LESSON 2: Lighting Equipment and Instruments
Students will demonstrate their knowledge of lighting equipment and instruments by playing “The Light is Right” game.
Lamps, Scoops, Fresnels, Par CANs, Ellipsoidals, Striplights, and Follow Spot.
C-Clamps, Safety Cables, Gobos, Gels, Gel frames, and wrenches.
Copies of the “Lighting Safety” and “Lighting Instruments and Equipment” handouts for each student and slips of cardstock paper with the names of all lighting instruments and equipment written on them (for “The Light is Right” game).
Anticipatory Set/Hook: Have the lighting instruments and equipment on display out on the stage as the students come in. Also have the batten lowered.
Step 1: Instruction—Give a copy of the “Lighting Safety” handout and go over it with them. Have each student read a rule until you’ve gone through all the rules (take time to discuss each rule if necessary).
Step 2: Instruction—Start by talking about plugs. Show students the three types of plugs, and explain to them that the Edison plug is the most common type of plug, but it is not very sturdy and cannot handle much power. Therefore, you won’t see many Edison plugs in theatre lights. Show them the Stage pin plug (which is also referred to as the “three pin” or “stage plug”). Explain to them that this plug is sturdy and can handle a lot of power. Show them the final type of plug, called the Twist-lock plug. Explain that this plug is as sturdy as the Stage Pin Plug, and they actually twist and lock (hence the name) so you don’t have to do any taping when using this type of plug.
Step 3: Instruction—Give a copy of the “Lighting Instrument and Equipment” handout to each student. Remind them that all of the handouts they get in class are supposed to be put in their binders, and that the binders will be turned in at the end of the semester for a grade (and then given back to them, of course).
Modeling—Put on your gloves. Show them a lamp for one of the lights and explain to them that the bulb within the instrument is actually called a lamp. Remind them to never touch a lamp/bulb with their bare hands because the oil from their fingers will burn and cause the light to explode when it is turned on. (I could give a more detailed explanation of this phenomenon, but it’s not necessary—just don’t touch them.) Give them a quick demonstration of how to change a lamp. Tell them that they are never to change a lamp unless they are supervised or certified. Explain to them what the Lamp Housing is.
Guided Practice—If you feel extremely daring, let a few kids put on some gloves and change a lamp.
Instruction—Show and explain the other basic instrument parts: (here are some suggestions of what you can say, but feel free to use whatever wording you want and cover whatever else you feel necessary)
Modeling—Show them how to twist the bolt without twisting it off.
Step 4: Show and explain the different lighting instruments: (here are some suggestions of what you can say, but feel free to use whatever wording you want and cover whatever else you feel necessary)
Modeling—Installing color filters: (Again, more dialogue)
Step 5: Guided Practice—Give everyone an opportunity to put a gel into a gel frame and then into the light. Let them put a Gobo into an Ellipsoidal. Let them practice opening and closing the shutters on the Ellipsoidal and making other adjustments. Let them practice using the follow spot (moving it, adjusting shutters, etc).
Step 6: Have everyone stop what they are doing and gather around. In preparation for the following game, the lighting instruments and equipment will be separated so that half of them are one side of the stage, while the other half is on the other side of the stage.
Directions—Explain the rules of “The Light is Right” game. Split the students up into two groups. Have prepared a stack of card stock slips of paper with the names of lighting instrument and equipment names on them. Give one group of students half of the slips of paper and give the other half to the second group of students.
Explain to them that each group will have 30 seconds to put the right name next to the right instrument and be back standing by me. If any of the names are by the wrong, tell them so (without revealing which ones are wrong), and then give them another 30 seconds to go and fix what they think is wrong. Do this until they have everything right. Let one group at a time go. While one group is going, have the other group go away where they can’t see what is going on. When both groups have done the game for both sides of the stage, you are finished with the game.
Assessment: Students can be assessed through their guided practice with the instruments, as well as their ability to play “The Light is Right” game.