow-Planning.com and has been creating profitable marketing and exhibit strategies for startups, small businesses and nonprofits for over nineteen years. Her main goal is to broaden access to the techniques she has developed so anyone can benefit and improve exhibiting strategy, sales conversations and follow up.


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Trade Show Lighting is a Must

First time trade show exhibitors are often reluctant to invest in trade show lighting. After all, aren’t most trade show floors well lit? Is trade show lighting for your exhibit area really a necessary expense?

Yes, trade show lighting for your exhibit is a must.

Trade Show LED Lighting - Clip On for Stand Up Banners


Top reasons why you’ll want to invest in lighting for your exhibit:

  • Stand out in a bright hall. Trade show halls are well-lit. That means your space needs to be even brighter in order to stand out.
  • Stand out from Competitors. Trade show attendees, like moths, are attracted to light. You don’t want the spaces near you to dominate their attention
  • Everyone’s doing it. Most serious trade show exhibitors use trade show lighting. Without it, your booth will look drab and unprofessional in comparison.

In fact, we’ve found that trade show lighting is so important, the messages on any signage without it gets lost. Do you have four signs in your exhibit and one doesn’t have lighting? That’s the one that won’t get read.

That means signage without lighting is a waste of money. Trade show lighting is a relatively inexpensive way to maximize your ROI at a show.

Trade Show LED Lighting: The best investment

You will typically pay for the amount of electricity you need at a trade show. That means trade show LED lighting is typically the best investment.

Trade show LED lighting is bright, pleasing and energy efficient.

Many trade show booths and trade show display products come with their own LED lighting. However, many do not. Is your signage printed and mounted on foam board? You typically need to purchase lighting separately. This includes having signage printed and installed on-site. Or, you can have signage printed in advance at some place like Kinkos.

Fortunately, you can purchase trade show LED lighting products separately.
Trade show LED lighting come in a variety of sizes and brightness. You need to choose products that can be mounted on the trade show display you will be using. Things to consider when choosing the right trade show LED lighting for your situation include:

  • Brightness – Choose lights that can properly light the signage you are planning.
  • Weight – Whether shipping or carrying by hand, lighter-weight products have the advantage.
  • Mounting – ‘x’ ‘c’ clamp, or screw? Choose lights that can mount on your signage.

Keep reading for recommendations for lighting that can be mounted on pop up displays, horizontal banner stands, retractable banner stands and more.

Lighting for Vertical Banner Stands

Vertical banner stands come in many forms. Some of the more popular are retractable banner stands (also called pull up banners). Other popular choices are pop up banner stands.

Vertical banner stands are often displayed side by side like this:

All these stands have a few things in common: They are relatively light-weight and can’t bear much weight on the ‘top.’ They often feature aluminum hardware and are designed for portability.

For these types of vertical banner stands, we highly recommend the trade show LED lighting product below:

You will typically need one light for each vertical panel.

Why we like this light:

  • Lightweight – Just 2.5 pounds!
  • Swivel Top – Adjust lighting angles
  • Universal Clamp – Clips to banner stand poles up to 3/4″
  • Energy-Efficient, Replaceable Bulb – Uses 3W LED Bulb
  • Long Power Cord

See on Amazon: Clip-On Trade Show LED Lighting

Lighting for Vertical Banner Stands, Display Boards and Panels

Vertical banner stands with solid frames, or display board and panel-based exhibits can still use the trade show LED lighting featured above. However, they can also easily support other kinds of LED lights.

Trade Show LED Lighting - Clip On for Stand Up Banners

Display, Panel or Custom Board designs like this…

What do they have in common? A strong, solid frame or back board. Such frames offer sufficient support for heavier (and more powerful) ‘c’ clamp or screw mount LED lights. Here’s an example of a bright 20W LED light available on Amazon:

Why we like this light:

  • Set of 2 lights!
  • Swivel Top – Adjust lighting angles
  • Universal Clamp or Mount – Two convenient mounting options
  • Energy-Efficient Bulb – Uses 20W LED bulb
  • Bright, White Light -1300 Lumen! 5000K Color Temp
  • Wide Beam – 18″ wide design lights up more space

See on Amazon: 20w LED Light Clamp or Screw Mount

Lighting for Pop Up Displays

Pop up stands and displays often require a light with a special kind of ‘X’ style adapter. Why? The structure supporting such displays often don’t have the vertical pole or solid horizontal surface required to mount other types of trade show lighting. Here’s an example of a pop-up frame:

Pop Up Display Lights - X Adapter Mount

Fortunately, there are Pop Up Display Lights specifically designed for pop up exhibits. You can find this model on Amazon:

Pop Up Display Lights - 'X' Mount Close-Up

This product includes a ‘c’ adapter as well making fit most any display need. This ‘2 in 1’ design is a great investment if want trade show lighting for different display designs.

Why we like these Pop Up Display Lights!

  • Universal Clamps – Clips to banner stand poles up to 1.75″
  • Pop Up ‘X’ Adapter – Includes 2 ‘X’ adapters and 1 c-type adapter
  • Versatile – Will work on most any exhibit
  • Energy-Efficient – Uses 3W LED Bulb
  • Super Bright – 135 LED or 78 LED, White (6000k )

See on Amazon: Pop Up Display Lights (Super Bright LED Tube Style Light)

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