If you think carefully about many of the memorable moments in your life, from experiencing incredible performances to sharing intimate celebrations, lighting probably played a big role. Lighting has the power to do everything from highlighting an impressive action or object, to creating a mood, to hiding the flaws in a room. Because it is so powerful, many performers and venues are well served by investing in pro stage lighting.
Designing, purchasing, installing and operating a professional lighting system can be complex, but there is one essential thing that everyone needs to know, whether you are a pastor at a church or a drummer of a band. Before you buy, install, or adjust a single piece of lighting equipment, make sure that you can answer one important question: what is your goal?
Answering that one question will help you create a clear plan for what you want to accomplish with your lighting. Knowing what your final goal is will guide you in answering many other questions, such as:
- Do you want to change the look of your church or theater? Be able to easily create different moods and experiences for your audience? Set your band or club apart from the others? What do you want to feature (or minimize) with lighting?
- Do you want to use LED, or traditional lighting? LED lights have many advantages; they use less energy, can be battery powered and therefore wireless, they do not get hot, and they are typically much more durable and long-lasting.
- Do you want to light for video? If so, you need to focus on creating a great wash with floodlights rather than investing in numerous moving, or intelligent lights.
- Do you want to make performances more visually interesting? Additional effects like hazers can enhance the lights you already have.
- Do you already have a good assortment of lights, but are unable to control or program them in the ways that you want to? In this case, you may need to consider purchasing a controller, or lighting console.
- Do you have a good lighting system currently, but want to make it easier or more efficient to use? You may want to invest your time and money into education and training, rather than new equipment.
Answering these and other smaller questions will help you develop a plan for getting to your larger goal and will make it easy for you to communicate with your supplier, equipment, and any contractors. Getting your goal outlined before you purchase even a single cable or lightbulb will help you save both time and money, prevent frustration, and ensure that you get the end result that you want – amazing pro lighting.