Lighting Design

Whether you are planning to build a new studio from the ground up or doing an upgrade, proper lighting design is essential. Office, stage and post-production rooms each have different requirements.

Office lighting needs to take into account exterior/ambient light. Dimmable LED lights are most often specified to lower electricity and HVAC costs.

Post-production rooms require special dimmable LED lights that match the color temperature of the monitors. Placement is crucial so that they do not cause glare on the monitors.

Stage lighting is determined by what is to be shot. Generally, stage lights fall into four categories:

HMI Lights

These are very high output daylight balance lights mostly used for theatrical/dramatic productions. They are efficient but run hot and are costly.

Tungsten Lights

Tungsten lights are the least costly fixtures and provide a big variety of “looks” form soft to hard. However, they are power hungry, run hot and the expensive lamps need to be replaced often. Also, they require expensive dimmers and change color temperature when dimmed. More and more, they are being replaced by fluorescent and LED.

Fluorescent Lights

Fluorescent studio lights use special lamps that come in both 3200k and 5600k. They use about 1/10th of the electricity of Tungsten lights thus reducing electricity and air conditioning costs. On the other hand, they cost three or four times as much as Tungsten to purchase. Generally, fluorescent lights provide a softer light that is ideal for news, talk shows or situation comedy’s. They are not very good for dramatic shows as they don’t cause sharp shadows.

LED Lights

LED lights are rapidly becoming the light of choice. They use very little power, put out no heat and can be made to be soft or hard light. The fact that they can be dimmed without changing color temperature is a great bonus. Other LED lights can be purchase that have a knob the lets the lighting director choose the color temperature so he can get just the effect he wants. The purchase cost of these LED lights is very high. However, the extremely long lamp life combined with the saving on electricity and HVAC justifies the expense in the long run.

In addition to the lights, a lighting grid or truss will be required on which to hang the lights. Usually built on 4 foot centers, it is important to calculate the load bearing ability of the ceiling it is attached to. The amount of power that is required and the distribution of that power must be calculated and designed. This chore is handled by our Emmy winning lighting designer working in conjunction with our engineers.