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  • Episode 13 – Barndoors, Lenses, Gel and Gobos, oh my! How to Shape the Light!

 April 24

by David

Lighting News!

This week we have a few updates in the Lighting industry that I wanted to share with you.

I’ve had the opportunity to work with LightShark and this past week they have announced their latest product the LS Wing. The LS Wing console expander unit adds 20 backlit buttons, 10 Playbacks, 3 extra Ethernet ports, and a pair of USB connectors to charge tablets or mobile. For more information check out the article below:


ETC has announced they have extended their warranty to 10 years. ETC is known for their warranties and customer support. After some testing on their fixtures, they found that their units lasted longer than expected. For more information check out the link below!


Global Truss has introduced a Truss Silencer that helps the process of assembling their units. Most users have noticed how obnoxious it is to assemble a Global Truss Unit. So, those who that have tested this new product were grateful for the Silencers!


If your looking for a larger moving light, Elation has announced their Artiste Picasso that delivers over 20,000 total lumens! This light has some amazing features.


Main Segment

How to Shape the Light! Depending on the type of light you have there are many ways you can shape your light.


With conventional lights, you can use gels which is a colored film that you can put in front of the light. Over time the Gel does fade and needs to be replaced. These are not as popular but are still used to this day on white-source fixtures.

Change Lenses

Changing the lenses depends on the type of light that you have. In a Conventional Par, you would just change the Lamp. The LED Pars or ETC Pars you would change the Lens.

Elation Lighting has created an LSF Filter for LEDs that can help shape your lighting. These filters are designed to smooth out your beam spread and really makes the lighting look good. You can see the examples below:

LED’s: Diffusion Lenses: http://www.elationlighting.com/lsf-filters

Wash Lights: Barn Doors

Wash lights do not have a lot of options for shaping your light but they do have the Barn Doors. Barn Doors are a set of 4 flaps that you can insert into the Gel Frame Slot.

If it is an LED you may not have the frame slot but be sure to check with the manufacturer to see if they have a Barn Door Assembly for your model.

Spot/Beam Lights: Gobos, Shutters,

With most Spot Lights you have shutters. With shutters, you can really define where you want your light to go. Another feature is being able to use Gobos. Gobos are inserts with a pattern and once you insert the light the pattern will reflect on the stage.

Normally with a spotlight, you can focus the pattern on one area. But what I like to do is to take it out of focus and see what the pattern looks like out of focus.


Brad: What fixtures do I actually need for a church stage? Brad is doing Live Streaming work and wants a simple set up with good lighting for a 16 foot by 27 foot wide stage.

LEDs don’t always make great front lights. I recommend either conventional Par 56’s or an LED fixture with Amber or White chips.

I would also suggest that you create 8 x 10 Zones with 2 lights per zone. Each light should be 90 degrees from each other and 45 degrees from the center.

There is an in-depth course about setting up church lighting that I offer which may help you really get your lighting dialed in:

Alfred: Has ADJ Mega uplights that are not Wireless or Battery Powered. He wants to be able to sell Clients uplighting packages. His goal be able to customize for all venue types and have control over his lighting.

Alfred has a lighting console, Luminair, set up with an Airport Express, and an Eternal Lighting EliteNet hooked up a console to output DMX.

He also wants to be able to control this wirelessly. Unfortunately, you’re not going to be able to get the lights battery powered. There is no battery pack option so you’ll want to invest in battery powered lights.

But if you want to keep what you have your best option is to plug them into power and set it up that way.

For setting up control ADJ does sell a Wireless Remote and you can set your lights in infrared mode. It’s really easy to set and an inexpensive option.

Now, if you’re looking for wireless DMX Mode I do have a related article on how to set this up below. I do want to mention that Donner has been known to run into issues when the set up is very busy.If you decide to go with Donner I do recommend having a backup plan for your lights.

Wireless DMX: https://learnstagelighting.com/should-i-use-wireless-dmx-the-complete-guide-to-running-data-to-your-lights-wirelessly/
ADJ IRC Remote: https://amzn.to/2H8nI7x

Tiffany: Is about to invest in a Gig Bar Flex and wants to control them with a DMX Controller. Is this a setup that is worth it?

The Gig Bar Flex’s are so easy to set up especially with a DMX Controller. You’ll get a stand and you’ll just have to plug in DMX and a power cord. With that you’ll have 4 lights off of one connection.

I do recommend the Enttec DMXIS as the program to control your Gigbar, and I wanted to share my article on how to program it.

Enttec DMXIS: https://learnstagelighting.com/how-to-program-with-dmxis/

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