The Basic Principles of Church Stage Lighting: A Guide
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The Basic Principles of Church Stage Lighting: A Guide

Understanding Church Stage Lighting

Church stage lighting is an important part of the church’s worship service. It sets the mood and tone for the church gathering and helps to focus attention on what is happening in front of it.

Church stage lighting can be quite complex, but there are some basic principles that church planners should know before beginning this task. In this article, we will discuss these basics so you can understand how church stage lights work before you begin your quest to find them for yourself.

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The basic principles of church stage lighting: a guide 5

How Do You Light up a Church Stage?

Forget the old days of candles and curtains. Nowadays, churches need a professional lighting system to provide an optimal setting for worship services. There are three main types of church stage lights that you’ll usually find:

Spotlights – These offer concentrated light in one area so they’re typically used on objects like speaker platforms or special events such as baptisms;

Flood Lights– Used when more people will be present because floodlights cover larger areas with less focused beams than spotlights;

General Stage Lighting– This type is mainly considered background illumination, but it can also act as fill by illuminating both high and low angles.

If you want to get your stage looking the best it can be for Sunday morning, then lighting consoles and DMX splitters are just two of many things you’ll need.

You’ll also need power cables, and you may consider hiring an expert who will help walk through everything with you so that when service time arrives on Sunday morning, all is well-lit at centerstage!

What Are the Six Functions of Stage Lighting?

To decide which equipment to buy, it’s good to know a little about stage lighting. This includes the six main functions of stage lighting, which include:

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  • To augment emotion and the “mood” of what’s going on onstage.
  • To bring out the quality of the 3D images of people, props, etc.
  • To create time frames, for example, when trying to recreate and highlight nighttime, daytime, and so on.
  • To keep the audience focused on the stage.
  • To make things more visible.
  • To paint a certain picture of what’s going on.

One of the most important things for a presenter who wants to get their audience’s attention is lighting. Lighting can make or break an event, and with careful planning, it will be just right so that everyone in attendance feels like they are part of your presentation!

Whether the mood onstage is serious, light-hearted, or even funny, the right lighting will help audience members understand and appreciate that mood much more. The right lighting can make the mood onstage come alive for audience members.

What Is Stage Wash Lighting?

The “wash” lighting is when the entire stage becomes lit up for everyone in attendance. Two types of light are used to get this effect: soft white light and colored gel that emits various light colors, such as pink or blue. It can happen at concerts or theater performances without you even realizing it!

Several things need to happen for this wash to work right. Since the whole stage needs to be illuminated, you have to make sure there are no dark or dim spots anywhere. How do you make sure this doesn’t happen? There are several things you can do, including:

  • Use multiple fixtures and keep them in fixed positions.
  • Space the lights themselves even distances apart.
  • Make sure they are all focused evenly.
  • Try to hang all of the lights on the same bar if possible.
  • Overlap the lights at the edges to stop any gaps from occurring.

Remember that a wash fills your entire stage with light to make it appear as realistic and lifelike as possible. You can’t have any dark spots or lights in certain areas, creating an inconsistent quality level.

What Are the Lights on a Stage Called?

Learning about the different terminology for stage directions is a way to learn more about lighting. Terms like “stage right” or “upstage” can tell you what part of the lights are used and where they’re located in the theater space.

Learning these terms will help figure out how much light should be in an actor’s spot so that he doesn’t get blinded by bright spots from above but also not so dark as to make his presence unnoticeable!

A single light can be used for many things, and each scenario has a different name. For instance, the most common stage lighting type is “general wash.” This style equally shines on every part of the scene to fill it up with artificial or natural lights depending on what’s desired from that area.

Other types include “special,” which refers to one specific section lit up while not affecting other sections. Finally, spotlights are shining only on certain people or objects, such as actors onstage during a production performance.

One of the most important aspects of stage lighting is color. When people talk about “cold” colors, they usually refer to colors with a blue tint, such as electric blues and royal purples.

On the other hand, “warm” lights refer to warmer hues like reds, oranges, and yellows which can be used for more intimate performances or romantically lit scenes on film sets.

Color plays an essential part in staging performance, particularly regarding how we perceive mood and emotion through our eyesight alone and how light interacts with surfaces around us – whether natural or artificial sources provide illumination during any given moment of time.

We often see the light being used differently, whether between cues or scene changes. One example is the blackout, where all lights fade out and are replaced with blackness on stage before new colors form again.

With a cross-fade, when one set of lights turns off, another automatically turns on; perfect for quick transitions that don’t involve any props moving around during the transition itself!

What Colors Are Used in Lighting to Create a Warm Look on Set?

We mentioned earlier that colors such as red, amber, orange, and pink are used to create a “warm” appearance on the stage, but it’s also important to know that mixing the colors is sometimes necessary to get the right color and hue.

Primary colors, such as red and blue, can be mixed to create secondary colors, such as yellow and cyan. In lighting, color-mixing is something that is done regularly.

Let’s face it; you can’t always get the perfect color or shade to create a “warm” effect onstage. That’s why those who have mastered this trade are also so good at mixing colors!

One of the most common types of color-mixing is using an amber light, which combines red and green with blue for warm white lighting in the end.

If there are bluer than ambers used, then cool-looking tones will result; if much more ambers are mixed instead, then warmer-looking hues will be produced – like that early morning glow when daylight starts breaking through.

If it sounds complex, it certainly is in some ways, but remember that these people are professionals, and they know just what they’re doing. When learning about lighting in your church, you can quickly become familiar with these techniques.


Understanding the different types of lights that are used for stage lighting can help you decide what to buy.

For example, if you want a warm look on set, it’s best to use warmer colors such as yellow-orange or pinkish tones. If your goal is more natural light to create an intimate feel onstage, then go for yellows and greens instead.

There are six main functions of stage lighting: backlight, key light (the most important), fill light (to fill shadows), edge lights (to support actors at the edges of the frame), focusing spotlights on props or items, and finally special effects such as strobe lights or lasers.

Pastor duke taber
Pastor Duke Taber

Pastor Duke Taber

All articles have been written or reviewed by Pastor Duke Taber.
Pastor Duke Taber is an alumnus of Life Pacific University and Multnomah Biblical Seminary.
He has been in pastoral ministry since 1988.
Today he is the owner and managing editor of 3 successful Christian websites that support missionaries around the world.
He is currently starting a brand new church in Mesquite NV called Mesquite Worship Center, a Non-Denominational Spirit Filled Christian church in Mesquite Nevada.