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Stage Lighting Basics: 5 Helpful Tips For Starting Out

Stage Lighting Basics: 5 Helpful Tips For Starting Out

18 Oct, 2017  /  by admin

Professional stage lighting can help create a special atmosphere that adds value to any stage performance. While there a wide variety of lighting techniques that can be used in different instances, starting off simple is important to prevent yourself from becoming overwhelmed at first when you are just starting out. Once you understand the basics, the more technical aspects of stage lighting will become much easier to learn.

5 Helpful Tips for Starting Out with Stage Lighting

Customize the stage lighting based on the type of performance.

Lighting needs to be tailored to the specific needs of a performance on stage. Dance lighting, play lighting, and live music all require different types of customization options. For dance productions, stage lighting should be simple and adaptable to highlight movement. Side lighting is often strongly recommended. For play lighting, it’s usually best to use front lighting to better feature facial expressions and definition of the actors. Finally, for live music, the style of lighting will depend upon the type of musician. Colored lighting is oftentimes ideal.

Know the main types of lights.

Floodlights, soft lamps, broad lights, fixed-focused lighting, and spotlights are all used on stage to address different purposes. To learn more about these various types and when to use them, check out this helpful blog post, The Different Types of Stage Lighting Equipment.

Read the script and plan accordingly.

Lighting helps set the tone of a stage performance. Understanding the nature and details of the script can help you create a lighting setup that best reflects its various aspects. Stage lighting should highlight what the audience should be focusing on throughout the performance. Professional stage lighting managers know the importance of properly conveying:

  • Mood
  • Movement
  • Texture
  • Naturalism

 

Learn the basic lighting positions.

The amount of space you have largely influences the plans for your lighting. When utilizing professional lighting options, there are five basic lighting positions:

  • Front lighting – which is the primary source of illumination and is often set at an overhead angle of 45 degrees.
  • Side lighting & high side lighting – which is effective for highlighting movement.
  • Back lighting – which separates performers and props from the background to achieve a 3-dimensional effect.
  • Down lighting – which lights the whole stage evenly by blending together lighting across the stage.

 

Create lighting zones.

Professional lighting is centered around the concept of targeting certain areas and not others through different means. Lighting managers typically divide stages into zones of 8- to 12-foot diameter circles with slight overlap. Most stages include these zones:

  • Front of the stage
  • Mid-stage
  • Back of the stage

 

Breaking the stage into various areas makes lighting more manageable and targeted.


For All Your Professional Lighting Needs, Look to SSRC

In business for over 30 years, SSRC has been meeting the unique, individual needs of our customers for decades. We provide high quality lighting solutions at competitive prices, and even manufacture our own custom equipment. Our experienced customer service team is dedicated to ensuring your success. To learn more about which lighting options are best for your specific needs, reach out to SSRC today at 864-848-9770!

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