My Lighting Obsession

Since this blog is a glorified journal for me, I thought I’d share something that I’m very passionate about. Lighting has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. Even metaphors and symbols of light are so important and impactful for me. Lighting is one of the only things that makes me happy anymore.


On Friday night there was a David Archuleta concert at BYUI, and we (A/V Productions) provided the lighting for it. I brought my camera along and thought I’d let you all in on some of the “behind the scenes” parts of events that happen on campus. I’m thinking of making it a series since there’s so much that goes into the lighting process and it’s been such a big part of my life.

IMG_0652I started doing lighting when I was 12 years old and have done it ever since. It’s something I am very passionate about and hope to do for a long time. As I have introduced lighting to the people around me, it’s made me realize that the more people know about lighting, the more appreciative they are of the whole experience. So here are some fun lighting things you might want to look for next time you’re at a show…

Lighting Board-01

Right before the show, as people are filing into the venue the Lighting Designer for the show usually sneaks away to eat dinner. This might seem a little trivial, but when the Lighting Designer has been in the venue since 10am, management will usually try to make sure that they’re fed. That way they have enough energy to get through the stress of running a show, and avoid “hangriness”.


While the Lighting Designer is eating and the audience is coming in, the Spotlight Operators are lamping on the spotlights and making sure their scopes work. Scopes allow the spotlight operators to know where their beams of light are going to hit before they come on. That way we don’t have random lights hitting the wall or the curtain when they’re supposed to be on a performer.

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I could go on forever about lighting fixtures, intelligent and non intelligent, gobo and color wheels, lamps, the whole enchilada, but I’ll spare you of all that and just show you a couple of my favorite fixtures.

The first one is a Vera-Lite 3000, these fixtures are about half of the size of my body which makes them a bit difficult to lift. They have color mixing, gobo wheels, and strobe capabilities which makes for some pretty amazing looks.

The second one is a Martin Mac Aura, these are crazy fast and are only about the size of my forearm and hand. They’re great little LED wash fixtures that are perfect for fast setups that end up looking fabulous.


HAZEAnother one of my favorite parts of lighting design is using haze and light to create texture. We use a haze machine at most events because it makes beams of light more visible. When the beams are more visible it allows is to play with texture and positioning to make the shows more interesting and enhanced.


Once haze and light are in the air, we use “gobos” to add shape and texture to the lights to create looks like these.

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Next time you attend an event like this, take a second to look up at the lighting and see what you find. And if you’re at an event on campus, come say hi to us in the lighting booth!

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