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    Stage Lighting Basics: A Guide on Lighting Equipment


    - Posted by Sally Wootton

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    If you’re putting on any sort of performance or show, stage lighting will be an important factor to get right. Not only does good lighting let your audience see the show clearly, it can also help create atmosphere and form part of the entertainment itself. 

    In this article, we’ll cover some stage lighting basics, providing you with a simple guide on lighting which is suitable for a wide range of performances. We also cover lighting equipment guidance with an example of a basic lighting package.

    Lighting Design & Mood

    Whether you’re putting on a theatrical production, a gig or an awards night, the lighting used can elevate the show and the overall experience for your audience. Professional productions will have a lighting designer whose job it is to enhance the drama, mood and atmosphere with thoughtful and creative lighting. However, even with a modest budget, you can achieve an effective and memorable show with a bit of technical lighting knowledge!

    Think about great performances you’ve been to. From smoke machines and lasers at a techno gig to the creative use of colour, intensity and shadows to create a ghostly ambience for spooky play – lighting is at the heart. There are no universal rules on how to create the best atmosphere, but there are a few things that are helpful to consider to guide your choices. 

    Basic Lighting Positions

    Lights can be placed anywhere you want on stage, but there are five basic stage lighting positions to focus on:

    Types of Lighting Fixtures

    Next, let’s take a look at some of the different types of lighting fixtures. There are lots of kinds of lighting out there, but these are some of the most commonly used which can create professional looking stage lighting.

    As well as the lights themselves, there are two other key elements for your stage lighting: lighting desks and rigging. Your lighting desk is a key part of your lights’ operation which gives you control over all your lights, allowing seamless transitions and effects. Rigging is the physical structure you attach your lights to which enables you to achieve the lighting positions and angles you want. 

    Popular Types of Lighting Effects

    Lighting doesn’t simply have to be for illumination. There are many types of lighting effects which can be used for visual interest and become part of the show itself. Some popular kinds of lighting effect are:

    Basic Lighting Package: Recommended Lighting Setup for a Beginner

    Now that you have a grasp on lighting fixtures, positions and effects, you can start to think about how you’d like to use these for your show! A simple understanding of stage lighting will be beneficial even when it comes to a basic setup. However, should you want to achieve something more exciting or elaborate, you can always rely on the support of experienced technicians, such as those at Stage Connections. 

    If you are looking for a basic lighting package for a small stage (around 6m x 2m) and set, we would recommend the following lighting: 

    Popular Extra Lighting Products

    We find that there are a few extra lighting products that are popular to include to make clients’ shows more thrilling and memorable! From awards shows to concerts, some common extras to add to a lighting hire package are:


    We hope that you find this guide to lighting equipment useful and that it gives you a good overview of stage lighting basics. If you are putting on an event and require high quality lighting equipment hire, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our experts can create wonderful lighting designs, help you pick the right equipment for your needs, and even operate the lighting for you at your event. Contact us to find out more.

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