When it comes to doing your first community theatre, school, or church theatre show, it can be easy to get overwhelmed by all of the different types of lights that exist out there.

And it’s true. While there are more brands, types, and models of lights than we can count, the process of choosing what lights you use for your first show doesn’t have to be complex.

In fact, you might even already have access to everything that you need. In this article, I’m going to share with you the exact plan that I have used to sort through the clutter in my brain and figure out what lights I need, so that I can turn it in to a show!

What Light Fixtures Do I Need for My Show?

To begin, we need to go over the 3 basic types of lights that we are going to find in the typical theatre show.

We’ve got Spot fixtures, wash fixtures, and beam fixtures.

When we think about lights, and choosing the correct lights for our needs, these are the most basic categories, sorted by the type of light that they output.

You might look at this and think it’s overly simple – but I’ve got to disagree! When we simplify our choices into these 3 main groups, it allows us to focus on lighting the show properly – not on choosing the “perfect” fixture for the show.

At the end of the day, it’s more about how you use the lights than it is about the lights themselves. Sure, you might be able to get a slightly better look with the “perfect” light, but I would rather get you close, and then put the focus on using that light properly!