When planning for your Son et Lumiere you need to be aware of five properties of light and how they interact as you will use them as elements of your visual presentation.

Direction
In drama lighting the direction of lighting determines the effect light or illumiation has on the actor. This helps reveal form, shape, atmosphere, mood.
In a Son et Lumiere the direction of light is part of the light sculpture. By shining or projecting light from different light sources, we can create complex patterns or shapes . Haze is often used on a stage to reveal the beams of light to give them a dimension.

Intensity
The intensity of conventional lights is usually controlled with a dimmer, when you dim the light, you change the colour temperature. Discharge light sources use a mechanical shutter assembly as the discharge light source has to remain at full brightness, so does not affect colour temperature, but there may be some halo distortion on the fringe of the beam.  LED lights use a pulse width modulation dimmer, which may be seen as an interference pattern when viewed using a video or television.
It is useful to be aware of the light source.
Light Intensity is also affected by the lens and the light source, the two main types are Peaked and Flat.
Factors affecting Intensity with moving head profiles are the insertion of a gobo into the light path, which reduces the amount of light and inserting a colour filter, darker colours such as a saturated blue have lower light output than a yellow or straw colour.

Shape
The shape of a light beam is affected by the lens, any element inserted in the light path such as a shutter, gobo, prism, frost filter or mirror. The sharpness of the shape is affected by focus, which can be manual or motorised.

Colour
Colour is what helps determine Mood, Atmosphere, Scene or Setting, Visibility. Choosing a colour can be difficult, so Colour filter or Gel manufacturers provide resources such as Lee Filters The Art of Light  http://www.theatrelightingworkshops.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/LEE-Art-of-Light-Brochure-2012.pdf or Rosco Guide to Colour Filters  https://us.rosco.com/sites/default/files/content/resource/2016-08/RoscoUKColourFilterGuide10.pdf .
The books provide data on the colour filers and suggested uses.
You can also download Apps for colour filters, but most do not have suggested uses.
Lee filters also have Mood Boards that show suggested complementary colour to help suggest a mood.

Movement
For conventional lighting, Movement can be achieved by an actor moving through a static light beam that has a gobo in it. As an example, if a leaf breakup gobo is used, the patches of light on the actor look similar to if they were walking underneath a tree. Effect wheels and prisms were developed for conventional lighting to provide controlled movement of the light beam.
Discharge profiles and their modern derivatives use rotating gobo wheels, rotating prisms and effects wheels to produce movement of the light beam.

Page created 1 September 2022