Friday, 19th April 2019


A lighting director is the most senior position in the television lighting departments. It is a similar role to that of a director of photography in film, in the sense that they decide on the specific look and style for each shot.

It is a key creative and technical role, where lighting directors are briefed by the producers on what they want the shots to look like. They then design the lighting for each scene, or for the entire shoot, depending on the type of programme.

On set, lighting directors oversee the rest of the lighting crew, making sure that all the lights, rigging and equipment are set up correctly, and directing the lighting technicians and assistants how to help. They must also liaise with the camera departments and the floor manager, deciding on how camera angles will affect the lighting and overall composition style. Lighting is influenced by a wide range of factors, including:

  • The script
  • Set design and location
  • Camera shots
  • Costumes
  • The available equipment

Lighting Directors will prepare a lighting schedule which provides information about the position and type of lights to be used for each scene.

Lighting directors are often used in theatre productions and well as in television, and occasionally used in film production, but they usually choose which sector to specialise in. Each area would require different skills and equipment, so having a specialism is important.

The role demands a range of creative and technical lighting experience, maybe gained by progressing from an electrician or working as a lighting technician previously.