Different Types of Theater Spot Lights
Theater stage lighting is a complicated process that requires a lot of time to master. This article will help you learn about the different types of spotlights, as well as how to use them during a performance.
A follow spot lights a performer with a powerful circle of light. They are usually operated by hand and can be adjusted in real time.
Theatrical fresnels are directional stage spotlights that use a lens to focus the beam of light. They can be adjusted to vary the field and beam angle from a narrowly focused “spot” to a wider “flood” shape. They are typically used as top or back lights for a theater production.
Fresnel spotlights are generally more versatile Stage Lighting Supplier than other types of theater spotlights because they allow you to change their intensity levels based on the needs of the production. They can also be equipped with accessories such as barn doors, diffusion filters, and color gels to create different lighting effects.
Barn doors are adjustable flaps that can be positioned over the front of a Fresnel spotlight to help shape and direct its light. They are useful for reducing the size of the hot spot and helping to control spill light on areas where it is not needed. Diffusion filters can be attached to the front of a Fresnel lens to soften its light and create a more diffused glow. Color gels can be inserted into the spotlight to add a specific color to the light.
As solid state lighting becomes the dominant technology in theatrical applications, manufacturers have begun to veer away from traditional lamp-based configurations and integrate LED systems into their spotlights. This has enabled them to unlock a host of additional functionality that was previously unavailable with lamp-based systems.
Follow Spots are a staple of every theatre’s lighting arsenal and have become essential in focusing the audience’s attention on performers. In a modern production, these spotlights are often tied into the main lighting cues and are operated by a trained and experienced stage spot operator. These technicians should have a deep understanding of the show’s script, as well as the technical demands and limitations of the followspot equipment.
In addition to its specialized role, the follow spot is also a valuable tool for accenting specific aspects of the set design or stage action. It is important for the spot op to know how to operate the various features of the unit, including its iris, chopper and barn doors. The iris is used to control the size of the circle of light that illuminates the performer, and it can be adjusted with drop-in gels for a variety of effects.
Unlike other types of lights, the follow spot requires special care and maintenance. Regular cleaning and inspection can prevent damage to the lens and mirrors, which can cause blurred images and loss of focus. In addition, the follow spot must be kept cooled to avoid overheating. It is also important to practice aiming the spotlight at different targets during downtime, in order to be ready when the light is cued up for use.
The ellipsoidal spotlight is the most commonly used spot in theaters. It uses lenses that focus a narrow beam of light with soft or hard edges and shutters to control the shape of the lighting. This allows the light to be directed where you want it while avoiding spill light in areas that should remain dark. These lights also accept slide-in gobos to project patterns onto the set or performers.
These lights are ideal for front-lighting bands, speakers or actors. The sharpness of the light can be used to highlight a specific performer in a powerful circle of light and draw the audience’s attention. It can also be used to wash the stage or illuminate set pieces. Many ellipsoidal spotlights also have an attachment to change the field angle of the lens, so they can be used for color washes.
Sometimes known as ERS (Ellipsoidal Reflector Spotlight) or Leko lights due to the brand name of the fixture created by Strand Lighting, ellipsoidal spotlights can be found in every auditorium and concert hall. Whether powered by HID or traditionally, tungsten halogen, these spotlights can be controlled by a standard multipin connector and have a range of accessories for mounting them. LED Strobe Mobile Light These include a yoke mount, a handle for operation and shutters to control the shape of the light.
Many theaters use PAR spotlights, also known as “par cans.” These are simple stage lighting tools that produce lots of light and spread it broadly. They don’t have the same frameable flexibility as ellipsoidal spotlights or the ability to follow a person onstage, but they’re ideal for when lots of coverage is the goal and focusing on a specific image or hard edge isn’t necessary.
Aside from their use in theatres, par can lights are widely utilized by clubs, art performance groups and convention halls, among other venues. They’re inexpensive, lightweight and highly versatile, making them a popular choice in places where the lighting budget is tight or space is limited.
The number that follows “PAR” refers to the bulb diameter in 1/8 inch increments. For example, a PAR 64 bulb is able to support bulbs up to 64/8 inches in diameter.
While halogen PAR lighting is commonplace in facilities, new technology is changing the landscape with LED options. HyLite offers a wide selection of LED PAR bulbs to provide an energy efficient solution to facilities looking for alternatives to halogen and incandescent spot lights.
With a high color rendering index of over 80, our LED PAR bulbs can replicate natural sunlight on a stage. This gives performers a true-to-life look that helps them to connect with audiences.