Theater Lights: All You Need To Know

Just like how our ears receive sounds through wavelengths, light is just higher-frequency waves that the eyes receive and interpret. 

Just like sound, the wavelengths of light can be thoughtful or random, ordered or chaotic. With a bit of creativity and skills, these waves of light and their combinations can be arranged skillfully to improve moods. 


The performance of light can be a form of art, just like sound and music. However, before you can even show your artistic approach to lighting, you need to know the basics of theater lights first. 

Keep in mind that mastery of light demands an understanding of lighting equipment and its uses. 

So, here are several things you need to know about theater lights.

High Side Lighting

Typically, this type of lighting is installed anywhere around the 30 and 60-degree angles. Their purpose is to show the upper portion of the body.

As a result, the middle chest, legs, elbows, and the top of the head are really emphasized. This can help hide any weird facial expressions.

For modern theater shows, this is an excellent lighting design to show singers, stage actors, and any stage props you choose to utilize.

There are two types of high-side lighting. This includes high-sided right and high-sided left. Both of these types combine to produce a full effect on actors.

Usually, professionals use LED theatre lights for this.

Effect Lighting


You might have to use separate fixtures to achieve the best look if your main stage lighting layout does not allow you to achieve a particular effect.

What you will precisely need varies on the overall vision. Thus, you can explore almost every option you can find.

The most vital thing to remember is that you want your main stage lighting layout in place first. You can test it to see if it meets your needs.

If it does not meet your needs, see how many extra fixtures you’ll need to achieve your goals. With this, your end design will be ideal for production.


As the name suggests, backlighting is positioned at the back. You can find it behind the props, set pieces, and performers. They add light from a different angle. 

Aside from helping the subjects prevent casting shadows on areas behind them on the stage, backlighting can also produce a sense of visual separation. It guarantees nothing blends into the background.

Professionals can use wash fixtures or have a couple of backlights. Because props and performers typically are not stagnant on a stage, having more than one backlighting can provide a bit of flexibility. 

However, there are occasions where backlighting can be a bit harsh or directional. It all varies in the mood you’re planning to set.

When setting up the stage, also consider the sitting of your audience. If you want them to stay comfortable, make sure you get your chairs from a reputable stacking chairs wholesale supplier.

Front Lighting

As the name implies, front lighting is lights installed at the front to highlight props, set pieces, and performers. It guarantees that everything is visible to the audience whenever the scene needs it.

Typically, professionals place front lighting slightly above the performer. Thus, the light will be pointed a little downward rather than head-on.

With this, professionals can place the lights somewhat out of view of the audience. In addition to that, everyone on the stage will not be blinded by a light pointed directly at them.

Keep in mind that there are occasions when the professionals will have to place the lights lower. For instance, they can use the lights located at the front edge of the stage to illuminate performers.

On-Stage Lights

On several occasions, it’s beneficial to have a light fixture within the production space. For instance, you can consider adding a classic table lamp on set if you want to achieve a traditional home scene.

The most crucial thing to keep in mind if you’ve got on-stage lights is that they influence the overall design of your lighting. 

Any illumination source can change the look of a whole scene. Thus, you’ve got to explore this properly. If you add something like a lamp impulsively, you might be surprised by the highlights or shadows it can produce. 


Spot fixtures, commonly known as spotlights, enable you to add dramatic lighting to an extremely specific part of the stage. 

You can use it to produce strong shadows, apply a particular lighting effect, and separate a subject visually from the rest of the scene. 

On a lot of occasions, it is always better to use high-quality spot fixtures. Make sure you choose ones that are versatile.

In fact, spot fixtures are so versatile that aftermarket auto parts China suppliers use them to highlight the products they’re selling.


Proper stage lighting and various forms of lights can help you improve the experience you’ll offer to your audience. 

Proper stage lighting will also help you make your play unforgettable. Everything you read in this article will add a bit of flourish to your play. So, make sure you properly incorporate them.

Author: PowerTechInfo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *