Glossary of Terms - W

A glossary of terms covering lighting, audio, vision and staging in the event and theatrical industry.

There can be a number of meanings for some terms which can vary from country to country and manufacturer to manufacturer. Information within this guide is indicative and every situation can require a different approach and solution. All care has been taken, however, Image Group NZ accepts no responsibility for inaccuracies. If you have any suggestions, comments or queries regarding this list please contact us.



    A lighting cover over the whole stage (e.g. "We'll use the red wash for the hell scene")
    A lantern which produces a large spread of softly focussed light (e.g. the VL4 and Mac 600 are wash luminaire).

Device which produces a thin haze in the air by "cracking" water droplets.

A unit of measure of power. The electrical wattage of an amplifier describes the power it can develop to drive a speaker. The greater the voltage capability, the higher the wattage. Amplifier wattage requirements are greatly dependent upon the speakers that will be used, the size of the listening room and average loudness that will be played through the speakers. Wattage is expressed as W =V2/R

Unit of electrical power derived from the current (or "quantity" of electricity) multipled by the voltage (or "pressure" at which the current is delivered). Stage lighting equipment is rated in Watts (or Kilowatts - 1kW being equal to 1000W). This refers to the amount of power required to light the lamp. A higher wattage lamp requires more power and gives a brighter light output.


    The distance from one point on a vibrating wave to the same point on the next wave. The lengths of the sound waves (wavelengths) we can hear range from one inch to 40 feet. High frequency sounds have short wavelengths (and are more directional), low frequency sounds have long wavelengths (and are less directional).
    In lighting terms, blue light is short wavelength, green is medium and red is long wavelength. Beyond visible light are the short wavelength Ultra Violet light and the long wavelength Infra Red light. Wavelengths of light are measured in Angstroms.

Slang for so-called "Intelligent" lights with moving mirrors.


    The out of view areas to the sides of the acting area.
    Scenery standing where the acting area joins these technical areas.

A speaker designed to reproduce bass or low frequencies.


    High wattage lights used in a venue when the stage / auditorium lighting is not on. Used for rehearsals, fit-up, strike and resetting.
    Low wattage blue lights used to illuminate offstage obstacles and props tables etc. Known as Wing Workers.

Acronym of "What You See Is What You Get". Mainly used in the context of a software tool for lighting design and production administration. Capable of stunning 3D rendering of lighting states, and direct connection to a lighting control desk. Enables accurate pre-visualisation of lighting designs and greatly increases the understanding between director / producer and lighting designer in the early stages of a production.


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