Stage Lighting

Stage lighting, as can be inferred by the name, refers to the lighting of a stage used for performances like theater, dance, opera and other art forms. Stage lighting is not a matter of mere illumination. A person in charge of stage lighting needs to understand style, balance, aesthetics and also human emotions and psychology. His skills should encompass a thorough understanding of the science of light, optics, vision, perception and lighting technology.

The earliest stage performances were held in open air theater in daylight making use of natural lighting. In fact Greek performers were known to have presented their plays at different times of the day to take advantage of different types of natural light.

Candles, torches, oil lamps and the like came to be used eventually. These cave way to electric lighting in due course of time. The development of the incandescent lamp in the late 1800s set the stage for the development of small portable lighting fixtures. They were used to provide light where needed on stage. When gas lights were used to illumine stage programs, safety was always at stake. Several theaters were reduced to rubble due to fire started by gas lights.

The electric filament lamp, the ellipsoidal reflector, light dimmers and several other fixtures contributed to various stage lighting methods used from time to time. Light sources like xenon, metal halide, fluorescent, induction and sulfur lamps are being used to advantage in stage lighting.

Stage lighting is basically the use of light to create certain predetermined effects while providing the required amount of visibility to the events in stage. Soft lighting, even lighting, localized lighting? These and many more concepts are used to provide the kind of lighting that will be suitable for a particular performance.

Light has certain inherent properties that affect the eye and brain processes, thereby causing feelings and emotions. An understanding of this concept helps in effective stage lighting.