Theater Spot Lights

Theater Spot Lights

Spot lights are a great way to highlight a particular character or element on stage. They can be paired with coloured filters or gobos (metal filter templates) to create specific picture effects on the stage.

These workhorses are a theater’s most versatile lighting tool. They come in a variety of sizes with different beam spreads.


A Followspot is a powerful spotlight that can be used to illuminate performers in a way that highlights their movement and brings them to life. It is often seen in television and live theatrical productions where the performer needs to be brought into focus.

Originally known as Limelights, the first followspots were created by burning jets of Oxygen and Hydrogen impinging on a Theater spot lights cylinder of Calcium Carbonate (Lime) to produce an intense bright circle of light which could be focused to track a performer on stage. Today, modern followspots use a powerful lamp and lenses to produce the same effect.

The most important part of running a Followspot is getting the positioning right. The position of the spot and the distance between it and your furthest upstage pickup will determine how much power is required. Also, the color temperature of your FOH lighting will affect the amount of output you need from your followspot (tungsten is typically more warm than LED).

Many Followspots have built in sights which are a handy tool for the operator to use. This allows the operator to see a small outline of their cue mark, which makes picking up their intended spot easier without having to ghost on (slightly open a dowser to check) and disrupt the audience or ruin the show with a poorly positioned spot.

Fresnel Spotlights

A fresnel spotlight utilises a lens with concentric circles to help focus and shape the light beam. These spotlights are ideal for illuminating stage performances, architectural features or landscapes on set. They’re also very durable and versatile, making them a favorite among directors of photography who need their lights to withstand tough production conditions on location.

Fresnel spotlights come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but they all share one thing: an adjustable spot/flood setting that allows you to change the size of the light beam. This adjustment is useful because it gives you a greater range of control over your lighting. It also helps you to save energy by only using as much light as you need to illuminate a scene.

In addition to their versatility, these lights have a few other key advantages over other types of spotlights. They’re often thinner and lighter than ERS fixtures, making them easier to transport and set up. They also offer more consistent illumination and are able to handle a wider range of temperatures than other types of spotlights.

Whether you’re shooting a dramatic climax or a suspenseful sequence, these spotlights are the perfect way to highlight your subject. They can be adjusted to spotlight a single performer during a scene, drawing the audience’s attention and creating a sense of drama and tension. They can also be broadened to flood the entire stage in scenes that require a more general wash of illumination.

Ellipsoidal Spotlights

Generally used as a front light on a stage, ellipsoidal spotlights have a set of shutters (also known as barn doors) that can be adjusted around the lens to shape the beam and define how it looks. These shutters can also be positioned to create hard or soft edges, depending on the look you’re going for. Ellipsoidal spotlights are also ideal for pattern (gobo) projection, which allows you to easily add texture, design or mood to a show with a simple stencil effect.

There are several different types of ellipsoidal spotlights on the market, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. One of the most popular is the Source Four, which has a high-quality HPL lamp that produces a clean white beam for unequaled imaging and crisp pattern projection. Another is the Robert Juliat pro lighting ERS, which has a medium prefocus base that makes it easier to use gels and other accessories.

Both of these lights are durable, energy efficient and have a long lifespan, making them a great choice for most theater environments. They can also be easily framed and focused to create a variety of effects, which makes them well suited for use as follow spots or as main stage lights. Other types of spot lights, like PAR cans, generate lots of coverage and aren’t as adjustable as ellipsoidals, but they’re an excellent option for times when more coverage is required or when you don’t want to worry about framing the light.

PAR Spotlights

Traditionally, PAR spotlights are the go-to option for any basic stage lighting setup. Also known as “par cans” because of their can-like shape, these lights use a sealed beam to focus light on a specific point on the stage, illuminating speakers and action on the platform. They are an essential component of any theater, club or event venue that offers live events.

Aside from being effective for illuminating the performance, PAR spotlights can also be used to create color washes, project patterns and even serve as backlighting for a set or performance. They are commonly fitted with colored gels that can offer a range of hues for diverse mood lighting.

When it comes to a new PAR retrofit solution, look for one that uses LED technology to reduce energy costs and provide better optics than halogens. HyLite LED’s lotus lamp replacements for PAR cans are available in a wide variety of powers and deliver up to 140 delivered lumens per watt, making them the perfect option for saving energy without sacrificing brightness. They also feature a color rendering index of over 80, so colors on the stage are vivid and clear for both live audiences and broadcasts. This is especially important if your facility is streamed online or televised across multiple networks. The best LED PAR retrofit solutions combine efficiency and optics with a plug-n-play design that allows you to upgrade to a modern, efficient system quickly and easily.

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