One of the missions of a theatrical lighting designer is to help tell the story with light. The story of the theatrical lighting industry itself is still in Act One. With movements to “ban the bulb” and shift away from incandescent sources, many people in the theatre world are wondering what will happen to its lighting industry in Act Two. It is time to shine a spotlight on the current state of theatrical lighting systems and how they may be brought up to date with LEDs.
The theatrical lighting industry was born after the invention of the electric light bulb. Prior to electricity, theatre stages were lit with gas, which often caused scenery to catch on fire. The design of the typical theatrical lighting fixture has remained largely unchanged since the1930s. The basic needs of lighting designers have not changed much either. They have always required the ability to change color, beam size, shape, intensity, and angle.
This article was published in the April 2008 issue of LEDs Magazine.
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