Stage Lighting Recommendations

In order for you to come up with great stage lighting design ideas definitely requires creativity and imagination. For you to make your ideas into reality also requires lighting designers to carefully choose suitable lighting fixture along with a good understanding of basic lightings and color concepts. Apart from that, you can also follow examples that you can read from lighting books, internet and also by observing live performances. By doing these things, you will be able to have some ideas on how a professional setup of a stage play is done thus enabling you to use them according to your own budget or even average size stage.

What you need to do:

  1. Basic Lighting Ideas
  2. Lighting instruments
  3. Lighting effects
  4. Positioning of your lightings

Stage Lighting


  1. Using the right lightings fixture will determine whether your lighting design is a good one or not. Some of the basic types used for a stage performance include spotlights, which help to focus the lights over an individual performer or onto a particular area.
  2. Floodlights are for illuminating large areas within your stage while the special effects lights is for making the scene more dramatic, which include the usage of as lasers, projectors and movable robotic lights.
  3. For a basic lighting setup, you should include at least several floodlights that come with assorted colors of “gel” filters and you also will be capable to suspend and control the lightings.
  4. Usually lights are mounted above the stage either on stand or being hanged on trusses for better efficiency and its positions are aimed at the main areas of the stage in order to provide the preferred illumination of a particular scene.
  5. Make sure that all of the lights are kept on or able to be switched off and on using a controller.
  6. Using an automatic controller with lighting sound-activated or controlled using programmed time intervals will definitely help you a lot during your stage performance.
  7. If you prefer to have professional results, you may use a floor controller (normally used at theater performance) without the need to have a dedicated light person or if you have a lighting technician, you can use a standard controller during your stage play.
  8. The standard lighting connection and control used is DMX 512 (Digital Multiplex) which is a low-voltage connections controlling system that enables you to handle up to 512 lighting channels.
  9. You need to understand the different lighting fixtures and controllers available and determine the right fixtures for your stage performance. Nowadays, there are also lighting packages in the market with various sizes and also economical choice to have for your basic lighting setups, which include fixtures, stands and controllers.
  10. As for special lighting effects fixture, you can place it on the floor behind performers, stage props or other props in order to provide a silhouette effect. As for live music performances, you might also consider using ‘blinders’, lasers, moving spotlights and strobe lights, which can be directed directly onto the stage or audience.
  11. In addition, you can use fog to enhance your lighting design along with a ‘movable backdrop’ while floor-mounted fixtures are suitable for creating an emerging light through the fog.
  12. You must also practice more during rehearsals so that you can use different type of special effects as well as do some observations on any of the live performances that you manage to attend to.
  13. For having good visual effects, you need to place your lightings in suitable areas because the main purpose of lighting is for you to illuminate the stage areas and also the actors.
  14. Whenever you are using a large lighting system that comes with a controller, you would be able to add moods and other effects to the basic illumination.
  15. Your basic lighting should always be placed in front of the stage while your additional fixtures need to be placed at the back and sides of the stage along with special effects lighting and spotlights that can be aimed at the main performers or stage.
  16. You can always perform some experiments for your stage lightings with only the basic lightings by placing your lights in different position or areas. Once your system grows, you can proceed beyond your basic element of illumination and also provide more mood and lighting effects.
  17. This is applicable to both types of stages; the ones you want to set at home or the ones you want to set up in a huge studio to accommodate a large amount of students.

Image Credit:

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Additional Reading:

Electricity for the Entertainment Electrician & Technician

Stage Lighting