Theater Spot Lights

Theater Spot Lights

Theater spotlights focus a concentrated beam of light on a specific area of the stage. They’re used to accentuate certain aspects of a performance, and can even shape the mood.

These lights come in a variety of power outputs. They often feature slots or holders for color filters and gobos that can be swapped out during performances.

Cyclorama Lights

Cyclorama lights are designed to create a wide wash across large curtains, walls or backdrops. These theater lights are a vital tool for lighting designers who use cycloramas to create the world of a play or performance. These light fixtures help to eliminate shadows and hot spots, resulting in a flawless, smooth background for the performers to shine against.

The CYC light features an optical system that uses multiple reflectors to evenly disperse the beam. This design helps to eliminate glare and other unwanted effects such as scalloping that may occur with conventional striplights rigged near the vertical surface.

The CYC light also provides a wide spectrum of color options. This is important because a cyclorama can be lit from above, below or even back-lit for different 3 in 1 moving head light effects. This flexibility allows the designer to tailor their design to the production at hand. The CYC light also has a number of advanced cooling systems to prevent overheating, especially during extended use. This makes it safer for the technicians to operate. The Freedom CYC is 100% wireless and offers multiple control options including FlareCON, IRC-6 and DMX using a D-Fi transmitter.


Flood lights are large, flat light fixtures that cast a wide beam of light. They can be used to illuminate scenery and other larger areas of the stage but are less effective for highlighting specific elements. They are often paired with gobos, which are sheets with designs cut into them that can be projected with the light.

Spotlights are narrower beams of directional light and offer more control over the shape of the light than other types of theatre lighting. They can be paired with coloured filters to create a variety of visual effects. Spotlights are often used to highlight a character or element on the stage or to draw attention to a particular aspect of a performance.

Spotlights are divided into two categories – spots and wash lights. A moving spot offers the ability to change color, use gobos and adjust the size of the beam while a wash light has a more elliptical shape than a spot. Both can be suspended on a truss or mounted to a cyclorama. They are a key part of any theater’s lighting rig.


Backlights, also known as up lights, make the actors on stage look better by illuminating their faces. They can also be used to “profile” bits of scenery or make ornate costumes stand out. Lighting is one of the most important elements in theatre as it can transform the whole experience for the audience.

Unlike front light which has good visibility for the actor, back light separates the subject from their backdrop and is useful in creating chiaroscuro effects. Lighting is also a powerful tool to create a moving head beam feeling of depth for the audience and help them feel immersed in the show.

In some lighting designs, top (or down) and back light are combined into a single unit called a “pipe end”, which is hung at the ends of a batten. This allows for a lot of environmental color and gobos, but still provides the shape to the actors that front light can do so well. This type of light is particularly effective in small venues when paired with high angle side lights (sometimes called ‘Dance Sides’). This technique saves space on the middle of the batten, freeing it up for additional special needs.


Footlights are placed around the edge of the stage floor. They are used to highlight actors while keeping the audience’s attention. Originally set in a row of hooded individual enclosures, today’s electric footlights are usually set in troughs across the stage floor. Footlights can be a useful tool for lighting designers who want to give their productions an older feel.

Traditionally, footlights were made from candles or oil lamps. They were often replaced by electric lights, which can be more convenient and efficient than having to trim wicks or refill oil constantly. Footlights are still used today, but mostly as supplemental or fill lights.

Depending on the setup of a particular venue, spotlights can be operated manually or with remote control devices. It’s important that a spotlight operator knows the equipment they are working with and understands the setup before a show begins. In addition, they need to practice operating the spotlights during rehearsals and be able to follow performers onstage. This requires them to have a good understanding of the direction and angle of the light.

Follow Spots

Follow spots are a manual theater spotlight operated by a spot operator to follow and highlight performers with a beam of light. They are often used in musicals, other presentations and to help draw the audience’s attention. These lights can be found in a variety of places including control booths, specially built ‘followspot’ rooms, or even on the catwalk for high action sports environments.

Modern LED followspots are versatile, and feature an adjustable iris and shutters for shaping the beam. Some models also offer internal color gels and strobe speed control. They are designed to be user-friendly so that they can be easily operated by a single person.

A good followspot needs to be well matched to the production and its design goals. A well-trained and experienced operator can bring a performance to life, making the audience feel truly engaged and immersed. Spots are a vital part of any theatre production and can make or break a show.

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