Profession lighting designer

Lighting designers develop a lighting design concept for a performance and supervise the execution of it. Their work is based on research and artistic vision. Their design is influenced by and influences other designs and must be conform with these designs and the overall artistic vision. Therefore, the designers work closely with artistic directors, operators and the artistic team. During rehearsals and performance they coach the operators to obtain optimal timing and manipulation. Lighting designers develop lighting plots, cue lists and other documentation to support the operators and production crew. Lighting designers sometimes also work as autonomous artists, creating light art outside a performance context.

Would you like to know what kind of career and professions suit you best? Take our free Holland code career test and find out.

Personality Type

  • Conventional / Realistic

Skills

  • Analyse the artistic concept based on stage actions

    Analyse the artistic concept, form and structure of a live performance based on observation during rehearsals or improvisation. Create a structured base for the design process of a specific production.

  • Meet deadlines

    Ensure operative processes are finished at a previously agreed-upon time.

  • Develop design ideas cooperatively

    Share and develop design ideas with the artistic team. Conceptualise new ideas independently and with others. Present your idea, gain feedback and take it into account. Make sure the design fits with the work of other designers.

  • Use communication equipment

    Set up, test and operate different types of communication equipment such as transmission equipment, digital network equipment, or telecommunications equipment.

  • Monitor sociological trends

    Identify and investigate sociological trends and movements in society.

  • Assess power needs

    Prepare and manage the provision of electrical power for different areas.

  • Analyse score

    Analysing the score, form, themes and structure of a piece of music.

  • Adapt existing designs to changed circumstances

    Adapt an existing design to changed circumstances and ensure that the artistic quality of the original design is reflected in the final result.

  • Update design results during rehearsals

    Updating the design results based on observation of the stage image during the rehearsals, especially where the different designs and the action are integrated.

  • Supervise plotting of stage lights

    Make sure cues for stage lights are adequately entered into the lightboard. Put in levels, positions, changeovers, etc.

  • Perform quality control of design during a run

    Control and ensure the quality of design results during a run.

  • Draw up lighting plan

    Create technical drawings and documentation within the lighting department.

  • Propose improvements to artistic production

    Assess past artistic activities with a view to improving future projects.

  • Focus stage lights

    Focus, direct, adjust and tune stage lights, either alone or leading a group. Coordinate with the team to determine the optimal lighting.

  • Monitor developments in technology used for design

    Identify and explore recent developments in technology and materials used in the live performance industry, in order to create an up-to-date technical background for one’s personal design work.

  • Research new ideas

    Thorough research for information to develop new ideas and concepts for the design of a specific production based.

  • Follow safety procedures when working at heights

    Take necessary precautions and follow a set of measures that assess, prevent and tackle risks when working at a high distance from the ground. Prevent endangering people working under these structures and avoid falls from ladders, mobile scaffolding, fixed working bridges, single person lifts etc. since they may cause fatalities or major injuries.

  • Work safely with mobile electrical systems under supervision

    Take the necessary precautions while providing temporary power distribution for performance and art facility purposes under supervision.

  • Analyse a script

    Break down a script by analysing the dramaturgy, form, themes and structure of a script. Conduct relevant research if necessary.

  • Coach staff for running the performance

    Give instructions to all team members about how they should run the performance.

  • Analyse the scenography

    Analyse the selection and distribution of material elements on a stage.

  • Verify feasibility

    Interpret an artistic plan and verify whether the described design can be executed.

  • Take measurements of performance space

    Measure the performance space in order to calculate the amount of lighting equipment needed and where to place them.

  • Safeguard artistic quality of performance

    Observe the show, anticipate and react to possible technical problems, ensuring optimal artistic quality.

  • Develop design concept

    Research information to develop new ideas and concepts for the design of a specific production. Read scripts and consult directors and other production staff members, in order to develop design concepts and plan productions.

  • Work ergonomically

    Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace while manually handling equipment and materials.

  • Present detailed design proposals

    Prepare and present detailed design suggestions for a specific production to a mixed group of people, including technical, artistic and management staff.

  • Communicate during show

    Efficient communication during live performance, anticipate any possible malfunctioning.

  • Understand artistic concepts

    Interpret an artist's explanation or demonstration of their artistic concepts, inceptions and processes and strive to share their vision.

Optional knowledge and skills

operate a lighting console set up light board analyse the need for technical resources copyright legislation ensure safety of mobile electrical systems adapt artistic plan to location lead a team translate artistic concepts to technical designs labour legislation plot lighting states with automated lights use personal protection equipment keep personal administration draw up artistic production plot lighting states update budget provide documentation install lighting focus lighting equipment document your own practice organise resources for artistic production work with respect for own safety