SUSU StageSoc
Southampton University Students' Union Backstage Society

Glossary :: Lighting Fixtures

Birdies: A favourite amongst techies (perhaps Smile), these are basically mini Par Cans. The name derives from being one below Par in golf, which is a birdie.
Floods: You have the marvels of Asymmetric and Symmetric floods. Asymmetric floods, have a curved mirror, so that if you have a flood at the top of the cyc, then you get a more even light coverage since it projects more light down towards the bottom of the cyc. Don't ask me which way's which. Rig it one way, if it doesn't work, then rig it the other Tongue. Symmetric floods give an even distribution of light, so are more useful for blinders and washes (I'd guess).
Fresnel: A light fitting with a Fresnel lens on the front, which is more controllable than a Par Can. The beam can be sized and focused.
Load Lamp: A high resistance load (normally a spare lantern) that is put in parallel to a lighting fixture that draws a small current (e.g. table lamps, fairy lights, etc.) to ensure that they work properly with the dimmers. (Some dimmers can be damaged if the load is too small.) Normally the load lamp is fitted with a dark gel and/or is heavily shuttered (so that it can't be seen by the audience) before being hidden backstage (where it can't be kicked by the cast/crew).
Moving Head: The name for any fixture where the main body of the light rotates to get the beam into the desired position, e.g. MAC 250, MAC 500 or MAC 2000 Performance!
Moving Mirror: The name for any fixture where a mirror is used to direct the beam of light to the desired position, e.g. Abstract VR8.
Par Can: The most basic light fitting, which is basically a tube of metal with a bulb in it. The consumable lamp unit is a sealed bulb, lens and Parabolic Aluminised Reflector (PAR) all in one. Used more at music events, rather than for theatre.
PC: Acronym of Pebble Convex. A basic light fitting with a pebbled convex lens.
Practical: Term used to refer to a "domestic" lighting fixture that is part of the set (such as a table lamp) that actually works rather than just being there for show. Practicals will usually require a load lamp.
Profile: Generally used to refer to the Source 4 Jr. in Arts H. The profile is the most flexible of the lights generally available to StageSoc. Unlike the Fresnel and PC it can be used to project a Gobo due it's sharp edge.

Return to glossary categories