How Do Battery Uplighters Work?

Battery Powered Uplights

Battery uplighters are an increasingly popular solution for both professional event lighting and home ambience enhancement. They offer a versatile and efficient means to light up spaces without the hassle of dealing with tangled wires or the necessity of nearby power outlets. Let's explore their technology, benefits, applications, and considerations to keep in mind when selecting and using these devices.

The Basics of Battery Uplighters

Battery uplighters have garnered great acclaim for their versatility and ease of operation. These devices, powered by rechargeable batteries, illuminate spaces from below, creating dramatic effects and colour washes that enhance the ambience of events, from weddings to corporate gatherings. At their core, battery uplighters consist of LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights, known for their energy efficiency and longevity, encased in a compact, easily portable fixture that can be positioned as desired without the constraints of power cables.

The performance and efficiency of battery uplighters hinge on the quality of their batteries. Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used, offering the advantage of long-lasting performance, typically ranging from 8 to 20 hours on a single charge, depending on how you set the intensity of the light output and the other features being used. This makes them particularly suitable for events that last several hours.

One of the most appealing features of wireless uplighters is their ability to produce a wide spectrum of colours. Through RGB (Red, Green, Blue) colour mixing or the addition of white (RGBW) for a broader palette, these lights can create millions of hues to match any theme or mood. The colour and brightness levels are usually adjustable via a remote control or DMX, enabling real-time customisation without the need to physically interact with the uplighters.

BeamZ BBP54 uplighter with removeable battery packBeamZ BBP54 uplighter with removeable battery pack

Innovations and Connectivity

Recent advancements in battery uplighter technology have introduced features that significantly enhance their functionality and user convenience. One notable innovation is wireless DMX control, a protocol for managing lighting and effects, which allows for the remote operation of the uplighters through a DMX console or even a smartphone app. This wireless capability eliminates the need for physical cabling between light fixtures when controlling them as a synchronised group, allowing total freedom of placement.

Another significant development is the integration of smart battery management systems. These systems monitor the battery's health, optimising charging and usage to prolong the battery's lifespan and ensure consistent performance. They can prevent overcharging and deep discharging, which are detrimental to battery health. Moreover, some uplighters come equipped with swappable battery packs or charging systems built into flight cases.

Designed to be compact and as non-intrusive as possible, battery uplights are favoured for lighting marquees and events spaces where they can be used to great effect highlighting walls, ceilings, and architectural features. Their advanced LED technology consumes less power and generates less heat compared to traditional lighting solutions, and offers a huge range of colours including ultraviolet output. LEDs provide great sustainability with lifespans of up to 50,000 hours for years of use.

Practical Uses of Wireless Uplighters

As with any battery-powered lighting, the more intense the brightness settings, the shorter the battery run time will be. They are designed as a problem solver, but should not be considered as a complete replacement for mains-powered fixtures, especially in heavy-use environments such as bars or clubs. Where they do excel though is mobile events work, freeing you from the cable hell of lighting a venue for ambience.

While most uplighter battery systems are designed to last the duration of an event on a single charge, it's always wise to have a contingency plan, such as spare charged units, spare battery packs (if a swappable design) or a charging station, especially for events running longer than anticipated. Familiarity with the device's operational aspects, including colour settings and brightness adjustments, is crucial for ensuring a smooth, trouble-free experience. Additionally, understanding the charging time and performance capability of your wireless uplighters is essential for planning and preparation.

Versatile in so many settings, battery-powered uplights can be put to excellent use for architectural highlighting and lighting of pathways and grounds for your outdoor events. The use of weatherproof IP-rated uplighters will allow your lights to carry on working through any turns in the weather, and the use of WiFi-based DMX lights will give you complete control without the need for any cables to cause tripping safety issues.

Tree illumination using battery uplighters Tree illumination using battery uplighters

Wireless Battery Uplighter Systems

The incorporation of rechargeable battery technology into compact events lighting has been a real game-changer. No longer limited by the availability of mains sockets or the need for endless and messy extension cables, these lights allow for complete freedom of placement to create the atmosphere you need.

Understanding Battery Uplighters

At their core, battery uplighters are portable lighting units designed to project light upwards from the floor, creating dramatic effects by illuminating walls, drapery, and specific areas of a room. They are powered by rechargeable lithium batteries, eliminating the need for direct electrical connections and offering unparalleled flexibility in placement and design.

Taking the place of Par Cans being used for wall washing, a dedicated uplighter allows for fixtures to be located tight to a wall or surface while providing a range of washes and effects. They are specifically designed for floor placement and utilise a compact footprint that makes them ideal for a wide variety of tasks.

Professional battery uplighters are real problem solvers, freeing up lighting designers from the constraints of needing mains cables to each fixture, and making it possible to create any layout they wish to best suit the event's desired atmosphere.

Technology Behind Battery Uplighters

Battery uplighters typically use LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology, favoured for its energy efficiency, longevity, and minimal heat output. LEDs can produce a broad spectrum of colours and brightness levels, easily controlled and adjusted to fit an event or space's desired mood or theme. Advanced models come with features like remote control, DMX compatibility (wired and wireless options), and at minimum, RGBW (Red, Green, Blue, White) LEDs for a wide colour palette and more nuanced lighting effects, with many newer fixtures including Amber and UV capability.

The batteries in these uplighters are usually lithium-ion or lithium-polymer, known for their high energy density and reusability. These batteries can power the lights for several hours on a single charge, with some models offering up to 20 hours of continuous use, depending on the brightness and colour settings. Fast recharge times allow for a quick turnaround between and even during events, with the option for mains power meaning you will never be left without lighting.

Benefits of Battery Uplighters

  • Flexibility and Portability: Their wireless nature allows them to be placed anywhere, opening up creative possibilities for lighting designs without worrying about power source locations.
  • Ease of Use: Battery uplighters are generally designed for plug-and-play use, with simple controls and no complicated installation required.
  • Safety: Without cables, there's a reduced risk of tripping, making them a safer option for crowded events and public spaces.
  • Aesthetic Appeal:They offer a clean, cordless look, contributing to a more polished and professional presentation.

Applications of Battery Uplighters

Battery uplighters are incredibly versatile, used in a variety of settings from professional event production to home decoration. In the event industry, they are essential for weddings, corporate events, concerts, and theatre productions, providing ambient lighting, highlighting architectural features, or accentuating décor elements. At home, they can add a sophisticated touch to parties, create a relaxing atmosphere in living spaces, or serve as dynamic, colour-changing accent lighting.

With the addition of an IP-rated enclosure, you can make use of some battery uplighters in all weather, making them ideal for outdoor lighting of marquees, gazebos, garden parties, and pathways, where they can be left in place during those unfortunate downpours.

Wireless battery-powered lighting allows for the easiest setup of an event, as you won't need to worry about power cables and extension leads to get everything working. This is advanced even further with the inclusion of WiFi on some units, providing them with a completely cable-free operation while allowing master/slave linking or full DMX control.

Modern LED uplighters are such versatile lights, offering everything from simple wall washing to full auto-show modes and easy integration with larger controlled lighting systems.

Selecting the Right Battery Uplighters

When choosing battery uplighters, consider the following factors:

  • Battery Life: Ensure the battery life can meet the duration of your events or desired usage time. Battery capability differs with both the design and cost of an uplighter.
  • Light Output and Quality: Look for units with adjustable brightness and colour settings to suit different themes and occasions. The power rating of the LEDs directly relates to it's output capability
  • Build Quality and Durability: Opt for models designed for the rigours of your intended application, especially for professional or outdoor use.
  • Features: Consider additional features like wireless DMX control, waterproofing, and expandability with other lighting systems.
  • Price: Balance cost with features and durability. While cheaper models may be tempting, investing in higher-quality uplighters can offer better performance and longevity.

Best Practices for Using Battery Uplighters

  • Flexibility and Portability: Their wireless nature allows them to be placed anywhere, opening up creative possibilities for lighting designs without worrying about power source locations.
  • Charging: Always fully charge your uplighters before use, and consider the charging time when planning your setup.
  • Placement: Experiment with placement to achieve the best lighting effect. The angle and distance from the wall or object can significantly impact the overall look.
  • Maintenance: Regularly clean your uplighters and check for any damage to ensure they remain in good working condition.
  • Environmental Considerations: Be mindful of the operating temperature and weather conditions, especially if using the uplighters outdoors.


Battery uplighters are a game-changer in the world of lighting, offering ease of use, flexibility, and a wide range of creative possibilities. Whether you're lighting a professional event or enhancing the ambience of your home or business, understanding the technology, benefits, and best practices of battery uplighters can help you make the most out of these innovative devices. By carefully selecting the right uplighters and employing them thoughtfully, you can achieve stunning lighting effects that elevate the aesthetics and atmosphere of any space.