How do I become a lighting designer

Lighting designer

With indirect lighting, it immerses the stage in diffuse lighting moods, with the footrest in the front of the stage it exaggerates the actors' faces into the surreal and with rapidly flickering lights it can create tension. Whether on a theater stage or a large event, the lighting designer puts everything in the right light.


With countless spotlights, colored foils, effect spotlights or even moving lights, the lighting designer creates complete lighting and lighting concepts. This allows him to underline the artistic ideas of the director or choreographer at stage performances. It can make the architecture of a building shine in pompous light, illuminate interiors harmoniously or provide the right glamor for large events. Depending on where a lighting designer works, different design options are open to him. What remains the same with all his concepts, however, is that he uses light not only as a functional but also as an artistic means to design rooms. He creates moods and emotions and thus always draws the audience's attention. His work usually takes place before the premiere of a play or an event evening. When all the preparations are in full swing, he thinks about and designs the right lighting concept for an event or performance. During the event itself, he usually leaves the technical implementation of his concept to the lighting technicians or lighting masters. The lighting designer is therefore responsible for the conceptual and artistic work. The lighting technician and the lighting master, on the other hand, are responsible for the manual and technical implementation. Since most spotlights are now controlled automatically, a small push of a button is usually enough during the event to let a preset light setting shine on the stage.


Anyone who wants to make lighting design their profession should have an artistic feel for colors, shapes and design. This also includes being creative, imaginative and resourceful. Furthermore, a good technical understanding is an important prerequisite for this profession.


A course of study as well as extra-occupational training courses can train people to become a lighting designer. Bachelor and master degrees are offered at several technical colleges, academies and universities. Degree programs have names such as lighting design or light design. Among other things, the following are taught in these courses: Basics of light and lighting planning, differences and possibilities of daylight and artificial light, color design and technical basics. In addition, business basics and strategic project management are also part of the curriculum for some courses. This is especially intended for work in the event area.

Job opportunities:

Lighting designers mostly work in theaters, opera houses, and in architecture or interior design offices. However, employment at event agencies or in exhibition stand construction is also conceivable.