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How to Light a Stage

How to Light a Theatre StageProper stage lighting is important for many reasons such as creating a mood and creating cohesiveness for the setting and scenery. The trick is learning how to do it properly in order the get the best results. From the type of lighting to the angles used, all of this is what comes together to make up stage lighting.

Proper Fundamentals

Although you need a more in depth idea of how to light a stage, consider this a brief overview:

    • Take the genre of the production into consideration. When it comes to planning your lighting, the first thing you need to know is what style of production you are creating stage lighting for.
    • Consider the venue as well. The size and layout all play a part in how many lights you need and how the set up will function.
    • Use what’s available and then plan for what you may need to add. Remember this also means considering colored lights for effect. Don’t settle for what’s available if it isn’t what you need for the right setting.
    • Plan out your lighting on paper first and then move to hanging on a dimmer rack. It’s easier to change them on paper first.
    • Finally you can focus the lights where they need to go.

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Focus, Position & Hanging

The crucial elements of proper lighting are focus, positioning and hanging. Focus is where you want the focus of the lighting to be and the final hot spot for this should be on the level of the actor’s head. The positioning is about where the lighting is actually located on the fly system or as part of the permanent front house lighting. Finally the hanging is actually carrying out placing and securing a light in its proper location.

Types of Lighting

There are several different types of lighting you will become familiar with as you learn more about stage lighting. For one thing you’ve probably already heard of “wash” and “spot” lighting. These are both as they sound. Wash lighting creates a broader wash over a scene. The spotlight is the opposite as it pinpoints an actor or area of the stage specifically.

So another light to become familiar with is the “profile” light. This is actually a style of spotlight that is even more selective. The focusing is even more direct than standard lighting. Another common lighting you will become comfortable with using is the Fresnel lighting.

Fresnel lighting gets its name from the Fresnel lens used to create this look. Basically Fresnel lighting is a style of wash lighting that actually works with a chain to create a moving light. All of these are ideal for creating the ultimate setting for any style of production.

And Cut

Getting familiar with using stage lighting may take a little research, but quickly becomes second nature. If you are looking for answers to your lighting solution problems, contact us and we will be happy to assist you.