CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Next Steps in Church Lighting Design What do the Tony Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Broadway and every popular late night talk show have in common? Your first guess might point to flamboyant personalities on stage and camera, the answer is a bit more subtle. It’s well-designed lighting on a quality set.


Delaney Johnson said...

Over the years, the biggest problem I have found with church lighting designs is a lack of understanding. Most large churches have the technology to produce amazing lighting designs. For example, my church at home has 6 movers. That is more than every school in the county. The problem occurs when the designers do not have the basic understanding of what a good design is or how light works. I have seen churches use their overs as just regular lighting, because they do not have the knowledge to program them. I have also seen beautiful LEDs wasted because designers don't understand basic color theatre. In most circumstances, there is no design at all. Lighting operators will simply flick a couple switches and call it a day. The way to combat this in churches is more education for production technology. Most people with the knowledge to accomplish a good lighting design pursue concerts and theatre and ignore the church community leaving us with a gap in talent.

Cosette Craig said...

If I can get 50 people to sign a petition to eliminate any and all articles from, could you please stop posting their content on this otherwise very high quality blog? So, first off, the Wizard of Oz connection this author tried to make was a little vague but maybe there’s a small nugget of info we can get from it: use light to set a scene and then change it. Now we get to depth/dimension. Before I even comment on the content, isn’t he/she, him/her and the like pretty old-fashioned and binary? So making a broad claim about lighting designers was a pretty stupid move because right off the top of my head, I can rattle of 10 designs that actually work against the size of a space to make it look smaller (and I’m not even a lighting designer). This article just continues to be more and more vague as we get further into it. This is the work of someone who has no idea what they’re doing. I would bet money that anyone interviewing for Carnegie Mellon that referred to lighting as “music for the eyes” would be immediately rejected.

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