A theatre lighting designer (or LD) works with the director, choreographer, set designer, costume designer, and sound designer to create the lighting, atmosphere, and time of day for the production in response to the text, while keeping in mind issues of visibility, safety, and cost. The LD also works closely with the stage manager or show control programming, if show control systems are used in that production. Outside of stage lighting the job of a Lighting Designer can be much more diverse and they can be found working on rock and pop tours, corporate launches, art installation and on massive celebration spectaculars, for example the Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies.
Alex Ryer Well if you want to get technical, this is for you….the Light Measurement Handbook, with topics on what is light, the power of light, how light behaves, manipulating light, light sources, principles of light measurement, filters, optics etc.
Ann Courtney Several galleries of excellent lighting designs.
Bill Williams A comprehensive history of light and lighting from 4.5 Billion BC to the present day. This is an excellent timeline for tricky research into specifics like the intoroduction of the gas and electric light in England and America, the story behind the Fresnel, the discovery of ultraviolet light, and who was the man behind the McCandless method of stage lighting?
Bill Williams An absolute gem of a website with just about everything you ever needed to know about stage lighting! This section of Bill William’s site is called ‘Stage Lighting Design 101’ and includes an introduction to stage lighting, general design methods, applied design methods, lighting procedure, stage lighting fixtures, stage lighting mechanics, and lighting design education.
CalArts Theatre forms page with a few lighting forms.
Florida State University Article discussing the physics of light and colour, including the sources of visible light, reflection of light, refraction of light, primary colours, light filters etc.
Gerard McCarthy Brief, but worthwhile webpage about issues affecting the theatrical lighting designer today.
L.J. DeCuir Lighting designs for several productions.
Larry Wild Very useful ‘at a glance’ brief history of stage lighting from Northern State University, including the introduction of technology and significant lighting designers through history.
Limelight Lighting Design Great production images from Sydney-based lighting designer.
Michael Abrams Excellent gallery of stage lighting designs.
Northern State University Useful FAQ on the functions of stage lighting (and sound) in the theatre.
Owen Collins Several galleries of excellent lighting designs.
Sarah Hughey Chicago-based lighting designer with online portfolio.
State University of New York Geneseo Excellent two-part lecture notes by Melanie Blood on the theatre lighting designer’s goals, tools and processes. Also includes discussion on the historical conventions of lighting design.
Stephen Quandt Collection of stage lighting designs.
Tech Pages Useful glossary of lighting terms.
University of Virginia Excellent glossary of lighting terms, aimed at the rock and roll industry.
West Side Systems Virtual Light Lab demo download.