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.

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Personality Type

  • Conventional / Realistic

Skills

  • 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.

  • Adapt to artists' creative demands

    Work with artists, striving to understand the creative vision and adapting to it. Make full use of your talents and skills to reach the best possible result.

  • Analyse the scenography

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

  • 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.

  • Take measurements of performance space

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

  • Supervise plotting of stage lights

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

  • Assess power needs

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

  • Communicate during show

    Efficient communication during live performance, anticipate any possible malfunctioning.

  • Propose improvements to artistic production

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

  • Safeguard artistic quality of performance

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

  • Perform quality control of design during a run

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

  • Monitor sociological trends

    Identify and investigate sociological trends and movements in society.

  • Analyse score

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

  • 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.

  • Coach staff for running the performance

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

  • Understand artistic concepts

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

  • Meet deadlines

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

  • 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 ergonomically

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

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Verify feasibility

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

  • Draw up lighting plan

    Create technical drawings and documentation within the lighting department.

  • Analyse a script

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

  • 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.

  • Use communication equipment

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

  • 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.

  • Research new ideas

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

  • 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.

Optional knowledge and skills

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

Common job titles

  • Lighting designer
  • Lighting designer - electrical
  • Assistant lighting designer, 2017/18 season
  • Designer i, ii, or iii
  • Junior graphic designer
  • Lighting technician and designer
  • Designer lighting
  • Lighting outreach manager, energy efficiency - columbia, md