Home » ESCO pilot profiles » Lighting Designer

Lighting Designer


Lighting Designer


Lighting designers develop a lighting design concept for a performance and supervise the execution of it. Their work is based on research and artistic vision. Their design is influenced by and influences other designs and must be conform with these designs and the overall artistic vision. Therefore, the designers work closely with artistic directors, operators and the artistic team. During rehearsals and performance they coach the operators to obtain optimal timing and manipulation. Lighting designers develop lighting plots, cue lists and other documentation to support the operators and production crew. Lighting designers sometimes also work as autonomous artists, creating light art outside a performance context.

Scope notes

Non-preferred terms

Lighting designer and technician
Lighting and video designer
Video and lighting designer
Lighting technician & designer
Lighting & video designer
Theatre lighting designer
Lighting technician and designer
Video & lighting designer
Lighting designer & technician


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 designer

Understand artistic concepts (Interpret an artist’s explanation or demonstration of their artistic concepts, inceptions and processes and strive to share their vision.)
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.)
Monitor sociological trends (Identify and investigate sociological trends and movements in society.)
Analyse score (Study the score, form, themes and structure of a piece of music.)
Analyse script (Break down a script by analysing the dramaturgy, form, themes and structure of a script. Conduct relevant research if necessary.)
Analyse the artistic concept based on stage actions (Examine the artistic concept, form and structure of a live performance based on observation during rehearsals or improvisation. Create a structured base for the design process of a specific production.)
Analyse the scenography (Evaluate the selection and distribution of material elements on a stage.)
Research new ideas (Analyse information to develop new ideas and concepts for the design of a specific production based.)
Develop design concept (Research information to develop new ideas and concepts for the design of a specific production. Read scripts and consult directors and other production staff members, in order to develop design concepts and plan productions.)
Develop design ideas cooperatively (Share and develop design ideas with the artistic team. Conceptualise new ideas independently and with others. Present your idea, gain feedback and take it into account. Make sure the design fits with the work of other designers.)
Present detailed design proposals (Prepare and present detailed design suggestions for a specific production to a mixed group of people, including technical, artistic and management staff.)
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.)
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.)
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.)
Propose improvements to artistic production (Assess past artistic activities with a view to improving future projects.)
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.)
Document lighting plan (Create technical drawings and documentation within the lighting department.)
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.)
Update budget (Make sure that a given budget remains up to date using most recent and most accurate information. Anticipate to possible variations and ensure that the set budgetary goals can be reached within the given context.)
Take measurements of performance space (Measure the performance space in order to calculate the amount of lighting equipment needed and where to place them.)
Analyse the need for technical resources (Define and make a list of the required resources and equipment based on the technical needs of the production.)
Assess power needs (Prepare and manage the provision of electrical power for different areas.)
Verify feasibility (Interpret an artistic plan and verify whether the described design can be executed.)
Install lighting (Set up, connect and test lighting equipment in a live performance environment.)
Set up light board (Install, connect and try out light board in a live performance environment.)
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.)
Supervise plotting of stage lights (Make sure cues for stage lights are adequately entered into the lightboard. Put in levels, positions and changeovers.)
Operate a lighting console (Handle a light board during rehearsal or live situations, based on visual cues or documentation.)
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.)
Contribute to a safe working environment (Apply basic safety rules according to training and instruction and based on a solid understanding of the risks to you and your colleagues.)
Contribute to a sustainable working environment (Apply sustainability rules according to training and instruction and based on a solid understanding of the impact to you, your colleagues and the environment.)
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.)
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.)
Meet deadlines (Ensure operative processes are finished at a previously agreed-upon time.)
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.)
Document your own practice (Register your own work practice for different purposes such as assessments, time management and job applications.)
Keep personal administration (File and organise personal administration documents comprehensively.)
%d bloggers like this: