Lighting Fixtures 101

If you have ever been tasked with buying theatrical lights, you know the process can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many brands, models, and types of fixtures that it can be a real challenge to know what you need. The good news is that APS Lighting is here to help. We are your go-to shop for theatre lighting in NH. And if you don’t know exactly what you need to light your space, our experts can guide you to the best instruments for your theatre.

To get you started, let’s take a look at the three basic types of theatrical lighting fixtures.


theatrical lighting nh

Wash Fixtures

The basis of any lighting plot or design is the wash. The “wash” refers to how you are going to light the entire stage when you don’t want to isolate a specific area. Fixtures used to create the wash give you a soft-edged beam rather than a sharply focused hard edge. Traditionally, a lighting designer will create the wash with par cans and fresnels, but many designers and theatres are making the switch to LED instruments. You can program LEDs to change color, so you can create a warm wash and a cool wash without hanging twice as many fixtures.


Spot Fixtures

Spot fixtures are exactly what they sound like: they are for lighting specific areas of the stage. Ellipsoidals are the best instruments for isolating areas of the stage because you can focus them to a hard edge. If you want to project a gobo to create a shadow effect, you will use spot fixtures for that, too. Follow spots, which are manually operated spotlights, also fall into this category. Spot fixtures are usually used for front light and side light rather than backlight.


Beam Fixtures

Depending on the kinds of shows you do, you could go your entire career without ever needing to use beam fixtures. They are more common in concert lighting and, as the name suggests, create a narrow beam of light. If you are using a lot of haze in a show, you can use beam lighting to create cool effects. However, they are not very useful for lighting actors or stage areas.


Theatrical Lighting in NH from APS Lighting

Now that you have a working knowledge of the three basic categories of lighting fixtures, you’re ready to start filling in your lighting plot! At APS Lighting, you can shop for all the top brands in lighting instruments, moving heads, sound equipment, and more. We have everything you need for theatrical lighting in NH and our team is always ready to help.


Contact APS Lighting at (603) 424-9198 or browse our inventory online!

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