Stage Lighting Equipment:
Basic Types of Video Production Lighting Equipment


Stage Lighting Equipment

The simple purpose of video production stage lighting equipment is to provide enough illumination in the scene so that the camera can accurately reproduce the image you are videoing.

Here's a quick rundown of some of the different kinds of lighting equipment.


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The complexity and diversity of stage lighting and lighting techniques were developed from the need to create and/or enhance the aesthetics of the scene.

This technology of lighting goes back many many years – back to the earliest days of stage productions. Using stage lighting equipment in the video production process you can set the mood, time, and location in the scene. You can also draw the attention of the audience to critical portions of the scene.

In this article will go over the main types of video production stage lighting equipment.

What Are the Main Components of Stage Lighting Equipment…?

The main components of a lighting system or instrument are:

* The Light Housing:

Stage lighting equipment

A container usually made out of metal or plastic that serves as a holder for the entire instrument.

* The Lens (or other optics):

This is where the light comes through the housing. A lot of housings use lenses or other optics such as reflectors to help control the beam of light.

* Reflector:

In some configurations of video production stage lighting equipment a reflector is used to vary the quality and/or direction of the light.

The reflector is positioned around or behind the source of light so that it can direct it towards the opening and through the lens (if there is one). Reflectors can also be used to dissipate heat.

*Attachment Apparatus:

Most lighting systems or instruments must have a way to be suspended or supported for ease-of-use.

Usually they have a built-in yoke or some other type fixture to make it easy for them to be placed easily and securely in the right spot.

* The Lamp:

Most lamps are quartz-halogen or tungsten-halogen. Florescent lamps are also used especially when soft light is needed.

Another type of light used is the LED or light emitting diode. LEDs are great when an intense light source is needed.

Types of Lighting Instruments…

Most types of lighting instruments fit broadly into two categories: Floodlights and Spotlights.

Interior lighting

* Floodlights:

These lights provide a broad soft light that is used to illuminate wide areas and can also fill in the shadow areas of a scene.

Some of the most common floodlights are soft lights, broads, umbrella lights, fixed-focus lighting and florescent lighting.

* Soft Lamps:

Soft lamps are boxlike fixtures that are usually portable.

They can vary in size and lighting power and are usually constructed of folding aluminum frames and cloth reflector covers. Soft lights are used to make a diffused light. Soft lights are primarily used to reduce shadows and can be compared to the light you see outdoors on a bright but overcast day.

* Broad Lights:

Broad lights are smaller and are sometimes called a "nook" light because the production lighting crew sometimes fit them into nooks and crannies on the set.

The lights are housed in a boxlike container and usually have some type of barn door to control the coverage of light. They usually contain only one lamp. They are usually used as a fill light near the camera. A Broad light emits a rectangular pattern of light which makes it easier to blend on a flat surface.

* Umbrella Light:

Umbrella light or lighting is really more of a technique since almost any light can be fitted with an umbrella.

The idea of umbrella lighting is to focus light from the spotlight into an umbrella–shaped reflector mounted on the lighting instrument so that the light strikes the inner concave surface of the umbrella and is then reflected back in the opposite direction. This produces a very soft light that covers a large area.

* Florescent Lighting:

Florescent lighting can also be used as a floodlight as long as the light being radiated can match the Kelvin temperature of either daylight or tungsten.

* Fixed-Focus Lighting:

The lamps that are usually used in fixed-focus lighting are similar to an auto headlight. These lamps are usually built into a housing (containing multiple lamps) that allow each lamp to be turned on and off and aimed individually.

In this type of lighting the lamps are sometimes used with filters of different colors so that the color of the light being projected into the scene or stage can be controlled. The main purpose of fixed–focus lighting is to bathe a wide area with an even and controllable field of light.

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* Spotlights:

Stage lighting spotlight

A spotlight is a designation used for most any lighting equipment that is used to project or focus a beam or circle of light into the scene or onto the stage.

Spotlights can be made to produce a soft or hard light.

These types of lights can be open without a lens or they can be lensed, using for instance a Fresnel, convex, or piano–convex lens.

The Fresnel spotlight is usually used when the circle of light being created needs to be soft edged.

Spotlights using convex lenses tend to have a harder edged light and are what most people associate with a classic spotlight – a shaft or beam of light tightly focused on the performer or an area of the stage. The piano–convex lens or PC Lens lights are similar to the Fresnel spotlight (softer light) but can have a tighter beam as this type of lens will allow you to control the beam size.

All of the above types of stage lighting equipment can be designed to operate from floor stands, wall mounts, doors, or other sturdy objects – wherever they're needed to get the desired lighting affect for the video production.


Whether you are an amateur or professional...

Knowing how to use stage lighting equipment and learning the techniques of video production lighting can help you produce a great video...!

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Have fun...!  Dan


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