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  • Episode 20 – What are the Rules to Designing Stage Lighting?

 June 12

by David

Lighting News!

This week in the I have been working on the 30 Days to Become a Lighting Ninja Series so be sure to check out the videos on our Youtube Channel: Learn Stage Lighting YouTube Channel

In Las Vegas, the Infocomm Trade Show is taking place! One of the announcements is the introduction of the Vista by Chroma-Q. This is an exciting product that has a new interface and proves to be a good lighting console.

In the past, this hasn’t been my favorite console but with some recent changes within the company, this is looking to be a great addition to the line of products. Be sure to check out the features and information here: Chroma-Q by Vista Console

Main Segment

One of the most common questions I get is, “What are the rules for lighting?” Well, there are two rules to follow when it comes to lighting.

Rule # 1: Be Safe

Being safe with lighting is something I mention very often but with good reasons. The equipment, set up, and lighting can be very heavy. Whether you are a Pro or Lighting is a Hobby the most important rule is to be safe.

With overhead lights and an audience in mind, it is so important to make sure everything is secured. There is no such thing as cutting corners when it comes to safety. I touch base on this in Episode 15 if you’re doing a show so if you need more info be sure to check out Episode 15 here.

Rule # 2: That is the Only Rule

There are many different ways to set up a stage, the design, and layout. Technically speaking yes there are some rules but as for ways to do certain things there are no definite rules. I am excited to elaborate more on ways to set up stages, layouts, and designs in future podcast episodes.

Be sure to tune in next week as I go over my 4 Letter Formula to Make Great Lighting!


Christi: She’s a Lady Lighting Programmer and she has been looking into Mi.Mu Gloves that use MIDI or OSC to communicate with software. She’s not familiar with MIDI Software and wants to know how it works.

Midi or OSC are two different ways to send control signals and designed mostly for instruments but used for many different things. When you’re controlling lights using MIDI or OSC it doesn’t happen directly. There will be a lighting console and software that will need to be used in between MIDI or OSC and the Mi.Mu Gloves.

MI.Mu Gloves: https://mimugloves.com/

Sean: Is in a tight situation in terms of lighting. We have a show where we cannot top mount lights. Our front lights cannot be very strong because it blinds the audience. The highest we can go is no more than a person’s height. What can we do?

Basically, there is no easy answer for this. But with the light stands the only option is eye level. Now, if those on stage want to be seen then they will have to compromise with the stage lights being bright.

The other option would be to mount the LED’s on the floor and shine the lights upward. This may cast some shadows on those on stage but at least the light won’t be directly in their face.

Andrew: What is the best way to try out potential lights and consoles when they are brand new or low cost? (Example: the ADJ Par Z100 or the LightShark)

You have a few options on how to try out new products. The first option would be to locate a Local Dealer for the company because they may be able to get you a demo for free or at a small cost.

The second option would be is to sign up for the company’s newsletter and see where they may have some local events. The third option would be to check into some tradeshows.

Depending on where you are located check into local shows within driving distance and see if that vendor will be set up there. The last option would be to check online to see the reviews and videos available on that product.

Ann: Is using D-Pro to program a show. Another Par was added and wants to keep them in order. Is there a way to renumber the fixtures?

Inside of D-Pro, there doesn’t seem to be a way to renumber the fixture. Other than repatching the show I would recommend is ignore the numbers and in the device, browser to order them out of order so that you can put them in order.

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