Balloon Lighting in Films: Five Famous Examples

July 11, 2017

The majority of our balloon lights come from AIRSTAR, one of the first organisations worldwide to adopt the lighting style. Since the company was first established in 1994, their products have been used on a multitude of famous film sets. Here, Balloominations UK Ltd reviews some of the ways in which balloon lighting has helped bring stories, heroes, and villains to life. We’re taking a look at four famous examples, and at how lighting played a significant part in each case.

Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

For the sixth installment of Harry Potter, balloon lighting was used to create some of the more atmospheric scenes. Overall, the film is darker, and more foreboding than some of its predecessors, meaning that traditional lighting techniques were much harder to use. Balloon lighting allowed for a darker, less colourful film, while still maintaining enough light for its viewers. Carsten Thoms is listed on IMDB as the film’s “balloon light technician”, highlighting the importance of this aspect of the film.



Some of the most iconic shots of the Titanic from James Cameron’s 1997 film were helped by AIRSTAR products. Particularly when the lighting was supposed to be dim, using balloons instead of more traditional lighting techniques proved invaluable. Cameron was actually one of AIRSTAR’s first major customers, and the company has gone from strength to strength since.


Pirates of the Caribbean

Continuing to run with our “ships” theme, the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films all took advantage of balloon lights. In this instance, the products allowed for visibility across the dark seas of the Atlantic, but also successfully enhanced the effect of mist. By sitting above the set, the mist below was emphasised, helping to add to the atmospheric feel of Jack Sparrow’s adventures. Moonlight also played a large part throughout the films; balloon lighting offered a softer light than most standard setups, mirroring the effect of the moon when compared with the sun.


La Vie en Rose

Perhaps slightly less well-known than our previous examples, La Vie en Rose follows the story of French singer, Edith Piaf. Dimly lit bars are extremely common settings for some of the singer’s most iconic moments, and, once again, balloon lighting made filming a lot easier. An added bonus of using balloon lights for the film came from their lightweight makeup; fitting into small spaces and keeping the set’s apparatus out of sight were essential, and using AIRSTAR products was an effective way to achieve both.


Other examples

A whole host of other films, documentaries, and TV series have also put balloon lights to good use; we’ve only focused on some of the most famous. The versatility of AIRSTAR products makes them the perfect lighting solution for a number of different purposes.


If you think that your event could benefit from balloon lighting, then get in touch with Balloominations. We supply a range of AIRSTAR products, and have been supplying areas near Worcester and Hereford for a number of years. Call us on 01584 811580, or fill in one of our online contact forms.
If they’re good enough for Harry Potter, then there’s a good chance they’ll work well for you, too!