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outdoor area lighting

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Weogo Reed:

Hi Folks,

    I have been asked to provide general, outdoor lighting for a 62 piece orchestra.
If I can get a rope up high across the performance area, I could hang a couple 30" diameter paper Chinese lanterns with 65 watt LEDs inside.
Am thinking of spraying the inside/top of the balls with silver paint to reflect light down.

    What better ideas do you lighting experts have?

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

Jeff Lelko:
Hi Weogo, I'd start by asking what are your client's expectations along with what ambient light is involved.

To me, "general lighting" for an outdoor orchestra of this size will call for several dozen LED ellipsoidals for wash, additional "spot" style fixtures for gobo textures, possibly CYC lighting depending on what's behind the orchestra, plus any additional uplighting or eye candy fixtures.  Using decent fixtures are a must if this is a corporate event or a paid performance so that everyone doesn't look pink and flicker.  I've done quite a few outdoor events with "general" lighting such as this and the equipment list can be substantial - especially if ambient light will be a significant factor.  Hope this helps!

Scott Hofmann:
I would be extremely wary of paper lanterns simply due to wind.

Weogo Reed:
Hi Jeff,

    In the past, and again this year, there are clip-on lights for the music stands.
They play right up to dusk, just before the July 4th boombooms start.
The request was for very simple, static lighting, just a little more than ambient.
    Scott, agreed, paper in the wind is a consideration.
Commonly around here, summer evenings are pretty calm. 
But not always, and weather seems to be less predictable these days...

    Alternately we have access to a 20' high flat roof on the building behind the orchestra and could aim lights down.

    Any better ideas?

Thanks and good health,  Weogo

Jeff Lelko:

--- Quote from: Weogo Reed on May 19, 2022, 07:14:40 PM ---Alternately we have access to a 20' high flat roof on the building behind the orchestra and could aim lights down.

--- End quote ---

That can certainly work - just be sure to get the angles and intensities right so that you're not blinding your audience nor upsetting the musicians with weird shadow issues on their sheet music!

If it were me I'd probably opt for a few LED ellipsoidals up on towers in a stage right/left position and call it done.  Pars can work too if the physical location of the lights gets you enough beam control from the fixtures you choose.  A few truss totems behind the orchestral uplit in red, white, and blue could also add some nice accent.


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