The biggest mistake most event planners make is to confuse ambient lighting solutions photographers use and require (such as soft boxes & on and off camera flashes) with the decor lighting used either on top of or at the bottom of step and repeats to showcase logos and brands to guests. The latter cannot and does not replace the former. If you have low ambient lighting your either have to invest in a glare free material such as fabric which allows photographers to use flash or you need to provide the means for photographers to create or increase the ambient lighting (such as softboxes).
When thinking about lighting up your next step and repeat you should consider a couple things:
What is my ambient lighting like during the event?
Is it indoor or outdoor? Does the area have its own lighting? Is the lighting different in the morning versus the afternoon?
What kind of access do I have to electricity?
Not surprisingly, most lighting solutions require that you power them. This means extension cords and having what you need in place to hide this from the red carpet stage.
Does my photographer plan on using an on-camera flash?
This is critical to know because it will dramatically affect the outcome of your event’s photographs. If your photographer is planning on using an on-camera flash it is critical to use a material which does not show glare. This means that if your event is at night and your don’t have a soft box present to provide the required ambient lighting you will need to opt for a fabric backdrop.
What material is my backdrop?
If you intend on using a plastic based material such as vinyl or banner you must ensure that the venue has sufficient artificial (soft boxes) or real (the sun) ambient lighting to avoid the photographers having to use their on camera flashes.