How to Set Up Your Console for Room and Environmental Lighting

Controlling room and lobby lighting out of your console isn’t as cut and dry as it may seem. Grab my workflow for setting up a console to control multiple sets of room lighting while still keeping the event dynamic in this video.

Environmental Lighting Without A Console

Oftentimes you will find that room lighting does not actually need a console. You can still put on a great show and keep things rather simple in this aspect. If you feel like you won’t need control over your environmental lighting during your show the best thing to do is just to plug it in and let it be!

Console Control

While a console is not necessary for many situations as far as environmental lighting, there will be times when you want to use one to have more control. In such a case there are some things to know when going about the set up process.

Cloning Units

In the case that you decide you need more control, the first thing to do in your set up is to clone the units in your console. In order to have the option to clone you do need to generally have a professional console such as ONYX.

What is Cloning?

If you are not familiar with the process of cloning, it’s called a couple different things depending on the console but most often you will find the term “cloning” used. This is the process where you take a light that is in your show and a new light, and you take everything that is programmed in your current light and copy it into the new light. You can then program the new light freely to adjust anything you need to after the fact. It simply gives you a good base to work with so that you don’t have to start completely from scratch.

Evening Out Colors

The second thing to do when organizing your environmental control on the console is to even out the brightness of the colors. If you are working with an average LED unit your white light uses all the colors. Red, green, or blue is just one color of LED and in a lot of LED fixtures they have a similar brightness between the colors. You may find that often the red is just a little bit stronger while the blue is a bit more subdued.

Once you start working with the secondary colors such as yellow, magenta, cyan, and so on that you will then be working with lights that are twice as bright due to the combinations.

When you are in your show and you are changing the colors on stage and the lights around the room are changing colors as well it will potentially cause quite an issue. The reason for this is that the combination of all the different white lights can cause the room to brighten up too much and makes the audience uncomfortable. On the other hand using too many deep colors can result in too dark of a look. The goal is to get everything even and flowing in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

The solution is quite simple for this and is just a matter of taking the time to observe how everything looks and tweaking the brightness of your colors as needed to find your happy medium.

Intensity Faders

The next thing to be sure of is to give yourself separate intensity faders for your room lights. Depending on your console and set up it will vary what type of fader it is and how you go about things. It just adds another layer of control so that you can create the best show possible with as much ease as possible. It may seem like something small but paying attention to the fine details are really what make you stand out as a lighting specialist to your clients.

Update Function

The last thing to really pay attention to is to be extra careful when using your consoles update function. When you are updating looks or updating colors just be careful that you don’t also accidentally have some of your environmental lights selected because you may end up inadvertently brightening or darkening the entire room too much during the show.


Taking control of your environmental lighting with your console can be really beneficial in that it gives you the attention to detail and ability to shift the lighting as desired throughout your show. But again, it is not necessary to put on a great show. If your environmental lighting is not in the same space as you are the very best advice is to forgo the same console control that you use for the rest of your lighting. Run it stand alone or run it from another console and keep your life simple and your show amazing.

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