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Online Guide Effects Lights
Lighting Effect Types

 


Basic Lighting Effects

Beam Effects are fixtures that are comprised of many different coloured lenses positioned around a central light source, with each lens projecting a single beam of light. They normally come in the form of a half sphere (known as a mushroom), or as one or more complete spheres spinning with the aid of motors around the encapsulated lamp. This movement is often continuous, but some beam
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
can vary the direction of the spin based on sound received by their built-in
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
microphones
, for example changing direction with each kick-drum beat. When used in conjunction with stage fog, coloured beams are extremely effective, and larger fixtures with more powerful lamps can provide good coverage even in bigger venues.
Beam Effects

Flower Effects

Flower Effects are stand-alone fixtures with adjustable attributes such as beam colour, ‘gobo’ type, rotation and lamp all controlled automatically by the built-in
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
microphone
. Some models features switches at the rear which select whether an attribute is either triggered by a specific frequency, continually rotates, or remains static. Flower
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
do not usually allow external control over their attributes, so you are limited to simply turning them on or off. This lack of control makes them less suitable for larger venues, but their ease of installation and simplicity make them very attractive for smaller locations.

Centrepieces As the name suggests, these
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
are designed to be located at the centre of a lighting rig, usually directly above a dance-floor, and they tend to work well alongside flower
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
. Their construction is based on a central lamp surrounded by several mirrors which reflect light in all directions. Centrepieces are available with various mirror types, and this can change the appearance of the effect considerably. ‘Fixed
OffsetA time value set when synchronising devices or media where it is necessary for one to be at a different start time to the other but still be in sync. The offset amount is the timecode difference between the two devices.
offset
rotation’ mirrors move the beams in circles but offer no control over direction, while ‘pan and tilt’ mirrors have full control over the direction of the beam across both axis, and ‘barrel’ mirrors produce a continually falling beam. Like the flower, control of the colour and
GoboA circular plate with a pattern cut out, placed in front of a light source (often with a colour gel) to create patterned lighting effects.
gobo
type in each beam is normally synced to
AudioGenerally used to mean "sound"; technically it describes periodic fluctuations of air pressure or electrical energy at frequencies and amplitudes within the human range of hearing; sound, or electrical energy that represents sound; acoustic, mechanical, or electrical frequencies corresponding to normally audible sound waves.
audio
, along with its direction, and is not externally controllable by the user. However, some more sophisticated centrepieces offer full ‘DMX’ control over all functions independently.
Centrepieces

Barrel Mirror Effects

Barrel Mirror Effects Strongly resembling ‘scanners’, barrel mirror
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
replace a fully controllable mirror with a permanently rotating barrel mirror to create a continually falling beam. These
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
, just like flowers and centrepieces have lamp colour,
GoboA circular plate with a pattern cut out, placed in front of a light source (often with a colour gel) to create patterned lighting effects.
gobo
type and mirror direction functions synchronised to the built-in
MicrophoneA device which converts airborne sound into an electrical signal.
microphone
.


Professionell Lighting
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
Effects
:

Colour Changers We now move towards the higher end of
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
lighting. The colour changer is a fixture which offers DMX control over beam colour. Inside the fixture, one or more ‘colour wheels’ containing different coloured
FilterA circuit used to remove or accentuate frequencies in a sound source. Common types are found on mixing consoles equalisation, synthesizers and dedicated processors such as graphic equalisers.
filters
rotate in the path of the beam. Some fixtures have more than one wheel which allows colours to be mixed by placing two different
FilterA circuit used to remove or accentuate frequencies in a sound source. Common types are found on mixing consoles equalisation, synthesizers and dedicated processors such as graphic equalisers.
filters
in the beam - the more colour wheels a fixture has, the more individual colours it can produce. Very often these
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
have a stand-alone mode in addition to DMX control.
Colour Changers

Scanners

Scanners incorporate a user-controllable mirror which gives access to its
PanShort for 'panorama', pan refers to the positioning of a mono source in the stereo spectrum, and to a controller (usually a rotary knob) by which this is achieved, often referred to as a 'pan pot'.
pan
and tilt, allowing the beam to be positioned in any direction within the range of the fixture, typically around 230°
PanShort for 'panorama', pan refers to the positioning of a mono source in the stereo spectrum, and to a controller (usually a rotary knob) by which this is achieved, often referred to as a 'pan pot'.
pan
and 75° tilt. As well as control of the mirror, some models offer DMX control of colour,
GoboA circular plate with a pattern cut out, placed in front of a light source (often with a colour gel) to create patterned lighting effects.
gobo
, shutter and even focus. With full control over all these parameters, sophisticated
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
can be created - the downside however is that many scanners don’t have a stand-alone mode, and therefore a lighting controller is a prerequisite. As with ‘moving head’
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
(see below), there is a big difference in quality across the range, both in the feature sets available, and in the accuracy of the motors controlling the
GoboA circular plate with a pattern cut out, placed in front of a light source (often with a colour gel) to create patterned lighting effects.
gobo
, shutter, colour selector, and in particular the mirror, which can suffer from ‘beam stutter’. This is where the resolution of the stepper motors controlling the mirror movement is so low that it makes the beam jerk - something that’s especially noticeable with slow movements.

Moving Heads have all the functionality of scanners, but instead of reflecting the beam of light off a moving mirror, the whole fixture moves, allowing for a greater range of
PanShort for 'panorama', pan refers to the positioning of a mono source in the stereo spectrum, and to a controller (usually a rotary knob) by which this is achieved, often referred to as a 'pan pot'.
pan
and tilt - typically up to 540°
PanShort for 'panorama', pan refers to the positioning of a mono source in the stereo spectrum, and to a controller (usually a rotary knob) by which this is achieved, often referred to as a 'pan pot'.
pan
and 260° tilt. This movement is generally slower than that of a scanner as the motors have to shift the weight of the entire fixture rather than just the mirror. As with scanners, colour,
GoboA circular plate with a pattern cut out, placed in front of a light source (often with a colour gel) to create patterned lighting effects.
gobo
, shutter, focus and movement must be controlled by a central system via DMX. The low gearing of motors characteristic of moving heads allows for much smother, slower moves than scanners offer, and the quality of the motors is less important. Pay particular attention though to both the quality of the optics, and the number of different colours and
GoboA circular plate with a pattern cut out, placed in front of a light source (often with a colour gel) to create patterned lighting effects.
gobos
provided - you’ll find that more expensive moving head
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
incorporate rotating
GoboA circular plate with a pattern cut out, placed in front of a light source (often with a colour gel) to create patterned lighting effects.
gobos
, a rotating prism and a number of different colour wheels giving the user full control over all the light’s parameters, and allowing for complex
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
and sequences to be programmed. All the parameters must be programmed into a controller before a moving head can be used though, and for this reason they are not as easy for the inexperienced user to rig as some of the other
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
lights discussed here.
Movinghead

GoboA circular plate with a pattern cut out, placed in front of a light source (often with a colour gel) to create patterned lighting effects.
Gobo
Projectors
are lighting fixtures designed solely for the projection of shapes onto large surfaces using
GoboA circular plate with a pattern cut out, placed in front of a light source (often with a colour gel) to create patterned lighting effects.
gobos
and high quality optics. The fixture can sometimes change the beam colour, but a more common feature is a
GoboA circular plate with a pattern cut out, placed in front of a light source (often with a colour gel) to create patterned lighting effects.
gobo
rotator, which allows for more dynamic projection
EffectsGeneral term applied to audio processors for dynamics, time, ambience and equalisation whether in the form of 19" rack units, guitar floor pedals, or software plug-ins.
effects
. One example of their use is for the projection of corporate logos onto large surfaces – logos, or any other shape for that matter, can be recreated in monochrome by using a metal
GoboA circular plate with a pattern cut out, placed in front of a light source (often with a colour gel) to create patterned lighting effects.
gobo
, or more professionally in full colour with a glass
GoboA circular plate with a pattern cut out, placed in front of a light source (often with a colour gel) to create patterned lighting effects.
gobo
.

Gobo Projectors

Sky Trackers As the name suggests, a ‘sky tracker’ is an outdoor effect used to light up the sky, and is normally used as a visual marker to attract visitors to an event. The extremely bright light source, usually upwards of 5000w, is tightly focused and often visible from many miles away. Some trackers incorporate a singe light beam, but more commonly these days their output is split into many smaller beams by using a multi-faced moving mirror. Although expensive to buy and large in size, rental of a unit for an evening can add another dimension to your event.
Sky Trackers

 

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[Contents] [Fundamentals] [Lighting Effect Types] [Installation & Care] [FAQ] [Conclusion] [Hotdeals] [Feedback]
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