Tips for Creating Theatrical Lighting Effects

theatrical lighting design

Maybe you are interested in making the environment look very somber and dreary, or maybe you want to create a bright, airy and uplifting ambiance. No matter what your purpose, there is a lighting design for you. Learn more about the lighting techniques used in the different types of theatrical lighting and decide which might be best for you.

Divided Up Into Two Categories

A person standing in front of a mirror posing for the camera

Lighting can be divided up into two general categories: general and specific. General lighting refers to the wide variety of lights that will be placed around the stage and the areas in-between, such as on the surrounding walls. Specific light fixtures are used for one purpose or another. Wall sconces and pendants are examples of specific lights. The most common type of lighting used for general design purposes is a combination of general lights with ambient lights, such as with wall sconces and chandeliers. Different locations will require slightly different setups to achieve the desired effect.

When using theatrical lighting design, the goal is to create mood. There are three main types of this type of lighting, depending on how dramatic you want the room to be. Complementary lighting provides an accent to the design of the room. Pulsed lighting is often used for this type of design, because it creates a great deal of shadow and emphasis. The final type of lighting is spotlight, which is focused and bright in order to draw attention to a specific area or object.

Think About How You Want To Use It

A room filled with furniture and vase of flowers on a table

Before you choose a specific source of lighting, take some time to think about how you want to use it. You should make sure that you have the right balance between all of the effects that you want to achieve through your lighting design. For example, if you want to create a very dramatic effect, you should use more concentrated sources of light. If there are areas of the room that you want to draw attention to, you can combine other sources of light.

There are different ways to use different sources of light. One of them is to use a source of light that comes from behind the subject that you are lighting. You can do this by installing recessed lights, track lighting, or sconces above a mirror or table. The light that you are using will cause the other objects in the room to be highlighted.

Place The Light Directly Above The Subject

When you are using spotlights for your lighting design, you will want to place the light directly above the subject that you are trying to light. By doing so, you will ensure that the light that you are using is focused and strong enough to illuminate the subject. Because the light needs to be focused, you will also want to avoid placing it near other objects. If you have a small table or any other items that may distract from the light, you should try to use a ceiling fixture or umbrella to provide more focused light.

Bottom Lines

For special effects in your lighting design, you can use white or green colored bulbs. These colors will cause the light to appear soft and subtle. When you are using candles in your lighting design, you should try to find ones that are highly polished or mirror polished. These will create a realistic looking flame effect in your theatrical lighting design.

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