Atlantic Illumination Entertainment Lighting

Lighting Essays


Just One More Light

The next time an extra light is
requested, consider the following.

by Richard Bonner

    When a client asks for another light to be added for some purpose, he or she rarely realises what is entailed in that request. It means a trip to the shop to get the light; selection of the fixture type, beam angle and electrical connector; selection of the required lamp wattage; picking out one or more accessories from barndoors, gel frames, clamps, pattern holders, safety cables, etc.; and to decide upon a gel colour. Plus, one may be required to choose a suitable extension cord and length.

    Once it's all transported to the venue, the fixture must be hung. This means grabbing a wrench and then a climb on to a ladder or catwalk, or the lowering of a stand, pipe, or a complete truss or grid where upon the fixture must be mounted, connected, accessories installed, gel cut and placed into a frame, the frame placed into the fixture's frame holder, and the cable run and connected; then the support is returned to the proper trim height. The light is then plugged into a live outlet or temporary dimmer circuit and turned on.

    Next it must be focused, meaning its orientation and direction, and its shutters and/or barndoors will have to be adjusted to suit. This requires another climb to the fixture's position; the light is aimed, lens is focused and accessories are adjusted. After climbing down, the light is turned off.

    Now that fixture must be patched or assigned to its actual dimmer, and that dimmer in turn must be assigned to a board channel. Further, that board channel must assigned to every scene or chase pattern requiring that light - and at the proper intensity for each of those scenes/chases. WHEW!

    So the next time, please realise through what a tech must go to add... just one more light.

Read the
Next Article

Return to the
Table of Contents

For some Humourous Observations:
Murphy's Laws of Entertainment Lighting

AIEL Main Page