Spotlights have been an essential part of the modern theatrical experience that audiences tend to forget that they are a relatively modern innovation. As recently as the 1860 by far the predominant way of lighting up stages was by suing gaslight – and before that candles were common.
Today electrical spotlights serve a variety of important functions in the theater.
Spotlights can provide important visual cues for both actors and audiences alike. By highlighting a particular actor the audience is informed that they are the center of the action or that they are the principle actor in a particular scene. The shifting illumination of the spotlights also guides the attention of the audience so that they are aware of the shifting action in a particular scene. This is especially important when a number of pivotal actors are on the stage at the same time. The tempo of the shifting illumination also sets the tone of the action. Sharper movements tend to indicate a faster pace of action and dialogue, while slower spotlight changes and movement slow down the pace.
The color of the spotlights also provides a visual cue as to the mood of particular scenes, or even the mood of the character. Color changes can set the tone of a scene as well.
The intensity of the spotlight beam is also a mood cue and can provide the audience with important contextual cues which aid them in the interpretation of mood, in addition to setting the tone through the illumination of selected parts of the scenery on stage.
Spotlights also help audiences to gauge the particular time of day that is represented in a scene. Lower illumination levels indicate night or twilight while higher levels indicate daylight. The transition between times of day is also indicated by the transition of light levels supplied by the spotlights.
The innovation of spotlights has greatly contributed to the ambiance of the theater experience and the enjoyment of audiences across the world. Here’s a look on how some of the best in Broadway use spotlights to enhance their production.
The advancement of technology in lightning has also moved from beyond on the stage and also into the field of medicine. Light Therapy is being used to treat numerous skin conditions like Vitiligo, psoriasis, and to even more severe conditions like cancer. Light Therapy is now being researched to use as an alternative treatment to varicose veins and other cosmetic skin conditions as compared to it’s older and more crude treatment such as compression stockings and sclerotherapy NYC.
As people who work with lighting, it’s important for us to know what advancements are being made and how we can stay up to date with current tech.