What to Know About Stage Lighting

If you are ever going to be in charge of the stage lighting for a play, there are some things you should familiarize yourself with. We all have gone to a great play and never thought about who is doing the lighting and how it played a major part in the production. These lights can change the mood of a production allowing the characters on stage to either stand out or perform elegantly as a group. Stage lighting often brings or carries the momentum of a play moving it to one scene to the next. Here are some things to consider when using or stage lighting for your next production.

Understand the Performance 

The people on the stage will be the performers of course, but the lighting crew does have a responsibility to follow along. They need to understand the highs, lows and specific parts of the play where lighting is needed. Crew members should take the time to talk about some of the dialogue and content of the play to hit their lighting marks. Typically, the crew will be given the script or the key portions of it to make sure everyone is in sync. A stage lighting service can be found in your area.


Before the performance, all crew should have an in-depth knowledge of how to operate the equipment. Stage lighting equipment can be different in certain auditoriums and can through you off if you are not familiar with it. Take the time to make sure everything works and is capable to perform the functions you expect. This should be done way before mapping out a lighting plan. Bring yourself up to date and get acquainted with the system. If you are considering doing a special effect, then make sure your equipment can handle this. Don’t be afraid to upgrade your equipment as well if it is sold.


Lighting systems for a production can be extremely powerful and emotional. They ultimately set the play’s mood and allow the audience to feel the change in drama. Color was used beginning in the Shakespeare days. Today, many crews use color panels, gels and change the color to bring about emotional effects. To reach a subdued effect you can use cool colors whereas red creates passion or love.


Some lighting systems allow you to attach a filter or attachments that create beautiful patterns. Colored glass is another way pattern can form on a stage play and add to the mood of the script or scene.


Audiences can be emotionally touched when the lights have some kind of movement to them. Stage plays are designed to have some kind of an effect on our human psyche and the movement of light helps. This can also include unleashing smoke or simply hitting specific lighting cues in the script.

Stage lighting is more important than we realize in entertainment performances. It has the ability to set the tone of a play’s production and emerge the audience into the content. Crews should always take time out to know the equipment prior to creating a plan.

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