Label like a mad-person

Labels – even if you think you don’t need them, they will save you SO MUCH time and energy when you’re troubleshooting or changing/expanding your system later!

Keeping yourself organized for your show is of the utmost importance! There are quite a few aspects that go into organization and today we are going to talk about streamlining you AV or lighting setup.


Whether you are doing a temporary or permanent setup for your display or show one key thing that is going to help you have everything run smoothly is labeling. Labeling everything as much as possible will help you when you are setting up, will help you if and when you need to troubleshoot, and will help you stay organized during a quick and efficient takedown if your display is temporary.

Temporary or Permanent Fixtures

When we talk about labeling things in lighting there are a few things to keep in mind. One is that your method of labeling is going to vary depending on whether your setup is temporary or a more permanent fixture.

For example, if you are doing a temporary event then you will find that simply labeling with tape will work perfectly for you and you won’t need to invest in a fancy label maker, although you could, of course, if you choose.

The best kind of tape to use for labeling cables or fixtures is artist’s tape or console tape. These are basically the same thing and are inexpensive, paper-based tapes which don’t leave residue even if you leave the tape on for extended periods of time. There are other types of tape out there of course but they tend to stick extra strongly and cause removal to be more difficult.


When it comes to labels how do you decide what is necessary to label and what is not? This depends on how temporary or permanent your installation is.

If you are working a more temporary display then simple labels on your longer runs of cable detailing where they go, and simple labels on your fixture are important. Other than that you likely are not going to need anything more labeled.

If you have a permanent installation the best advice is to label any cable that you can’t see both ends of from where you stand. Also take time to label every fixture and use a label maker to do so. Include the fixture name, its ID number, its address, and its mode.

Labeling Fixtures

No matter where you decide to add the label to your fixture, there is a benefit to doing so. Making sure they are labeled appropriately is important because when it comes time for your fixture to be replaced or moved to a new location you can easily see the address and mode to keep the swap out simple. You can also easily transfer the old label to the new fixture easily to be able to keep track of all your necessary information during switch outs and alterations.

The biggest key with any type of labeling is consistency.

Labeling Cabels

When it comes to cables, anything that is particular needs to be labeled. This is especially important in a permanent install.


No matter what your set up is or how many cables you have running or for how long, you will find that labeling everything to the best of your ability will keep your setup and takedown simple and efficient. This is incredibly important no matter what you are working on. It helps you to be even better as a lighting specialist and helps to keep you sane in the process.

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