The theater has existed since civilization’s dawn; it inspires imagination, creates incredible bonds, and can provide lifelong friendships.
Some of the most memorable school activities for children are performances that teach human history, morality, and the essence of being alive.
At TLA, we love to help schools design the proper lighting setup for the theater department or stage space. We work within a client’s budget to create a design that makes sense for today and looks to the future.
One of our favorite providers of theatrical lighting for schools is Chauvet, a leading developer of luminaires, trussing, controllers, atmospherics, and related equipment.
“I started in the entertainment lighting industry in 2006 and am thrilled with how advanced Chauvet has become since that time period. They are now an industry standard for performance, color saturation, and price point. I am very excited to help you realize your theatrical lighting needs!”
– Emily Whitney, TLA Applications Designer & Technical Support
Now, for the final act! Here are some of Team TLA’s recommendations for theatre lighting from Chauvet Professional, CHAMSYS, and Acuity Brands.
1. Stage Lighting Spot Fixture: Ovation Ellipsoidals
The Ovation Ellipsoidal line is an excellent choice when updating an existing theatrical rig. The fixtures are LED which makes the units much cooler than the tungsten ellipsoidals of the past and at the maximum of 250 watts, they are quite the energy saver.
This line provides a smooth, flat, even field of light perfect for gobo projection, highlighting scenery, washing a stage, or spotting a stage position.
A great choice for stage-lighting spot fixtures is Chauvet’s new Ovation Rêve E-3.
Ovation Rêve E-3 is a multicolor, LED ERS-style lighting fixture. It is virtually silent and can be IP65 rated with the IP version. It’s perfect for studio, theatre, and film applications—both indoors and out. It has the brightest light engine that can produce full-spectrum colors and tunable whites.
Ovation Rêve E-3 features adjustable PWM, +/- green adjustment and emulated red-shift, and ultra-smooth 16-bit dimming curves and speeds to complement any lighting scheme, anywhere.
See it in action in the Ovation video below!
2. Adjustable Wash Units: Ovation Fresnels
When an adjustable wash unit with color is needed, the Fresnel is a great choice for a theatrical tool. Many fixtures have zoomable control from a soft-edged spot to a wide flood.
White output-only versions of the Fresnel are also available.
Ovation F-415FC is a 6” fresnel-style fixture that features our advanced RGBAL LED system. The unit projects a bright, beautifully soft field of light from subtle pastels to punchy saturates, and nearly any temperature of white. A motorized zoom with a 14° – 68° field range allows you to add light where it is needed.
Control of the virtual color wheel, zoom, and output can be via DMX or on-board dials. It’s also RDM-enabled to ease installation and offers adjustable PWM for flicker-free use on camera.
See the Ovation F-415FC for yourself here:
3. Static Color Wash Unit: COLORado 2-Quad Zoom
Another excellent way of adding color washes to a stage is through static wash lighting. The field of light will not be as seamless as the fresnels (except the P-56FC) provide, but if the price point is an issue, then this is a fantastic alternative.
Like the COLORado 2-Quad Zoom, a solid indoor/outdoor wash light featuring 14 bright quad-colored Osram (RGBW) LEDs and a 7° to 45° zoom. Selectable dimming curves facilitate its integration into an existing rig.
This excellent LED wash light maintains its IP65 rating with IP-rated DMX cables, but standard 5-pin XLR DMX cables work perfectly for indoor use. IP-rated power and data connectors allow for easy connections without the need for proprietary cabling.
Most are static but Chauvet has a few zoomable options in the COLORado line.
4. Batten & Cyclorama Lighting: Ovation B-2805FC, Ovation B-1965FC, and Ovation B-565FC.
The strip light is one of the best tools to give the stage a 3D look. Many great effects have been produced with a white cyc curtain and multiple strips on the floor or hanging on the upstage rail. Sunset anyone?
Chauvet Professional Battens at a glance
- 6’, 4’ and a bit over 1’
- 33000 lumens, 23000 lumens or 6500 lumens depending on size chosen
- RDM, DMX, Art-Net sACN control protocol able
- RGBAL color mixer
- PWM Frequency 2300 Hz
An easily accessible Virtual Color Wheel and Color Temperature Presets make programming a breeze. It comes with a holographic filter that easily locks into place for enhanced wall/cyc grazing ability.
Check out color mixing with Chauvet battens in the video below:
5. Follow Spot Lighting: Ovation SP-300CW
Ovation SP-300CW is a quiet, medium throw LED powered follow spot that projects a crisp cool white beam. On board manual dimming and a full-blackout iris are standard for beam control along with smooth manual sliders for zoom and focus to adjust from a spot to a flood.
A 6-slot manual boomerang is attached to the front of the unit to add your favorite gel colors and provide quiet color changing.
See the Ovation SP-300CW in action:
See the image below showing an SP-300CW Followspot with optic at 10 deg 80ft from the stage:
See the image below for an illustration of the SP-300CW Followspot with optic at 18 deg 80ft from the stage:
6. Controls: CHAMSYS QuickQ Series & ACUITY Fresco or Vignette
The most important part in a theatrical rig is the control or console. In order to make scenes, looks, color change or effects, a proper controller is in order. TLA has a variety to choose, from a simple tablet on the wall to the lighting console with multiple universes, we have you covered.
The CHAMSYS QuickQ Series would be useful in the ever-changing theater productions where a large amount of control is needed. They are a fantastic board so that the young lighting design student learns valuable programming on an easy interface.
If your theater rig has zoomable fixtures, color-changing luminaires, and even moving heads, this is the series for you.
ACUITY Fresco or Vignette
If your theater is used more often as an assembly area then one of the Acuity control systems like The Fresco or PWWSI Vignette Wall Station would be better suited. Preprogrammed looks can be set on either system that can be changed if needed.
The Fresco has a more diverse spectrum of attributes with many more scenes. The Vignette is a very basic on, intensity level, off option.
Talk to TLA about your next project involving theatre lighting
This is just a taste of the many theatre lighting options from Chauvet, and our team would love to dig into the topic with you further.