What is a Gobo?

One of the most frequent questions brought up to us is “What is a Gobo?” and “What does it stand for?” According to Wikipedia, a gobo (or GOBO) is derived from “go between” or “Goes Before Optics”. It states that a gobo is a “physical template slotted inside, or placed in front of, a lighting source, used to control the shape of emitted light”. In basic terms, it is a steel stencil for a particular lighting fixture we use called a Source IV.


There are two types of gobos: stock gobos and custom gobos. There is an almost endless array of possibilities with custom gobos. For the most part, our custom gobos are a newly wedded couple’s names, initials, and the date of their wedding. These custom gobos tend to be used for dance floors, backdrops, and walls. It’s a perk for photographers. After all, what newly wedded bride could resist a picture perfect shot with a backdrop of their new last name?

You can find ideas for custom gobos on our Pinterest page. We’ve got a “Custom Gobo Ideas” board just for clients. We can also customize almost anything you wish to have for your event! Check out the Pinterest board below!

Custom Gobo Ideas Pinterest Board

On top of that, we’ve also created a “Gobo Patterns” Pinterest board, which provides examples and ideas from our stock gobo patterns. You can find that board at the following URL. Keep in mind that there are many more possible!

Gobo Patterns Pinterest Board

How can you use Gobos to create that “Wow!” factor for your next event? Create texture and design for your dance floor, walls, ceiling, tables, furniture, vignette, etc. You can also use them to have a going theme throughout your event. As previously mentioned, the possibilities are endless. We love working with clients to make their event extra special with gobos!

Bright Event Productions, Big Events CMT After Party Lighting

Photo by Matt Andrews

Photo by Matt Andrews

Bright Event Productions, Custom Gobos

Then there are the moving gobos. Yes, you read that right. We have the ability to make them move. We can create a lifelike fire with a gobo. We can create falling snow with a gobo. We can make a moon gradually move across a tent ceiling. Do you want to have a gobo at your next event? Have any questions about gobos in general for future reference? Please do not hesitate to email us at info@brighteventproductions.com. We’ll work with you and make your next event fantastic!