Lighting and Special Effects

Lighting and Special Effects

TV studio lighting equipment

What type of lighting and special effects equipment do you need in a TV studio?

In a professional studio, it is essential to have proper lighting, especially when using virtual sets with a chroma key - in these cases, the lighting will have to be strong and evenly spread throughout the scene.

As a point of reference, you need at least 20 LED panels for a 20 square meter studio. The bigger the studio - and the higher the ceiling -, the more lights you are going to need.

Apart from the standard white lights, there are many lighting effects you can install, either on the ceiling on trusses or directly on the floor around the scene.

There are many special effects on the market, mobile heads being the most popular. Managed by a specific control unit via the DMX protocol, they are used to create special dynamics and atmospheres.
Even more spectacular is the combination of these with smoke machines, which highlight the light's beams and shapes.

In the case of plays, Par LEDs are widely used. These are directional projectors which, thanks to the latest LED technology, allow you to change color (via the DMX control unit) without having to manually adjust the light itself. They can be installed both on the ceiling or on the floor.

Very popular are also LED bars. These are illuminated bars about 1 meter long (depending on the model) which project a steady light in the chosen color, or can also generate light-chasing effects still managed by the DMX unit. They are used to create a perimeter around the scene, or special effects when installed on the ceiling.

Apart from smoke machines, there are other types of machines that are used to achieve the desired effect: snow, wind, foam, etc.

Types of lighting equipment used in video production studios

The main types of lighting equipment for TV studios are:

  1. Tungsten lights: the most common type. They offer a wide range of color temperatures and produce a warm effect overall.
  2. Fluorescent lights: offer a sunlight effect, so as to reproduce a daylight ambience (the range is 3200k-5600k). Each tube comes in one color temperature only.
  3. LED lights: perhaps the most used nowadays. They are dimmable lights with a low power consumption, therefore more efficient and resistant.

Types of special effects equipment used in video production studios

The main types of special effects equipment for TV studios are:

  1. Fog machines: used to achieve a foggy atmosphere, which adds a particularly mysterious aspect to a video production.
  2. Smoke machines: similarly, smoke can bring an intensity to the atmosphere that is being filmed.
  3. Strobe lights: devices that create intermittent lighting, by producing regular flashes of a particular light – as commonly used in nightclubs or at concerts. This effect can add a sense of energy and excitement to the atmosphere in the video.

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