Home » ESCO pilot profiles » Light Board Operator

Light Board Operator


Light Board Operator


Light board operators control the lighting of a performance based on the artistic or creative concept, in interaction with the performers. Their work is influenced by and influences the results of other operators. Therefore, the operators work closely together with the designers, operators and performers. Light board operators prepare and supervise the setup, steer the technical crew, program the equipment and operate the lighting system. They may be responsible for conventional or automated lighting fixtures and, in some instances, controlling video as well. Their work is based on plans, instructions and other documentation.

Non-preferred terms

LX board operator
Lighting board programmer and operator
Lighting board controller
Board operator
Light board controller
Lighting board programmer & operator
Sound & lighting board operator
Sound and lighting board operator
Lighting board operator and programmer
Lighting board operator and programmer
LX operator
Lighting operator


Scope notes


3435 – Other artistic and cultural associate professionals


References: European Commission ESCOv1 prerelease. The release of the initial version of ESCO is scheduled for end of 2016. Versions embedded in TALQ are provided by a temporary access to the ESCO v1 final draft.


Competences of lighting operator

Understand artistic concepts (Interpret an artist’s explanation or demonstration of their artistic concepts, inceptions and processes and strive to share their vision.)
Keep up with trends (Monitor and follow new trends and developments in specific sectors.)
Monitor developments in technology used for design (Identify and explore recent developments in technology and materials used in the live performance industry, in order to create an up-to-date technical background for one’s personal design work.)
Consult with stakeholders on implementation of a production (Discuss with different people and groups who hold a stake in the production. Be on the same page on the practical side of the production and keep them up to date.)
Translate artistic concepts to technical designs (Cooperate with the artistic team in order to facilitate the transition from the creative vision and its artistic concepts to a technical design.)
Support a designer in the developing proces (Provide assistance and support to designers throughout the course of the development process.)
Ensure design concept quality during realisation process (Assure the overall quality of a design concept during the realisation process.)
Update design results during rehearsals (Rework the design results based on observation of the stage image during the rehearsals, especially where the different designs and the action are integrated.)
Coach staff for running the performance (Give instructions to all team members about how they should run the performance.)
Adapt artistic plan to location (Accommodate plans to other locations with respect for the artistic concept.)
Adapt existing designs to changed circumstances (Alter an existing design to changed circumstances and ensure that the artistic quality of the original design is reflected in the final result.)
Adapt to artists’ creative demands (Work with artists, striving to understand the creative vision and adapting to it. Make full use of your expertise and capabilities to reach the best possible result.)
Interpret artistic intentions (Examine, analyse and interpret artistic intentions.)
Interact with actions on stage (Take cues from actions on the stage and interact with them. Take decisions on the exact timing and procedures in a live environment in order to produce a fluid and consistent performance.)
Safeguard artistic quality of performance (Observe the show, anticipate and react to possible technical problems, ensuring optimal artistic quality.)
Perform quality control of design during a run (Control and ensure the quality of design results during a run.)
Communicate during show (Interact efficiently during a live performance, in order to anticipate any possible malfunctionings.)
Use communication equipment (Set up, test and operate different types of communication equipment such as transmission equipment, digital network equipment, or telecommunications equipment.)
Cue a performance (Plan the technical actions and interventions during an artistic performance. Determine when actors go on and off stage. Make sure these cues are followed to ensure a smooth running of the performance.)
Document lighting plan (Create technical drawings and documentation within the lighting department.)
Use technical documentation (Understanding and use of technical documentation in the overall technical process.)
Maintain system layout for a production (Establish a workable layout for the system you manage and maintain it for the duration of a production.)
Provide documentation (Prepare and distribute documentation to ensure all people involved in the production receive relevant and up-to-date information.)
Document artistic production (File and document a production in all its phases right after the performance period so that it can be reproduced and all relevant information remains accessible.)
Assess power needs (Prepare and manage the provision of electrical power for different areas.)
Advise client on technical possibilities (Apply one’s expertise of technical systems to advise the client about the possibility or specifics of a project.)
Manage technical resources stock (Oversee and monitor technical resources stock to ensure that production demands and deadlines can be met at all times.)
Prepare personal work environment (Know the correct settings or positions for your working instruments and adjust them appropriately before starting operations.)
Distribute control signals (Circulate control signals between light boards, dimmers and other lighting equipment. Control systems can be either DMX or network based.)
Fit up performance equipment (Set up sound, light and video equipment on stage before performance event according to specifications.)
Set up equipment in a timely manner (Make sure to set up equipment according to deadlines and time schedules.)
Install lighting (Set up, connect and test lighting equipment in a live performance environment.)
Rig automated lights (Connect, try out, rig and de-rig automated lights and replace optical accessories.)
Rig lights (Connect, try out, rig and de-rig lighting equipment.)
Set up light board (Install, connect and try out light board in a live performance environment.)
Light a show (Use different types of lighting equipment to light up a show. These are based on concrete production needs and requirements.)
Focus lighting equipment (Set already installed conventional lighting equipment, based on directions and information from somebody on the floor.)
Focus stage lights (Fixate, direct, adjust and tune stage lights, either alone or leading a group. Coordinate with the team to determine the optimal lighting.)
Plot lighting states (Set up and try out lighting states. These control the lights on stage by the use of levers or pushes.)
Plot lighting states with automated lights (Technically manipulate light boards for automated lights. Set up and try out lighting states with automated lights.)
Operate a lighting console (Handle a light board during rehearsal or live situations, based on visual cues or documentation.)
Operate dimmer equipment (Set up, connect and operate dimmer equipment (with plug and socket) in a live performance environment.)
De-rig electronic equipment (Remove and store various types of electronic equipment safely after use.)
Pack electronic equipment (Safely pack sensitive electronic equipment for storage and transport.)
Store performance equipment (Dismantle sound, light and video equipment in a safely manner after a performance event. Make sure the equipment is correctly stored away.)
Prevent technical problems with lighting equipment (Anticipate on possible technical problems with lighting equipment.)
Maintain automated lighting equipment (Set up, check and repair automated lighting equipment and maintain its software.)
Maintain dimmer equipment (Check and operate dimmer equipment. Take the appropriate steps if the equipment is defective, correcting the defect yourself or forwarding it to a specialised repair service.)
Maintain lighting equipment (Check, maintain and repair electrical, mechanical and optical lighting elements.)
Work with respect for own safety (Apply the safety rules according to training and instruction and based on a solid understanding of the prevention measures and risks to your own personal health and safety.)
Work ergonomically (Apply ergonomy principles in the organisation of the workplace and while manually handling equipment and materials.)
Use personal protection equipment (Assess the need for personal protection equipment according to training, instruction and manuals. Inspect the equipment and use it consistently.)
Work safely with mobile electrical systems under supervision (Take the necessary precautions while providing temporary power distribution for performance and art facility purposes under supervision.)
Ensure safety of mobile electrical systems (Take the necessary precautions while providing temporary power distribution independently. Measure and power up an installation.)
Perform first fire intervention (Intervene in the case of a fire in order to extinguish the fire or limit the effects pending the arrival of emergency services according to training and procedures.)
Follow safety procedures when working at heights (Take necessary precautions and follow a set of measures that assess, prevent and tackle risks when working at heights. Prevent endangering people working under these structures.)
Plan teamwork (Organise the working schedule of a group of people in order to meet all time and quality requirements.)
Lead a team (Lead, supervise and motivate a group of people, in order to meet the expected results within a given timeline and with the foreseen resources in mind.)
Manage personal professional development (Take responsibility for lifelong learning and continuous professional development. Engage in learning to support and update professional competence. Identify priority areas for professional development based on reflection about your practice and through contact with peers and stakeholders.)
Document your own practice (Register your own work practice for different purposes such as assessments, time management and job applications.)
Promote yourself (Market yourself to others by promoting one’s competences and abilities.)
Develop professional network (Reach out to and meet up with people in a professional context. Find common ground and use your contacts for mutual benefit. Keep track of the people in your personal professional network and stay up to date on their activities.)
Keep personal administration (File and organise personal administration documents comprehensively.)
%d bloggers like this: