The artistic side of stage lighting is making use of the properties of Direction, Intensity, Shape and Colour to provide visibility on the stage so the audience sees what the director wants them to see. The use of these four elements can set the mood, atmosphere, time and place so the audience is transported into the desired location of the production.

It is the lighting designers personal instinct and experience with theatre lighting that allows them to choose which lights to use, which colours to use, which areas are lit, which areas to leave in shadow or darkness, how long a fade time for the light intensity to increase or decrease or colours change hues. Most of these decisions are done in conjunction and consultation with the other members of the production team that are looking after sets, sound, video, costumes and stage management.