Automated Lighting: The Art and Science of Moving Light in Theatre, Live Performance, Broadcast, and Entertainment

1st Edition

Authors: Richard Cadena
Paperback ISBN: 9780240807034
Imprint: Focal Press
Published Date: 6th September 2006
Page Count: 496


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"Automated Lighting—Technology, Applications, and Design" is a comprehensive text covering everything you will need to know as a working or aspiring lighting professional about automated lighting fixtures, systems, how they are used and design issues you will face. It is written in clear, easy-to-understand language but includes enough detailed information that the most experienced technician and engineer will appreciate and benefit from reading. Subjects covered include the history of automated lighting, DC and AC electricity, basic electronics, power supplies, digital electronics, electro-mechanical systems, optical systems (including dichroic filters, reflectors, lenses, and more), lamp technology, lighting effects (including color mixing, glass gobos, and more), data distribution systems, DMX, RDM, and ACN. State-of-the-art automated lighting fixtures in various applications including theatre, television, concert/touring, and permanent installations are discussed and special design issues are addressed.

The text is amply illustrated with drawings and pictures. The newest technology in automated lighting--"digital" lighting or pixel-based automated lighting projection--is also covered in detail. This book is the antithesis of a reference manual or user manual. It is entertaining and educational with lots of graphic illustrations and easy-to-understand concepts. It’s the most fun you can have without sitting behind a console.

Key Features

  • Numerous examples and illustrations
  • Easy to read with little "tech-talk"
  • Contains information on the newest lighting technology
  • Minimal amount of math reduces the drudgery!


Students of lighting design and theatre technology, as well as working professionals involved in lighting design, technical support, touring support, technical directors, sales, marketing, engineering, management, programming, engineers, and architects.

Table of Contents

SECTION ONE: Introduction to Automated Lighting; Automated Lighting in the Global Village; The Past, Present, and Future of Automated Lighting; Systems Overview; SECTION TWO: Electricity and Electronics; DC Electricity; Electricity and Magnetism; AC Electricity; Power Supplies; Over-Current Protection; Digital Electronics; Microprocessors; Memory; Schematic Diagrams; SECTION THREE: Electro-Mechanical and Mechanical Systems; Electro-Mechanical Systems; Mechanical Systems; SECTION FOUR: Optical Systems; Lamp Technology; The Optical Path; SECTION FIVE: Communications; DMX-512; Remote Device Management (RDM); DMX512-A; Advanced Control Network (ACN); SECTION SIX: Maintenance and Troubleshooting; Heat Management; Cleaning; Troubleshooting; Recommended Spare Parts; Tools; SECTION SEVEN: Setup and Customization; Menuing; Lamp Optimization; SECTION EIGHT: Digital Lighting; DMD; DLP; LCD; SECTION NINE: Lighting Design with Automated Lighting; Fixture Types; Applications for Automated Lighting; Automated Lighting in Production; Lighting Design software; Design Issues; SECTION TEN: The Future of Automated Lighting Technology; Evolution: Size, Weight, Efficiency, Cost; Revolution: Digital Lighting; APPENDIX; Automated Lighting Resources; Glossary; Index.


No. of pages:
© Focal Press 2006
Focal Press
Paperback ISBN:

About the Author

Richard Cadena

Richard Cadena is the author of "Focus on Lighting Technology," technical editor for PLASA, former editor of Pro Lights and Staging News magazine, an Authorized WYSIWYG Trainer, and 20 year veteran of the entertainment lighting industry including stints with two of the world’s largest automated lighting manufacturers. He has a background in electrical engineering and electronics, and he is a freelance lighting designer with a portfolio of several major lighting designs and installations and is proficient in WYSIWYG, LD Assistant, and Vectorworks. He has been an instructor of classes in automated lighting technology with the Show Training Network, and a moderator of several lighting panels and seminars at Pro Production and Inspiration trade shows.

Affiliations and Expertise

Freelance lighting designer, author, technical editor of PLASA, and distinguished 20-year veteran of the lighting industry. Resides in Austin, TX.


"Automated Lighting features detailed design and operating information on automated light fixtures and systems used in live performances, TV broadcasts, and other entertainment arenas." – Studio Photography, October 2006 "In all this is a throughly recommended book - even as a reference for the more seasoned practitioner. To have such a wealth of information in one place is rare and it would serve well as a course text book for student lighting designers." Lighting and Sound, December 2006