How Do You Begin with Lasers in Stage Lighting? (Updated 2022!)

Lasers are cool. And if you already have a decent-sized rig of lights, they can be a really great next step for your lighting rig. Here’s how to get started.

Lasers are a really great way to expand your lighting rig and create new lighting looks.

The Value of Lasers

Once you have your lighting set up to where you have a great look of saturation on your stage, the use of lasers can bring great value to your show by providing something new and fresh for your overall look. You of course, always have the option to add even more lights to your show instead, but you will likely find that the use of a couple great lasers will be a less expensive route and provide a really great look.

You will find that the laser software is really easy to use and gives you the option to use them as beams, you have full color mixing, and you also have the option to project them onto a surface to be able to create animations.

The Basics

When it comes to the basics, if you are in the US, the first thing you need to work with lasers is a variance which is like a driver’s license for laser use. If you go through a company like X-Laser when you buy your laser, they make it simple to get this handled by bundling your variance into their package. Going this route is a lot easier to fill out your paperwork and renew it when the time comes.

The setup and design are made incredibly simple through companies like these as well. You simply follow a checklist to safely set up and test everything and you will be ready to go.


Once you have everything set up for use, the next step you want to make sure you have a handle on is control of your lasers. One way of going about this is to use a laser cube. These are great little products that give you the ability to do any animation on a laser.

The thing that makes lasers difficult to control as a lighting specialist is the fact that you can create images. It is like a video projector but not at the same time. You may choose to do more complicated images and will find that as you get more complicated the laser can’t keep up.

Even though the more complicated patterns may get a bit of a strobe-like look to them, lasers are still a great option because you will not find anything else that cuts through both air and other lighting while showing through so clearly. Even with a decent amount of daylight or stage wash you will still be able to cut through and see your lasers.


When it comes down to it lasers don’t have to be just a background effect in your show. They also don’t have to be the total center of attention in your show. They are incredibly versatile and fun to use and come with really simple control systems to help you make the most of them in your display in the simplest way possible. They are a great addition to any lighting specialist’s repertoire because of all the new options they give you to work with to create a unique and exciting show.

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