The Lighting Library
1.) SCIENCE and HISTORY
A HISTORY OF LIGHT AND LIGHTING
- a complete history of Light and
Lighting, from pre-history to modern
day, all arranged in chronological
order. This document is intended as a
serious research tool for the lighting
student or the experienced lighting
professional. Wait for this document to
fully load before you 'search'. (about
150 printed pages, updated often)
(Author: Bill Williams).
A HISTORY OF THE ARC LAMP - an
illustrated history of arc lighting from
about 1800 to 1900. The document
contains links to other internal pages.
ARC LAMPS - a single page
document that describes several early
electric arc lamps (from about 1870).
Links to graphics and photos are
included - from The Museum of
Electricity. (Author: Charles Brush).
Also see our:
Antique Lighting Links for more
information on early lighting.
COLOR MIXING DEMONSTRATION -
(Java Gel) Prove that Red and Green
light really do mix to make Yellow. This
simple (Java) application allows you to
mix 'in real time' the 3 primary colors
of light (red, green and blue) providing
a nice demonstration of 'additive' color
mixing. (Author: Jeffrey Hightower).
COLOR REFERENCE LIBRARY - This
single page has links to hundreds of
color related documents, charts,
graphics and tools. Topics include color
science, color theory, vision, color
temperature, color calibration, color
gamuts, color palettes, tutorials,
projects and much more. For the
intermediate and advanced reader.
COLOR RENDERING OF SPECTRA -
This is a short (technical) introduction
to the CIE color system. This article
helps find the CIE value of a color and
then relates it to its RGB value. Also
included are formulas and nice color CIE
diagrams. (Author: John Walker).
AND OPTICS - This is an
excellent series of documents (with
graphics) dealing with the nature of
light. Topics include light, reflection,
refraction, polarization, lenses,
optics, color, sources, IR, UV, lasers,
electron microscopy, clouds, skies,
rainbows - and much more. (Author:
Arizona State University, Dept. of
Physics and Astronomy).
JOY OF VISUAL PERCEPTION - This
is an excellent presentation (mostly
graphics) relating to the human eye and
brain process. An understanding of the
mechanisms of vision and human
perception are necessary for any
designer and this is an excellent
reference. The site even has an 'Ask the
Professor' section. (Author: Peter K.
Kaiser, York University).
VISION - This site provides
excellent information relating to vision
and the anatomy of the human eye. These
indexed documents are for the
intermediate to advanced reader and
provide a good reference for the
lighting design student. (Author:
2.) LIGHT SOURCES - (Modern)
THE GAS DISCHARGE LAMP - a
general overview of gas discharge
lighting, ballasts and fixtures.
Includes information on HID, LPS and
NEON. (Authors: Sam Goldwasser &
Donald Klipstein, 37k).
THE INCANDESCENT LAMP - an
overview of the 'light bulb'. This
links to 'The Great Internet
Light Bulb Page'. Includes theory of
operation and other technical topics
with many links. Good general
introduction. (Author: Donald Klipstein,
THE SULPHUR LAMP - Is this the
lamp technology of the future? Here is a
link to a FAQ regarding sulphur
lamp technology. (Authors: Sam
Goldwasser & Donald Klipstein). Also see
Sulfer Lamp Home Page.
THE BLUE LED - Some interesting
information on the long awaited 'blue' light
emitting diode. (Author: Donald
ULTRAVIOLET (UV) LAMPS - a
general introduction to the world of
ultraviolet and UV lamps. This document
(text only) contains links to other
related chapters. (Author: Donald
3.) LIGHTING PHOTOMETRICS
BEAM SPREAD TABLES - This quick
reference finds BEAM WIDTH at any
DISTANCE for any SPREAD ANGLE.
Alternately you can determine what
spread angle is required to provide a
required beam width at a given distance.
Both Imperial and Metric tables are
included. A 'must have' for any lighting
designer'. (1 printed page) (Author:
ILLUMINANCE TABLES - This quick
reference finds ILLUMINANCE (fc or lux)
at any DISTANCE from any SOURCE
INTENSITY. Alternately, you can
determine the intensity of the source
required (candelas) to produce a given
illuminance (fc) at a given distance.
Both Imperial and Metric tables are
included. (1 printed page) (Author: Bill
LAMP DATA - GENERAL - This
document provides technical data for
many common lamps, used in stage,
architectural lighting applications.
Lamps include: R, PAR, Stage/Studio and
low voltage lamps. These tables allow
the lighting designer or technician to
easily compare one lamp against
another. Data includes: ANSI code, type,
wattage, light center length, life and
light output. These lamps are available
from the major lamp manufacturers,
including: General Electric, Osram
Sylvania, Philips and Ushio. (Author:
LAMP DATA - MINIATURE - This
document provides technical data for a
wide range of miniature and sub
miniature lamps. Lamps include both
incandescent and neon lamps used for
indicators, flashlights, lanterns and
other low power lighting applications.
All lamps are standard products
available from a variety of
manufacturers throughout the world. Data
includes, lamp number, base type, bulb
type, volts and amps. (Author: Bill
STAGE LIGHTING FIXTURE TABLES -
Need help in selecting a spotlight? -
This document contains photometric data
for over 125 common stage lighting
spotlights. Luminaires include;
ELLIPSOIDAL, FRESNEL and PAR64
spotlights. Represented are: Altman,
Century, Colortran, E.T.C., Strand, and
others. Several pages explaining basic
photometric calculations and several
quick reference tables are also
included. (about 10 pages) (Author: Bill
SUNRISE AND SUNSET CALCULATIONS
- Here is a useful and simple
application that calculates sunrise,
sunset or twilight for any city (or
airport) around the world. This is great
for assisting in the planning of outdoor
events. Follow the 5 easy steps.
FOOTCANDLES and LUX - This is a
quick reference relating to ILLUMINANCE and
recommended lighting levels for
architectural lighting applications. IES
methods are discussed and an alternative
method by M.S.. Rae is presented. (Author:
FULL SPECTRUM LIGHTING - effects on
performance mood and health. Here are some
interesting studies and findings concerning
this controversial topic. From the National
Research Council of Canada, IRC division.
(Author: Jennifer Veitec).
LIGHT SOURCES FOR ARCHITECTURAL LIGHTING
- This document will assist the
architectural lighting designer in choosing
the appropriate light source for a specific
lighting application. Modern sources are
discussed in respect to luminous efficacy,
color temperature, color rendering index and
life. (Author: Bill Williams).
LIGHTING FUNDAMENTALS - This is an
excellent introduction to Architectural
Lighting. Provided as a text (only)
document. (Author: (US EPA Office of Air and
MUSEUM AND GALLERY LIGHTING
DAYLIGHT - This short tutorial
provides a basic introduction to daylight
and the relationship between lighting levels
and preferred color temperatures is
discussed (the 'Kurithof curve'). Preferred
color temperatures for viewing art is also
presented. (Author: Tailored Lighting Inc.)
MUSEUM AND GALLERY LIGHTING -
Here are several informative and well
written articles from Kevan Shaw (Lighting
designer). These articles discuss several
aspects of museum, conservation, display and
showcase lighting. (Author: Kevan Shaw)
PROTECTION FROM LIGHT DAMAGE - This
is a basic introduction to light exposure as
related to conservation and works of art.
(Author: Beth Lindblom Patkus, NEDCC).
ULTRAVIOLET RADIATION - This short
text tutorial provides a brief (basic)
introduction to ultraviolet radiation (UVA
and UVB). Ultraviolet radiation limits for
museums and art galleries are also
discussed. (Author: Tailored Lighting Inc,
6.) PHOTOGRAPHIC, FILM, and VIDEO LIGHTING
BLUE SCREEN PAGE - (Film/Video) This
information page gives an introduction to
Blue Screen, Chroma-Key and Ultimatt
techniques (used for film and video
composite imaging). The proper lighting
necessary to insure the success of these
techniques is also discussed. (Author:
FILTER FACTS (Film/Video/Still).
Here is a single very informative page
dealing with color balance filters for film
and video. (From TLS, Inc.)
FLASHBULBS: - (Early Photography)
Here is some reference material on early
flashbulbs. Topics include history, stories,
technical data and sources. - with several
photos. (Author: Graflex).
STAGE, THEATRE and ENTERTAINMENT LIGHTING
COLOR FRAME SIZES -This
is a quick reference table, listing color
frame sizes for many common stage
lighting fixtures. This information is
intended to assist the lighting professional
in calculating color media requirements for
an 'unknown' fixture type. (Author: Bill
COLOR MEDIA CONVERSION CHARTS - This
site provides cross reference tables
for: Roscolux, LEE and GAM. Although color
conversion from one manufacturer to another
is seldom exact, these tables provide a good
place to start. (Author: Christopher Wynn,
- Here is a brief overview of
DMX-512, a common protocol used in
the theatre and entertainment industry.
DMX-512 allows control systems to
communicate with dimming systems, automated
luminaires, color scrollers and with other
equipment. (Author: Dan Mills).
DMX-512.COM - A DMX site with many
informative DMX related articles and
WEBSITE - (UJJAL'S DMX 512 WEBSITE)
- This site provides an interesting
collection of DMX 512 related information
and data. (From Ujjal Kar).
ELECTRICAL POWER ABROAD - Here is a
listing of power systems in various
countries around the world. Data includes,
power system type (ac or dc), voltage,
frequency (hertz) and phase information.
Graphic illustrations of common connectors
(plugs and sockets) are also included. This
information is based on a handbook published
in 1998 by the US Department of Commerce.
(from the MTE Corporation).
GLOSSARY OF TECHNICAL THEATRE TERMS
- This site provides a list of British
technical theatre (and lighting) terms and
definitions listed from A to Z. (Author: Jon
Primrose, Exeter Drama Department, UK).
LIGHTING PIPE SPECIFICATIONS -
Schedule 40/80 pipes are often used for
entertainment lighting applications. Here is
a quick reference chart showing common
inside and outside diameters for common pipe
sizes. (Author: Bill Williams).
SELECTING A SPOTLIGHT AT THE M.T.C.
- Canada's oldest regional theatre looks for
new lighting fixtures to replace their 30
year old units. Eight sample spotlights are
evaluated using both the light meter and the
human eye. The results are surprising.
(Author: Bill Williams).
THE COMPLETE SHOP ORDER - Here is an
excellent overview of the 'shop order', one
of the most important documents produced by
the professional lighting designer for many
stage productions. (Author: John McKernon,
designer and creator of 'Lightwright' and 'Beamwright'.)
MOVING LIGHT RESOURCE - This is
lighting site with technical specifications
for many different automated fixtures.
(Author: Ross Williams,
THE PAR64 - FOR ENTERTAINMENT LIGHTING
-This is an
introduction to the PAR64 for
entertainment lighting applications. Topics
include lamp and fixture types, typical
specifications and lighting methods.
(Author: Bill Williams).
THE PAR64 - QUICK REFERENCE This 1
page data sheet finds illuminance (footcandles)
and size of lighted area from any distance
for 1000w PAR64 lamps. (Author: Bill
THE STRAND ARCHIVES - Here is a
wonderful indexed collection of 'Strand'
products, from the early days of 'Rank
Strand' to modern day. Photographs and
general data are included for lanterns (luminaires),
dimmers and control. (By: Jon Primrose, UK).
Stage Lighting 101
STAGE LIGHTING DESIGN 101 -
(Table of Contents)
This is a comprehensive reference on stage
and entertainment lighting design. This
version is currently provided in several
chapters, and is updated often. (Author:
AN INTRODUCTION TO STAGE LIGHTING -
(Part 1) - This is an introduction to
lighting design including; objectives of
lighting design and the quantities and
properties of light.
BASIC LIGHTING METHODS - (Part 2) -
Here is an introduction to general lighting
design methods and techniques, including the
McCandless method and others.
APPLIED LIGHTING METHODS - (Part 3)
- This is a quick overview of lighting
applications. Included are theatre, opera,
dance, outdoor, architectural, display and
PROFESSIONAL LIGHTING PROCEDURE -
(Part 4) - Here is an outline of a procedure
often used for professional lighting design.
Topics include development of the lighting
concept and the actual mechanics of design,
including the lighting plot, lighting
section, schedules, the focus session and
STAGE LIGHTING FIXTURES - (Part 5)
- This is an introduction to stage lighting
fixtures. Basic fixture types and their
related lighting applications are discussed.
Fixture types include the ellipsoidal
reflector, fresnel, Par, floodlight,
striplight and others.
STAGE LIGHTING MECHANICS - (Part 6)
- This is an introduction to beam spread and
illuminance. Learn how to select a spotlight
for any application based on the
relationships between distance, illuminance,
area size and beam spread.
LIGHTING DESIGN EDUCATION - (Part 7)
- Here are a few thoughts and comments from
the author on the topic of lighting
education for the stage lighting designer.