By Steven Louis Shelley
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Additional info for A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, Second Edition
Threephase 60-cycle alternating current is the standard distributed throughout the United States, but the actual number of phases installed in any building or performing facility may vary. Regardless of the number of phases, an additional wire is present which completes the circuit back to the generator, called the neutral. In many installations, another wire is also included as a safety precaution, called a ground. Electricity has three related electrical attributes: amperage, wattage, and voltage, which are measured The Control Path To manipulate light in a theatrical setting, the lighting designer separately controls the voltage supplied to each electrical device.
Combining the available instrumentation and the needs of the production makes these kinds of general height distinctions somewhat fuzzy. Any number of instrument types and focuses can be specified for each design. Most designers follow the guideline stating that instruments mounted at the top of the boom focus to the far side, while lower-mounted instruments focus to the near side. The focused beams don’t “cross,” reducing the possibility of having too much intensity between two overlapped light beams in the same system.
If a single channel is assigned to control a frontlight wash, the overall number of instruments required to provide the wash may be reduced. If portions of the wash need to be turned off or brightened, though, that can quickly translate into the need for more instruments. Likewise, the amount of control can affect the frontlight focus; if one channel controls an entire zone, the need to carefully blend shutter cuts between beams is reduced, since the individual beam edges won’t be isolated and seen.
A Practical Guide to Stage Lighting, Second Edition by Steven Louis Shelley