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Do Your BID’s Lights Need A Refresh?


by Christopher Stille, Gala Lights Managing Director 

Summer’s here, the sun is shining and holiday season is upon us … time to think about your BID’s Christmas lights. Festive illuminations, and the switch-on events surrounding them, provide an opportunity for BIDs to become thriving community hubs in the winter months.

How was your Christmas lighting display last year? Could it benefit from a few extra decorations, is it in need of a refresh, or do you need a brand new scheme? Good Christmas lights can bring communities together, increase footfall and provide a welcome boost for businesses, visitors and residents alike. If you’ve not already thought about this year’s lights, now’s the time.

As Christmas lighting specialists, Gala Lights spend even the hottest months planning for Christmas. We work with BIDs throughout the UK, with current customers including Brighton BID, Canterbury BID and York BID. Here are our top tips:

1: Take stock

Locate and review the lights you have. Did you inherit any, do they work, do they still look good? Audit the infrastructure which is going to be supporting your lights - are there weight and wind considerations, where are the power points etc. The infrastructural make-up is different for every BID, so work closely with your lighting supplier to build an accurate picture.

2: Get member buy-in

Some of the most successful schemes start with BID Managers achieving buy-in from their members during the tender process – consider involving a few influential members in the scheme selection process to get them engaged from the outset.

3: Tender or ‘Top-Up’

If you’re starting from scratch, or your scheme needs a complete overhaul, it’s time to start the tender process. See our overview on ‘Things to Remember when Putting out a Tender’.

Choosing to ‘top-up’ your lights can be the smart choice where budget is limited. Consider adding lamp column or across street decorations to roads which were previously unlit, to include more members in the scheme. Be careful not to put brand new lights directly next to older lights, as even LED lights gradually fade over time.

4: Lights aren’t just for Christmas

The increasing popularity of Halloween as a retail opportunity has increased demand for ‘Winter Lighting’ – bringing the traditional Christmas lights season forward 2-3 weeks to incorporate Halloween too.  Winter Lights are installed mid-October and remain in place until spring, when the evenings start to get lighter. Consider whether your lights could incorporate other seasonal events or religious festivals.

The winter months are a vital time of year for BID businesses, whether they be retailers, cafes or entertainment providers. Investing in a good Christmas lighting display results in improved atmosphere and an uplift in sales, which is great for businesses, visitors and residents alike. It’s a win-win for your BID and your community.

Get in touch if you’d like to discuss your lights: BIDs@GalaLights.com | 01622 882424 | www.galalights.com or connect with us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.




About Gala Lights

Gala Lights is a specialist Christmas lighting company, designing and manufacturing everything from tree lights, street decorations and lamp column motifs, through to schemes for Christmas markets, architectural lighting and bespoke 3D figures.

We also create designs for Halloween, Diwali, Valentine’s Day and Easter, as required to extend the Winter Lights season.

Founded as a family-run business in 1994, we take pride in delivering quality product, bespoke design and value for money, with friendly service. In 2009 we joined Leblanc Illuminations, and together we provide commercial grade lighting solutions to over 7,500 villages, towns and cities around the world. This partnership gives us the ability to design, build and bring-to-life industry-leading illuminations for BIDS, as well as town centres, retail parks and shopping centres.

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