Lighting technician

Electrical lighting technicians ( ELT ) or simply lighting tech. , Are Involved with rigging placement and location sets and controlling artificial, electric lights for art and entertainment come ( theater live music venues gold) gold in video, television, or movie production. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

In a theater production, lighting technicians work under the lighting designer and master electrician . In video, television, and film productions, lighting technicians work under the direction of the gaffer or chief lighting technician who takes their direction from the cinematographer. In live music, lighting technicians work under the lighting director. All heads of department report to the production manager.


Lighting technicians are responsible for the movement and set up of different parts of lighting equipment for separation of light and shadow or contrast, depth of field or visual effects . Lighting Technicians can also install electrical cables, wire fixtures, color effects or image patterns, focus the lights, and assist in creating effects or programming sequences.

A lighting technician’s work concerns the safety of rigging and working with objects which can be very heavy and very hot.

Some local unions such as the International Alliance of Stage Television Employees (IATSE) local Hollywood chapter # 728, have been qualified by certification and recognition through the Entertainment Stage Technologies Association (ESTA) with their Entertainment Technicians Certification Program (ETCP). Basic skill sets are now standardized, and these are safer through this program.

Film lighting technician

Officially called the electrical lighting technician (ELT), or the technical lighting technician ( RELT ), are also called lighting technicians, lamp operators, electrician, electric, spark or a juicer.

The lighting technicians were motion picture set handle all of the electrical needs as well as place and focus all of the lighting under the leadership of the gaffer (chief lighting technician).

Lighting techs also:

  • Study the script and consult with the director to assess what is required
  • Discuss production requirements with the camera operator
  • Select lights and equipment to be used
  • Set up, focus and operate light fixtures and equipment
  • Control consoles and auxiliary equipment
  • Choose and combine colors to achieve the desired effect.
  • Operate the lights during the performance
  • Use manual or computer control consoles to control lighting throughout a production
  • Use devices such as barn-doors, scrims and other attachments to control lighted areas
  • Performing routine maintenance functions such as replacing lamps and damaged colors filters or patterns and maintaining lighting equipment in safe working conditions
  • Explore new techniques and special effects
  • Placement and focus of lighting fixtures for any given scene to be photographed.
  • Distribution of power and work areas (including actor’s trailers, portable production offices, catering, etc.).
  • Management of electrical generators .
  • Providing electricity to all support services and departments on the set.

Also specialty duties are called upon the lighting technician such as …

  • Follow spot operator
  • Console / dimmer board operator
  • fixtures
  • Manual / poor mans operator

Hours of work also vary. For example, those employed by large television productions work more than 40 hours a week, 60 hours or more are not uncommon. Technicians and other crew members typically work at 12-hour day.

Depends on the requirements of the requirements, stage and locations Out of state, or country to get the right look in a script is not uncommon. Location work always brings you to its own challenges. Weather is always a factor when going to a location. Technicians are like scouts and are ready for all kinds of weather.

Working conditions for lighting technicians vary a great deal from one job to another. Lighting technicians spend a lot of time on their feet and the pace of work can become hectic. Last-minute changes are often required and must be avoided when handling hot lamps, climbing ladders or working on high voltage electrical cables and equipment. Lighting technicians are routinely required to carry the load and carry the load.

The film set electrical department hierarchy is as follows:

  • Electrical lighting technology / rigging electrical lighting technology.reports to the Best Boy or the Assistant Chief Lighting Technician (ACLT) who reports to the Gaffer or the CLT, who is the head of the department. The Rigging Best Boy or Rigging Assistant Chief Lighting Technician reports to the Rigging Gaffer or the Chief Rigging Technician who is the head of the rigging, but not the department. Both rigging heads reports to the ACLT and CLT of the department. The Gaffer or the Chief Lighting Technician is the Head of the Lighting Department and reports to the Director of Photography ( Cinematographerto make decisions on the creative lighting on the set (or on location), and is responsible for executing those decisions. A budget deciphered from the production schedule, script and vision mandates the types of lights and how to proceed with rigs.

Stage lighting technician

Live performance, concerts, and other entertainment, stage lighting technicians (also called a lighting tech, lighting operator, internship electrician, “sparky”, “lampy”, or “techie”) concerts and any other show / production involving lighting.

Duties include:

  • Setting up and focusing lights
  • Patching and gold wiring up lights to dimmers
  • Changing the set of lights during a performance or concert (eg, changing color gels)
  • Packing down lights after the show

The Stage lighting department is as follows:

  • Chief Lighting Technician: the role of the lighting engineer, who is responsible for the production of lighting, and the lighting of the room. This person is also known as the Electrician House, Master Electrician or Venue Electrician.
  • Lighting Board Programmer or Light Board Operator : Work with the chief lighting technician to program the lights using electronic or digital light programming equipment. The goal is to create light and color effects and enhance the performance.
  • Lighting Technician: sets up lights and wiring, and changes lights during a show, can also be called Stage Electrician.
  • Stage lighting assistant: Works with the lighting technician to set up and patch or wire up lighting, also lugs gear to different areas of the stage. These are sometimes useful technicians that can be shared between departments during a show day, depending on need and schedule.

See also

  • Light board operator
  • Television crew


  1. Jump up^ Stage Lighting Design: The Art, the Craft, Life, by Richard Pilbrow on
  2. Jump up^ Stage Lighting Design: A Practical Guide, Neil Fraser, on
  3. Jump up^ A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, By Steven Louis Shelley, one
  4. Jump up^ The Lighting Art: The Aesthetics of Stage Lighting Design, by Richard H. Palmer, on
  5. Jump up^ Stage lighting design in Britain: the emergence of the lighting designer, 1881-1950, by Nigel H. Morgan, on
  6. Jump up^ Scene Design and Stage Lighting by R. Wolf, Dick Block, on