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Lighting FAQ

What type of lantern do I need?

Typically lanterns fall into 4 categories.

  • Profile - this provides a hard edged beam which can be shaped by the use of inbuilt shutters and is very useful when you need to isolate a small area of the stage. Also these lanterns may be fitted with gobos to create a mood or effect (see below).
  • Fresnel - (named after Jacques Fresnel) these lanterns provide a controllable yet softer edged beam, ideal for use in groups to cover a large stage area. The beam can be controlled by the use of barn-doors, and beam size can be alter with a knob or screw.
  • Par or beam light - these provide a soft edged blast of light usually elliptical. Their size can usually be change by fitting a different lamp. These are good for providing a colour wash
  • Flood - usually an open front with no lens, these provide a wide area of light and are great for cyclorama or backdrop washes.

Also available are:-

LED lanterns, which have very low power consumption, are now widely available as wash or flood lights, they can provide any colour you wish and some effects. There are also profile versions available.

Moving intelligent lighting is a motorised lantern which is programmed via a computer lighting desk to re-focus, change colour and switch gobos. While being very versatile, they do require some programming time to be allocated to your production schedule.

If you need to follow a performer around the stage then a follow-spot is your best option.

What other accessories might I need when hiring a lantern

Our lanterns come as standard with hanging hook clamp, safety bond and barn doors (where applicable).

If you wish to create a mood or effect gobos are an option. Fitted to profile lanterns they are metal discs with holes, projecting a shape, pattern or text. Some uses may be a window effect, lightning, foliage, moon. There are hundreds of different designs available.

Is it better to hire or buy?

If you do one show a year hiring may be the better option, saving you storage maintenance and PAT testing issues.

If you do many shows a year then it may be worth spending your money and saving some time by having some permanently installed equipment.