Lighting Designer

Arrange lighting effects for a variety of productions.

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$26,000 – $85,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Lighting Designers do?

A Lighting Designer decides how electric lights will be placed and used in performance venues. You usually work at show productions such as plays, movies, and concerts, but you can also design at affairs like corporate launches, movie premiers, or other large festive occasions.

Lighting is a a huge part of a production so as a Lighting Designer, you work with the top executives and Designers including Film Directors, Set Designers, and Unit Production Managers to make sure everyone is on the same page. In these meetings as the Lighting Designer you’ll need to figure out what the look and feel of the production is meant to be and what resources you have to work with. To round out this picture you review the script/show plan, and watch how people use and move about the stage.

You use this research to create your vision. This will obviously be more complicated at rock concerts than on the set of a sitcom, but whatever the venue your job is to create a visual atmosphere that enhances and enlivens the production.

Your design involves planning out light placement, movement, timing, and visual effects. You need to use technical markups, drawings, and computer graphics to chart out and share your design plans. Once you get to the implementation phase, you work with Lighting Technicians and electrical departments to make your vision a reality.


Should I be a Lighting Designer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Trustworthy: You are known for your personal integrity and honesty.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.

  • Also known as: Home Lighting Adviser

    How to become a Lighting Designer

    Most Lighting Designers have a Bachelor's degree. Chart?chd=s:aar9aa&chl=||associate%27s+%2822%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2878%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,0,78
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