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  • Episode 37 – What Computer Do I Need for Lighting?

 October 9

by LearnStageLighting.com

Learn Stage Lighting Podcast 37In this week’s Episode, we discuss the basics on what to look for when getting a computer for your Lighting needs. I’ll go through my recommendations of what type of computer, software, and hardware you may need.

Lighting News! (1:17)

I really enjoy reading the PLSN Magazine and read some great highlights from their latest issue. If you want to check it out you can visit their website PLSN.Com and Subscribe.

One of the products I saw features was the Mega System’s Circa Scoop LED. Mega System’s is a company that is newer and growing more popular. I personally have had no experience with their lights yet.

But what I really like about this Circa Scoop LED is a big light that has a warm light LED source. It also has Amber LEDs that shine differently from the middle. This light has the colored LEDs and 192 RGB LEDs on the outer rim. Be sure to check it out and for the DIYers maybe get some ideas that you can work with.

There’s a Product Review section written by Aaron. In this issue, he reviews a couple of ENTTEC’s new items including the Pixel Port. You can check out my review of the Pixel Port here: ENTTEC Pixel Port

Lastly, one of my favorites is the LED at Large article is hilarious because it talks about the language of Lighting. As you venture out and meet others in the Lighting Industry you’ll soon realize how everyone has different names and descriptions.

Be sure to check it out you can visit their website PLSN.Com and Subscribe to get the latest updates.

Main Segment (8:30)

Most equipment is run by computers and you may already have a computer running your systems. The most popular computers would be the Mac, PC, or Lennox. PC would be the most popular operating system in the Lighting Industry.

Macs are also used in Lighting. You can actually read more about what you can use with Macs here: How Can I Control Lighting From My Mac?


Personally, I do recommend using a PC to run your Lights and preferably I suggest getting the Windows 10 Pro. Professional offers you the feature updates you can skip or push off to a future date. The Home series is also good but if you have some wiggle room in your budget, just go Pro.

Often, I hear a lot of concerns about Windows Updates and some worry about their programs. A couple of things I’ve learned with updates is that if you have a software that is under Active Development will go under a Developer Preview. The Developer Preview allows developers to download and test the update before it gets released to the public. That way the developers know ahead of time what to fix.


Before you decide on Hardware you need to know what type of Software you plan on running and possibly running in the future. Once you have an idea you’ll then want to find info on the Base System Requirements and Recommended System Requirements. If you plan on using this computer for a long time then make sure to exceed those requirements.

A few blanket recommendations I have would suggest is that if your computer doesn’t come with a solid state hard drive, then purchase a solid one and install it. It’s not difficult to and will save you in the long run.

For the Processor side, I would rather buy a very good processor that may be a few years old as opposed to a new and just ok processor.

With the Rams, I go with at least 8Gbs. Normally, I work with 16Gbs but you can put as much as you like.

Graphics Card

If you do plan on using a Visualizer I highly recommend getting a Graphics Card so that the program will be able to run properly.

If you’re looking for more information on How to Setup Your Lighting Console Show Computer for ways to avoid any mishaps during a show.


There may be situations where your computer is used for more than Lighting. But if you can one of the keys to keeping your computer performing at 100% is to have applications you need for Lighting only.

If there are some pesky apps that may be slowing down or causing issues with your computer be sure to check out my Show Computer post for ways to fix it.


Personally, I do updates often and keep it updated. I believe that the Windows Defender is a great protection for your computer.

I would be careful with thumb drives because if you are connecting this thumb drive with other Networks you are potentially opening the door for your computer at risk. So keeping your computer updated is very important.

If you are concerned about your computer updating during a show a way to avoid this is to not let it connect to the Internet. If the computer isn’t connected to the internet it won’t be able to do an update.

Closing (33:40)

If you’ve been listening I want to encourage you to Subscribe and tune in next week for our Tuesday Free Q+A!

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