Light on stage: how it is called, the principles of its placement, the choice of lighting equipment

stage lighting

Stage lighting has a number of features. To make it right, it is worthwhile to study the topic in advance and understand what principles are used to organize stage lighting.

The main features

Theatrical lighting has its own differences and is organized taking into account several basic principles that are always the same:

  • Light is not a separate element, it is part of the overall complex of design and is needed to create the image of the event. Through the lighting provides good visibility and focuses attention on specific areas of the scene or performers.
  • The lighting system can not be static, it consists of a variety of elements that need to be turned on and off at certain times to play with light and shadow. It is particularly difficult to make the action dynamic, and in this case the perception of what is happening depends on the changes in the lighting.
  • Light sources have different functions and can not always be used. Before you choose the type of equipment, you need to think about what kind of compositions will be created. It is better to make a system that is easily transformable.

No matter where the lighting is done – in the theater, on the school stage, etc., it is necessary to take into account the dynamics of the action to provide the desired effect. It is desirable to be able to make changes, as static light does not give the proper effect.

Types of lighting

Depending on the amount of equipment used, there are two main varieties. Each has features, which should be understood in advance.

A single light source

The option is difficult to implement, since to illuminate the scene you need to install a spotlight at a considerable distance. The bigger the area to be illuminated, the further the equipment should be installed, which is not always possible in small halls.

With this technique you can highlight a single speaker or soloist. Light is almost impossible to regulate, it is impossible to set color accents. It is tuned to a specific point, most often in the middle, often put a mark on the floor for a person to understand where he should be positioned for the best effect.

If a person moves further back in the scene, the illumination will decrease dramatically.

There is also a simple rule to remember – the smaller the light source, the sharper the boundary of light and shadow on the stage. Big spotlights, on the contrary, highlight a big area, but at the same time the difference in lightness is not so evident.

Using multiple light sources

To make a versatile and fast-changing light on stage, it is better to use different options:

  • Multiple equipment can be used: front, back, bottom, top, sides, etc.
  • Any type of lighting is used. It all depends on the specific conditions and goals.
  • Several options on each side, so that by combining different modes it is possible to achieve any effect.

By the way! If the scene is used for different purposes, it is better to give preference to moving equipment or lights, which can be adjusted as desired.

How to choose the angle of incidence of light

The perception of what happens on stage depends on this aspect, so you need to choose the right angles of light incidence. Several options are used, which are not difficult to understand:

  • Horizontal or flat – it shines directly and coincides with how the audience sees the stage from the auditorium. This is the background lighting that provides good visibility, most often used as auxiliary lighting.
  • Rear lighting comes from the back of the stage, and can be either concealed or exposed. It is used to add drama or highlight the silhouettes of those on stage.
  • Side light is most often placed on the sides, often it is hidden behind the curtains. With it you can focus attention on what is happening on stage.
  • The overhead lighting can be either on the ceiling or on a special beam that rises or falls. Creates a sense of monumentality, but can also give a pressurizing effect.
  • Ramp light comes from a special niche, which can be placed either almost under the feet of those on the stage, or a little ahead of them. It is most suitable for concerts and pop performances, because it looks artificial.
  • The upper front is mounted in a niche or on a beam that is under the ceiling in front of the stage. One of the best solutions to create a natural atmosphere and immerse the audience in what is happening on stage.
  • Diagonal lighting goes at an angle and allows you to create interesting shadows or emphasize certain angles to give originality to the event.

The effect of each option differs from scene to scene.

stage lighting

How to combine different angles of stage lighting

Stage lighting is a complex system where it is impossible to achieve a good effect without combining different lighting angles. There are a number of things to keep in mind:

  • To make a figure or object more contrasting and visually closer to the viewer, you need to highlight them with back lighting. In doing so, you can dim the main sources of light for maximum expressiveness. And using only back lighting will provide a dramatic effect at the right moment.
  • The combination of different angles in the lighting highlights a particular object. By dominating the brightness of this or that lamp can change the perception of the viewers, then you need to select the optimal combination in advance, understand how this or that option works.
  • In order to focus attention on one object and keep it focused on, only one source of light should dominate the lighting. The others have an auxiliary function, and reducing their intensity gives the best effect.
  • It is not necessary to combine all possible options at the same time. It is better to choose 1-2 suitable corners of light and make them a priority, the rest can serve as a background. And if you leave only a small part of the lighting, you can accentuate at the right moment to get the best effect.

For theatrical productions, it is often necessary to simulate real light sources on stage – lanterns, lamps and so on. In this case, solutions are selected that will not blind the audience, but will ensure realism.

What to consider when creating stage lighting schemes

Since the system depends on the size and shape of the stage, the peculiarities of the hall and what will happen, there is no point in giving specific recommendations. It’s best to follow the general principles for creating the perfect scheme:

  • It is better to give preference to dynamic lighting, from static the audience quickly gets tired and attention is inevitably scattered.
  • To create a dramatic effect and attract attention, you can dim the light for a short period, but do not abuse it.
  • Due to the flood light a good visibility of what is happening on stage is ensured. Directional light can be used to focus attention on desired objects, and dynamic lighting provides a variety of effects.
  • It is best to combine different versions of the equipment, so you can play with the light and thereby emphasize what is happening on stage.

It is better to use a control system that will execute the scenario according to a set algorithm without human intervention.

Creating a reliable stage lighting system is not easy, but if you understand all the nuances, you can achieve a good result. It is important to combine different lighting angles and use the right equipment for the specific conditions.