Expert Series 4: Lighting 101
So far, our expert series has explained that when it comes to audio, control is king, and for video, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. For our next installment in the series, we’re talking lighting. Lighting is all about making things stand out, and we’re focusing on two main types of lighting today: atmospheric lighting and theatrical lighting.
Atmospheric lighting is mostly about using creativity to develop environments that engage emotions. Experts use bright colors, transitions, and movement to create these environments. In the houses of worship industry, for example, atmospheric lighting is used to engage the audience and invoke an emotional response or feeling. Conversely, in the entertainment industry, atmospheric lighting is used to wow and impress the viewers with as many lights and transitions as possible (think pop concert meets fireworks finale). Atmospheric lighting is commonly created using LEDs because they add a dramatic touch, but a lot of planning goes into utilizing the right equipment, installing it properly, and developing the right mix of colors.
When it comes to systems that have a more ‘theatrical’ nature to them, we first take into consideration the person that we’re lighting. These people usually have a significant role—pastor, speaker, performer, etc. With theatrical lighting, our basic goal is to make sure people are appropriately lit with no shadows, have adequate back lighting, and aren’t washed out. On the surface, this may sound easy, but there’s an exact science to it. You have to consider everything from how much natural light the room has, the various angles of the audience seats, and how much the performer will move on stage. For this type of lighting, we typically use conventional lights to create an even “wash,” or coverage, on stages because of their high power and good coverage.
There is no magic formula or one-size-fits-all solution for stage lighting. At AVG, we’ve spent years honing our craft and have plenty of experience lighting various events. From charity events and fundraisers, to bands and performers, we’ve seen it all and understand the intricacies of each individual situation.