It’s a key component of any concert or club experience today. The elaborate light show that uses moving lights and rapidly changing colours to create a memorable and sometimes mind-blowing effect for the audience. It’s almost impossible to imagine a high quality show or concert that doesn’t use this technically dazzling lighting effect.
This effect is the product of a technology known as Intelligent Lighting. Intelligent lighting is simply any stage lighting that is automated or has motion capabilities beyond stationary mounted lights. It occasionally goes by other terms such as automated lighting, moving lights or moving heads.
How It Works
The actual lighting fixture itself is known as a luminaire which is capable of moving around and changing colours and lighting effects all from remote commands or a preprogrammed sequence. The luminaires are controlled by a master control system known as the lighting control console. This console sends out control signals using a variety of possible methods:
Today, DMX outputs are the most popular method of connecting the fixtures to the control board.
No matter the connection technique, the end result is the same. The lighting control console transmits instructions to each lighting fixture in the system and gives it direction in one or all of the following areas:
- Pattern (produced by a Gobo)
- Horizontal movements (Pan)
- Vertical Movements (Tilt)
- Rotation speed
Here is a quick video of a Chauvet R2 Spot fixture, showing some of the capabilities of these lights.
When Would I Need to Use Intelligent Lighting?
Let’s assume for the moment that you are not a nightclub owner, concert promoter, or theatre producer. Those events certainly demand the use of intelligent lighting. If you were, the answer would be obvious. But you don’t have to be in the professional show-promoting industry to make use of an intelligent lighting design. Here are a few ways the average consumer could put this technology to use:
- Conference or Large Workplace Presentation – Perhaps you were chosen to give your company’s version of a TED talk at the annual retreat or convention. You may want to highlight certain elements in your production with a well thought out lighting design. For the upbeat elements of your presentation, you could be bathed in light yellow or white light while the more serious or cautionary points in the presentation could be punched up with darker blue lighting. This doesn’t have to be a huge laser light show. But a simple, well-constructed lighting design could go a long way to impressing your guests and attendees.
- Syncing Holiday Lights to Music – Let’s face it, there is a little Clark Griswald in all of us. Whether it’s Valentine’s Day, Halloween, or Christmas, there is usually one holiday where we tend to go all out in celebrating. If you are the person on your block who wants to put together a Halloween light show to music to scare and entertain your friends and neighbours, a lighting control console and intelligent lighting is exactly what you need to execute your plan.
- DIY Video Production – Do you and your friends have a band for which you’re producing a music video to post on YouTube? It wouldn’t take a lot of money or effort to give your live performance a professional look and feel. Even the simplest lighting design would be of tremendous value in getting your video noticed by those in the know.
If you have an event coming up that you think could use some Intelligent Lighting, give us a call or click “Quick Quote” and one of our production coordinators will get you the info that you need!