Stage Lighting Networks for Larger Events

Larger events don’t have to be more complicated when it comes to networks. In this example, David shows us how a larger show can still keep a simple network (And many do!)

https://youtu.be/FA75ksDQihs

Networking for larger events is not a far cry from networking for small event setups. It’s actually not that different at all!

Lighting Network Diagram

There are a few noticeable things as we dive into large event networking. There is a general lighting and video network that are tapping into existing infrastructure in the stadium. Between different locations where network signal is needed, they’re using Fibr. This is a great way to send a lot of data a long distance.

Consoles

There are several different consoles listed: lighting consoles, pyro consoles, video consoles, and bracelet consoles. For the lighting system they have static IP addresses set for everything. These are set to the 10-dot range and are their own separate network. Any Artnet data that video is sending out is also on 10.66.

Between all of these consoles the main lighting fixture the main lighting console is Artnet for all of the fixtures. No matter where it is coming from all of the Artnet data is the same range.

Network Setup

Ultimately the network setup is actually really simple. You have different network switches that all connect to each other throughout the stadium and then they use virtual networks to keep the different consoles separate from each other.

In most circumstances you aren’t required to set up anything fancy with a bunch of rules. Fibr runs between the different switches. If you zoom out and in and really explore the diagram all you will see is that every device has static IP addresses so that you know where the device is if you need to log in to it to configure or connect one device to another.

You will notice that there is not a router in this system, and this makes perfect sense when you are shooting a lot of data.

Everything is kept quite simple by turning off any features in their network that they don’t need to keep things as light as possible.

Closing

When you get into doing larger events the only thing that changes are not really the level of complication for setting things together. In general, all it is are basic switches set together and maybe a router if you need wireless control but ultimately when it comes down to it, these networks are incredibly simple. What makes them work and work well is the use of good quality cables, connecting as much together wired as possible, and using really detailed diagrams and plans for each device and IP address. Following the plan works!

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