Lighting Equipment for Stage Performances: Our Top 5 Picks
When it comes to putting on a great stage performance, many people think about the actors, the script, or the set design. But one thing that often gets overlooked is the lighting equipment for stage performances. Good lighting is key to making everything look its best and keeping your audience engaged.
The main goal of stage lighting is not just to light up the stage but to serve multiple purposes that enhance the overall experience for your audience, including:
- Visibility: The most basic use of stage lighting is to ensure that the audience can clearly see the actors, props, and set pieces.
- Mood Setting: Lighting can set the emotional tone of a scene. For example, dim lighting can create a sombre mood, while bright lights can evoke happiness.
- Focus Direction: By adjusting the lighting, you can guide the audience’s attention to a specific actor, object, or area on the stage.
- Storytelling: Different lighting setups can help to advance the story or indicate changes in time and location.
- Enhancing Aesthetics: Good lighting can highlight the costumes, makeup, and set design, making them more visually appealing.
To help you make the best choice for your stage performance lighting, we want to share different types of lighting you can use and our picks for the top 5 lighting equipment for stage performances.
Types of Stage Lighting
When you’re planning the lighting for a stage performance, not all lights are the same. Different types of lights serve different purposes and create various effects. Let’s go over the main types of stage lighting you might consider for your event.
LED lights are energy-efficient and offer a wide range of colours. They are great for creating mood and are often used in modern stage setups.
are used to focus attention on a particular area or person on stage. They are often operated manually and can follow an actor as they move.
Floodlights are used to light up large areas of the stage. Unlike spotlights, they don’t focus on a single point but spread light evenly across a wide space.
Gobos are stencils that go in front of a light source to create patterns or shapes on the stage. They can add texture and depth to your lighting design.
These are advanced lights that can be programmed to move, change colours, and create effects. They offer a lot of flexibility but can be more expensive.
The position of your lights is just as important as the type of lights you choose. The position of stage lights affects how well the audience can see the performers and sets the mood of the show. Different positions of lighting are used for different effects:
- Front Lighting: Lights are placed in front of the stage to illuminate the actors’ faces and front side.
- Back Lighting: Lights are placed behind the actors to create a silhouette effect or to separate them from the background.
- Side Lighting: Lights are placed on the sides of the stage to highlight the actors’ shape and add depth to the scene.
- Overhead Lighting: Lights are hung above the stage to provide general illumination or to create special effects.
- Foot Lighting: Lights are placed at the front edge of the stage, near the floor, to light the actors from below.
Lighting Equipment for Stage Performances: Our Top 5 Picks
1. Strobe Light: Martin Atomic 300
The Martin Atomic 300 is a powerful strobe light that can add energy and excitement to any stage performance. Its bright white light and long reach make it a top choice for theatre, where you need to see well. It flashes really fast and can easily change how bright it is. What makes this strobe stand out is how tough and reliable it is. It’s made from strong aluminium that keeps it cool and protects it from bad weather. Plus, all its parts are high-quality.
- High Output: This strobe light offers intense brightness, making it ideal for large venues.
- Variable Speed: You can adjust the flash rate to suit the mood of your event.
- Durability: Built to last, it’s a reliable choice for frequent use.
- Price: This is a higher-end option, so it’s a bit more expensive but well worth it for the features.
2. Spotlight: ETC Source Four
The ETC Source Four is a versatile spotlight known for its sharp focus and energy efficiency, which makes it an ideal piece of lighting equipment for stage and theatre. These lighting fixtures are designed to provide exceptional brightness, colour saturation, and beam control. STLS events have a variety of styles of the ETC Source Four, including Zoom 750w, Jnr Zoom, Fixed Beam and the LED par.
- Sharp Focus: Allows for precise control over the beam, making it great for highlighting specific areas or actors.
- Energy Efficient: Consumes less power compared to traditional spotlights, saving you money in the long run.
- Lens Options: Comes with different lens options for greater flexibility in lighting design.
- Price: This is a mid-range option, offering good value for its features.
3. Retro Light: Showtec Vintage Blaze
The Showtec Vintage Blaze is a great complement to the most creative lighting designs. It offers a retro look with modern features, making it a unique choice for stage lighting. It uses two different light sources, LED and tungsten, which, when combined, can create a great atmosphere and can even be used for a blinding FX.
- Warm Glow: Provides a warm, ambient light that can set a nostalgic mood.
- LED Source: Despite its vintage look, it uses modern LED technology for better energy efficiency.
- Dimmable: Allows for easy adjustment of light intensity to suit different scenes.
- Price: This is a mid-range light, offering a unique look without breaking the bank.
4. Flood Light: Stage Blinder
The Stage Blinder is a very popular flood light designed to illuminate large areas of the stage, making it ideal for creating a general wash of light. It has a built-in channel dimmer so that it can be controlled or dimmed by DMX.
- Wide Coverage: This light covers a large area, making it great for big stages.
- High Intensity: Offers a bright, intense light that can be adjusted as needed.
- Easy to Use: Simple controls make it user-friendly, even for those new to stage lighting.
- Price: This is a budget-friendly option, making it accessible for smaller events or venues.
5. LED Panel: Studio COB LED
The Studio COB LED PAR is a versatile LED panel that offers a range of colours and is easy to set up, making it a great choice for various types of stage performances. Mixing old and new, it uses a full-colour COB LED light with an old-style curved reflector. This makes it a good swap for a regular Par light. It gives off even light, has just one shadow, and you can change the lens as needed.
- Colour Range: Offers a wide range of colours, allowing for creative lighting designs.
- Energy Efficient: Like most LED lights, it consumes less power, making it cost-effective.
- Easy Setup: Designed for quick and easy setup, ideal for performances that require fast changes.
- Price: This is a mid-range light, offering good features for its price.
Case Study: Kinky Bots Cygnet Players
STLS events supplied lighting equipment for an amateur production of the musical Kinky Boots in South West London. In terms of the fixtures that were used, StudioCobs was used for dance crosslight as well as some Source 4s to supplement the profiles. There are also, of course, the customary bucketload of cables, effects and power distro provided by STLS.
Looking for Expert Advice?
If you’re still unsure about what lighting equipment would best suit your event, don’t hesitate to contact STLS Events. Our team of experts is here to help you find the perfect lighting setup for your stage. Get in touch with us today!