April 25, 2024

Theater Spot Lights

Stage lighting is used to draw the audience’s attention to specific characters or elements. It can also set the mood of a scene or performance.

Stage lights come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They can also be paired with gobos to create different effects.

The most common type of theater spotlight is the ellipsoidal reflector spotlight, or ERS. These lights are adjustable and can be framed to follow a performer.


One of the most important elements in a theater show is lighting. It can change the entire tone and mood of a performance. It can bring focus to a particular part of the stage and create different layers of Theater spot lights depth. It can grab the audience’s attention and keep them riveted. The right light can transform a show from boring to captivating.

The spotlight is one of the most well-known types of stage lighting. It highlights a specific subject or element, such as a character, and can be paired with coloured filters to draw the audience’s attention. A spotlight is also useful to separate a character from the background or the audience, making them feel like they are in a world of their own.

Spotlights come in a variety of sizes, shapes and power outputs. Some common types include ERS lights, followspots and PAR lights. The ERS (ellipsoidal reflector spotlight) is commonly used to highlight given subjects on the stage as it provides a narrow beam angle that can be adjusted and focused. It can even be used with gobos, projecting a logo or pattern.

Follow spots are another type of ellipsoidal spot that can be manually operated to “follow” a performer around the stage. It’s not as adjustable or frameable as a regular ellipsoidal spot, but it can be very effective when used in the right situation. PAR lights are a great choice when lots of coverage is needed and soft edges aren’t an issue.


Followspots are a special type of stage spotlight used by a spot operator to track performers around the theater. They are commonly found in musicals and large-scale presentations where highlighting specific mobile individuals is key. They can be mounted in a variety of positions in the house and may even be used for uplighting during certain performances.

Unlike other stage lights, followspots are often operated by hand during the show. Spot operators will use plot sheets compiled by the lighting designer during technical rehearsals to call in specific cues for the followspot. These will typically include information about the iris size, beam width and color (through the use of drop in gels) of the light. Some larger modern spots will also have a number of additional features like gobos, dichroic color filters and iris adjustment. Choppers which can cut the top and bottom of the beam and color frames which change the beam color are also sometimes present.

Spotlights operate on a very high voltage so the operator needs to be careful when using them and should be fully trained in their operation. They are also very hot, so it’s important that the operator wears gloves and takes regular breaks to keep their hands from getting burned. To make the job of running a followspot easier, look for models which are properly balanced – this will make them much less difficult to operate. In addition, it’s always a good idea to compare center beam candle power (CBCP) and foot-candle specs rather than wattage to determine the power of a light.


Spotlights are a powerful tool that help to highlight an actor on stage. They come in a John Deere LED Work Light variety of shapes and sizes. They are typically paired with coloured gels to create different effects.

A spotlight’s angle of focus can be controlled by using a lens to narrow or widen the beam. Some types of lenses used in theater lights include Fresnel spots, zoom profile spots and Parcans. All have their own distinct benefits and uses.

While general lighting (lights hanging above the stage) illuminates your performers’ upper bodies and heads, backlighting highlights their costumes, movement and facial expressions. This type of lighting reveals the full character and helps to separate them from their background. Backlighting can be done with any type of lanterns, but ellipsoidal reflector spotlights (ERS) are popular in the industry because they are versatile and have a high power output.

These cannon-shaped lights are usually placed in rows above the audience and backstage to wash the performers with a tight beam of light. A range of gobos are also available to add visual texture and interest to the overall stage look. A newer variation is the RobotSpot, which allows spotlight operators to control up to 12 fixtures simultaneously, eliminating the need to hang in the rafters or operate heavy traditional spot fixtures. This technology is a godsend for theaters with limited space for equipment.

Moving Lights

Unlike the more basic generic lights, which can only be dimmed to produce different effects, moving lights can be controlled with a variety of signals from a control console. This can include controlling direction, colour (or “palette”), shape, size and strobing. The console can also create animation and a wide range of effects to make the show exciting for the audience. This means that a single moving light can do the work of several generics.

A function on some computerised lighting desks which allows the operator to set a ‘focus point’ for the lights to move to on cue. This can be used to highlight specific elements of the stage or to change the focus of the ‘followspot’.

A ‘Followspot’ is a powerful profile lantern usually fitted with a dimmer, iris and colour magazine which can be directed to follow an actor on the stage. They can also be used to highlight specific elements of the back drop or other props on stage.

A ‘Followspot’ can be created by simply moving the iris on a standard lamp to reduce the beam size, or by using an abstract gobos which doesn’t throw a specific pattern. The effect can be very dramatic, and is often used to emphasise the emotion or action of a particular scene. It is a good idea to have one of these in every large theatre.

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