Lighting Technician

Lighting Technicians help to provide the relevant lighting and power supply for a film, either on a studio set, or on location.

The lighting technician use lamps to make available light on studio set or on location as well as may use reflectors to redirect existing light. Furthermore, this person makes sure that light sources of different temperatures can be matched with each other.

On a very small production there may be only one Lighting Technician working with the Camera Operator. On larger productions the teams may be sizeable. Lighting Technicians' responsibilities vary according to the size of the production, and the number of lighting technicians in the team and they must be able to adapt to whatever role is required of them. Lighting Technicians represent the company who employs them, although many work freelance once they have established a reputation. Once they are fully qualified (having served as an apprentice or trainee for three years) they start to work "on the road" as part of the lighting team. Qualified Lighting Technicians may work a six-day week and up to 12/13 hours per day. The role may involve travelling long distances and they may have to drive vans of various sizes, transporting equipment. 

Job/task description

  • Creation of a lighting plan
  • Organize lighting effects that reflect the idea of the film
  • Set up equipment ahead of shooting
  • Carrying out lighting tests
  • Responsibility for positioning lighting equipment throughout shooting or recording of the film/TV programme
  • Installation and operation of lighting equipment to meet the requirements of the indoor and outdoor production
  • Maintenance of the lighting equipment
  • Setting up the lighting equipment before a shoot starts (referred to as Rigging Electricians)
  • Work in the Lighting Store (referred to as Lighting Storemen), which may be a temporary store set up in a corner of a studio
  • In charge of all the light bulbs and other consumable items, such as the traces and filters that are fitted over lights to create particular effects
  • Lighting Technicians work to the instructions of the Gaffer and the Best Boy, who acts as the team leader in co-coordinating their work
  • Must report anything that goes wrong to the Best Boy
  • Be very aware of Health and Safety legislation and procedures