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  • Writer's picturebirrtheatre

Let there be (eco-friendly) lights!!!

Updated: Apr 3, 2023


There's a good reason that newly fledged celebs and actors are said to be "in the Lime Lights". It all comes from the lime burning lamps that were lighting theatre stages in the 1800's . These (very dangerous) lights have long since been replaced by electric lighting, the term however has survived, as someone in the public eye is still said to be "in the limelight".


In order to wow our audiences, we use lights all the time:

  • A general light wash will give a certain atmosphere to the whole set.

  • A spotlight will accentuate an action on stage or focus the audience on a specific cast member.

  • A sudden flash will jolt everyone to attention


To deliver that magic we have moved on from Lime lights (thank god) and rely on a stock of over 40 stage lights hiding in the rig above the stage. Each light is a minimum of 650watts with some as big as 1200watts (in old money!!). Can you imagine if you had bulbs of that level in your house!!

To replace them all at once would be a huge cost. That's why, since 2016 we’ve been slowly investing in upgrading these lights to eco-friendlier LED Lights (along with a new lighting desk to operate them).

Prior to 2020 we had replaced 10 of the lights with significant upgrade to all the infrastructure required to operate them – it’s not as simple as taking out one light and putting in another, they operate in very different ways! The pandemic put a hold to our upgrades but we’re delighted to be back on track making further investment and with support from the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media under the Culture Capital Scheme 2019-2022.


We have recently invested in more lighting and now have replaced almost half of our old, outdated stage lighting stock. We will continue to improve our energy footprint with such investment.


And of course, when we make savings in our overheads, we can continue to provide an exciting and engaging programme of arts activity for our community and bring more artist "in the limelight"!. #Ireland2040






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maryannelea
Apr 30, 2023

Love your piece on some theatre expressions that come from historical lighting. I’m wondering which lighting console are you running? LEDs will keep the electricity bill down too :)

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