Designing Your Church Stage Lighting
How Do You Light up a Church Stage?
Lighting up a church stage means having the right equipment, which includes not just the right lighting but also the splitters, lighting consoles, and power cables. In other words, all of this equipment works together to produce excellent high-quality stage lighting for your next church production. To start with, let’s talk about the three main types of lighting systems, which are:
- Beam lights. These give off a very tight beam of light and include moving head beams and pin spots.
- Hard-edged lights. Called “spots,” these lights give you hard, crisp shadows and are very easy to control. They include the moving head spot, follow-spot, and ellipsoidal.
- Soft-edged lights. These give you smooth fields of light but aren’t that easy to mask off of screens and curtains. Common soft-edged lights include par cans, strip lights, blinders, and scoops.
Of course, you don’t have to know every detail about the lighting process to get the right lighting effects for your church. The company that sells you the equipment will be happy to answer your questions so that you get something perfect in the end.
What Is Stage Lighting Design?
Stage lighting design refers to arranging the lighting so as to create the effect you want your audience to experience. Whether it’s a play, concert, or ballet, the singers or actors onstage have to bring the audience members into their world and make them forget that they’re sitting in an auditorium with nothing else to do.
The audience doesn’t realize it, but the actors or singers, the orchestra if applicable, and the lighting all work together so that the right effect is experienced for the audience to get the most out of the performance. You want the audience to be drawn into the entertainment that’s in front of them, and this is why stage lighting designers are so important.
One of the most significant examples of how important stage lighting is concerns performances where it is dark onstage, such as during a play when it is supposed to be nighttime. If you think about it, it is never completely dark because if it was, we wouldn’t be able to see anything that was going on. This is what makes stage lighting experts so valuable. They can produce the right amount of light so that you still feel like you’re in the dark, even though you aren’t.
What Are the Lights on a Stage Called?
If a stage production calls for “a cool special stage right that illuminates the good-bye scene,” do you know what that means? If you don’t, not to worry because it is easier to learn the jargon than you might think. First of all, learning the different parts of a stage, in general, is a great place to start. The term “stage right” or “stage left” describes the direction that the singer or actor sees when he or she is looking toward the audience. “Upstage” means the rear of the stage, while “downstage” refers to the front of the stage.
A few other important terms include:
- “General wash” means the entire stage is lit up.
- “Special lighting” means only part of the stage is lit up.
- A “spotlight” is when only a person or object is lit up.
In addition, it’s good to know the difference between “warm” and “cool” lighting: cool colors are anything in the blue family, while warm colors include colors such as red, amber, pink, and orange. Sometimes, the colors are mixed to provide additional effects, but these are the basic warm and cool colors when it comes to lighting.
What Is the Most Important Function of Lighting Design?
It’s difficult to decide which is the most important lighting design function, but if you had to choose just one, it would be this: without lighting design, you couldn’t see anything going on onstage, which means lighting up the stage and helping the audience see what is going on at all times is the most important function of stage lighting design.
It takes both talent and experience to learn lighting design properly. Stage lighting design is something no audience member thinks about when entering the auditorium, but you can believe everyone in the audience would notice if the lighting on stage wasn’t just right. Again, the lighting works closely with every other aspect of the performance to create the effect everyone is there to experience.
This means that when the lighting is done right, it’s easy for everything else about the production to fall easily into place, creating an experience that no audience member will ever forget.
What Are the Functions of Lighting Design?
Stage light designers have very important jobs, in part because lighting design in productions and performances is a significant part of those performances, including concerts, plays, ballets, and more. Some of the most important functions of lighting design include:
- It can guide the viewers’ line of sight so that they are always looking at what the entertainers want them to look at. It steers them away from the unimportant things going on onstage and toward what the entertainers want them to feel and experience.
- It lights up all of the performances. This one is pretty basic because let’s face it, if we cannot see what is happening onstage and who is up there, we can’t truly experience the total ambiance of that particular performance.
- It gives all of the performers onstage a form and shape. In other words, it brings out what their emotions are, what they are experiencing, and what they are trying to convey to the audience, making it much easier for the audience members to become part of the entire experience.
- It creates the right proportions and spaces so the performers can do what they came there to do. Without this, the performers may look “lop-sided” while they’re on stage, and they won’t look as natural while they’re up there singing, acting, or preaching.
- It does a great job of highlighting any conflicts that are being portrayed in the performance and of strengthening the rich artistic parts that most audience members came there to see in the first place.
Hopefully, you now have an idea of how to set up your church stage lighting design.