Today, we have two lighting tips for you from Julia at Gantom Lighting. The first is how to add texture using what you already have; Texture gives your scenes depth and makes them look more natural. The second is lighting transitions. Transitions are...
Today, we have two lighting tips for you from Julia at Gantom Lighting. The first is how to add texture using what you already have; Texture gives your scenes depth and makes them look more natural. The second is lighting transitions. Transitions are needed to ease your guest’s eyes into and out of the experience. Signup for a 30-minute free haunt lighting consultation with Julia at (gantom.com/demo). Subscribe to all our offerings: https://linktr.ee/hauntedattractionnetwork
Julia: Texture, texture, texture. Shadows and textured light are really great ways to give your space more depth and create really natural-looking effects. Lighting designers traditionally use metal or glass templates called gobos. These can sometimes be tree leaves or branch breakups, sometimes they're also symbols, so you can get text or really clear defined images.
But that's not the only way to use textured lighting. You can use just about anything to create anything you want in terms of breakup patterns, whether that's a tree branch as well, maybe you've got some mesh lying around, or chain link fencing is a great tool to create some textured light. Really whatever you have lying around in terms of your scenic props and set dressings could make for a really compelling textured lighting look. Chances are you have something that will work for this.
One word of warning, be careful about the lights you're using and the materials you're creating your textured looks with. Chances are, you might be using an incandescent source or an LED source, if you're using incandescent sources, these can be quite warm. So, just be mindful that whatever you're putting in front of that light is not flammable or likely to melt. If you have that, maybe just give it a little bit more space, you wouldn't want to find any surprises halfway through your run where things have started to drip down, or potentially you have an issue with a fire hazard down the road.
However, if you are using an LED source like the Gantom IQ, for example, this is an LED source, those are going to run much, much cooler. So, you can get props, and you can get these sort of different textured materials, closer to the light source without any worries about melting, or fire hazards, down the road. So, definitely check it out, but definitely also make sure you're checking your light sources and your materials for safety purposes. Safety first out there.
Really great way to make some natural-looking effects in your space, try it out. Also, an easy thing to add at the last minute. If you're looking at your lighting design and you think things are looking a little flat, really try adding some texture in there, get some shadows, it's going to make it way more compelling for your guests who are entering these new worlds. Gives everything a richness just by adding a little bit of negative space in your lighting design.
Philip: Next up, lighting transitions. Transitions are needed to ease your guests’ eyes into and out of the experience and between scenes. Here's Julia again.
Julia: Gradually dim the lights. Most spaces want to be dark, but if you bring your guests directly from the outdoors, especially in the middle of the day, into a pitch-black room, they can't transition into the world you've just created-- emotionally or visually. Generally, you want to set your light levels just a touch brighter at the beginning of your experience, and then gradually lower the levels. This trick eases the guest's eyes into darker spaces, which can also make later strobe or bright light effects, much more impactful. It'll also allow them to better distinguish the details of your design, rather than constantly be stuck in a sort of blur as their eyes are trying to figure out what the lighting is.
This actually, also, allows you to use even less light, if you're strategic about it. The more you allow your guest's eyes to adjust gradually, the further you can push the darkness. If you find yourself having trouble at your opening scenes and spaces, especially, try turning the lights up just a bit. Especially if you can use practicals and motivated sources, like a lamp or other lit prop. A lot of haunts already do this naturally with their storytelling. Typically, you don't lead with your most dramatic moments. Think about your lighting the same way.
Another thing to think about is light spill. To control your light levels, especially at the beginning of your haunts, you want to use blackout curtains or doors as you can to segment your spaces. If your attraction entry is outdoors, every time new parties come in, you will have sunlight spill into that first room. Don't let that affect the party in front of them, or even further on in your space. Plan on that first room being bright and design your lighting to support that rather than be overcome by it, and partition off further spaces so that you can continue to dim the lights.
Work with the world around you, really make sure that you're working with your guests and that they can experience everything with their eyes adjusting appropriately. And then, later on, you can play with that a little bit with your strobe lights and your bright light looks. Thanks for tuning in, and I'll catch you next time on the haunted attractions network.
Here are some great episodes to start with.