The Lighting Nerds

The Lighting Nerds is a bi-monthly podcast that talks about the technology used in entertainment lighting, lighting industry news, hosts interviews with people in the field, and generally banter about lighting.
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Mar 11, 2024

It's the Lighting Nerds! Into Logic and out of it again in an actually reasonable amount of time, belive it or not. Though sort of unreasonable when it comes to how long it's been since we released. Don't forget to join the Discord:

And hear other great pods at Update your bookmarks, folks. This episode is the one with the corrected audio.


  • News
    • Cobra2: What's up at the FDA, exactly?
    • Martin MAC One
  • Notable productions
    • Eras, which we'll discuss later
    • The Grammys, which we'll
  • Tea Time
    • The Eras Tour
  • Lighting Trivia: Alex gets it wrong, but we've got a new drop for it
  • Lighting Term of the Day: sACN: Craig struggles to remember an exponent of two.


Dec 4, 2023

Zounds! We're back again with a fresh helpin' of down-home, Wisconsin-grade minced oaths. We've got so much forking content to get through that if we don't get talking, we might driven to harder words like frickin' or shirtballs. At least there won't be any trolley problems.

In this episode:

  • News items
    • The Ayrton Cobra
    • Unreal Engine pricing changes
    • Solotech founder in memoriam
  • Designer chat
    • Renaissance Tour
  • Tea Time
    • How do you like to distribute DMX?
  • Lighting Trivia
  • Lighting Term of the Day: Art-Net

During the time of holiday cheer, whatever you celebrate, may the light of truth and the warmth of love go with you in your hearts.

Jul 13, 2022

It's episode 041! Not episode 042. That's the next episode. You know, I made some really delicious brussels sprouts tonight, they were like...flavor sponges. They were SO GOOD with the mustard and maple sauce that I made. Anyway...where am I? Who are you people? This episode was recorded in March, so things are a teensy-tiny bit out of date, but stick with us, folks. We have some good stuff here to talk about. Starting with:

  • Martin P3 5.3 is out
  • Alex talks about CuePoints, Craig asks questions about it
  • GLP X5 Wash
  • Tea Time: should you carry your own gear onto shows?
  • Lighting Term of the Day: Encoder

Lastly, our hearts go out to all those affected by the recent gun violence in our nation. Please visit to help save lives.

Sep 3, 2021

Yeah, we still podcast. Sometimes. In this day and age of little work, sometimes we seem to have even less time to get together to pod. Certainly, it affects our motivation. But we have mustered some up for you, dear listeners, so let's dive into this year's week's episode.

  • New fixtures: the Martin MAC Ultra
  • Notable personnel movements: don't move, it's COVID.
  • Garth Brooks cancels
  • Notable stage designs: feat. NAZIS
  • Tea Time: Spectacle vs Art: Backline Techs Weight In
  • Lighting Trivia: First distributed networking?
  • Lighting Term of the Day: Telescan
Feb 8, 2021

Because we suck at publishing, it's been a while. But here's a new episode, and it's 39, which is a LUCKY NUMBER. In this episode:

  • The Chroma-Q thing that has some cool gears for focusing. Craig is amazed, because he's never seen that before, but apparently it's a thing
  • Drafty 4.0: It's Drafty-er!
  • Michael Strickland of Bandit Lites fighting for Teh Working Class
  • Decentralized productions.
  • Tea Time: General Device Type Format
  • Lighting Trivia: Alex gets it right
  • Lighting Term of the Day: PWM
Sep 4, 2020

It's our THIRTY EIGHTH episode. Craig has finally moved, and finally got this edited. Geez. Two locations, two webinars, and a broken lead pipe later...we are finally releasing this old thang. Anyway. In this episode:

  • ChamSys MQ500
  • Robe Tetra1
  • grandMA3 OnPC XT
  • Grant Imahara's death
  • Tea Time: Controlling your cash flow
  • Interview: Tucker Downs, color scientist
  • Lighting trivia: Alex gets it wrong
  • Lighting Term of the Day: lectern vs podium
  • Squish

Hugs and kisses y'all. Register to vote. -C

May 20, 2020

In the midst of the global pandemic, we offer you this commentary on the state of the lighting industry. I have very few pithy comments this week, because this pandemic is just so emotionally draining. The strain of prolonged isolation is truly monumental. Hang in there, everyone. I'm feeling it, just you like are.

In this episode:

  • ETC Fos/4
  • Craig gets a little ranty-about Chinese market fixtures
  • Chris Lisle's open letter
  • Tea Time: Photosensitive epilepsy / patron requests
  • Lighting Trivia: To the nearest 20 years, when was limelight first used as a stage lighting source? (Alex gets it wrong)
  • Lighting term of the day: Limelight
Mar 31, 2020

Yeah, we know you haven't thought about COVID-19 for like...ten seconds, but here we are anyway, talking about it. At least, like, a little. It's the episode featuring the OG Lighting Nerd, Gavin Lake! Say hello, Gavin.

In this episode:

  • Industry news: 
    • God almighty, the mother effing coronavirus.
    • Wash your hands, blah blah, let’s commiserate about how super effed we all are. 
  • New fixtures / gear
  • Notable personnel movements
    • Tyler Truss now owned by Glenn Cleland, previously owned by Mark Dodd of Dodd Technologies, which seems to be a production company.
  • Notable tours / productions
    • The Deadmau5 cube tour
    • The Black Keys and the 325 Strike Ones.
  • Tea Time
  • Lighting trivia!
    • Which of these did not exist: the Martin MAC 1200, the VL liquid lens, or the moving head confetti cannon?
    • Craig sez: I know that I say "VL7" in this episode, but that's wrong. The VL7 had nothing specifically to do with the liquid lens
  • Lighting Term of the Day
    • Softgoods
Aug 3, 2019

It's The Lighting Nerds, episode 032. That's an exponent of 8, which makes this episode extra-special. We also have Jose, my old L2 from Halsey, filling in for Alex, who's off making money for this ep. In this ep:


  • Industry news and fixture talk
    • The Martin MAC Allure
      • It's cool, I want to see a rig of many
    • The Elation Artiste Monet
      • Jose likes it!
    • The ETC Releve
      • Much better than that other ETC moving light.
    • The Elation RAYZOR 760
      • It's S P A R K L Y
  • Tea Time
    • An interview with Mike Wood, who tells us about strange French words and their effects on lights
    • No seriously, it's about etendue, which you need to know about so LISTEN UP KIDS.
    • Mike's papers about this concept, so you can follow along
  • Lighting Quiz
  • Lighting Term of the Day
    • Snoot / top hat
Jun 26, 2019

It's Episode 031! Craig and Alex are back, Craig had a baby. Well, his partner did anyway. It's the Episode with the title card you'll have to listen to the whole thing to get. In this episode:


  • Industry news
    • We do not talk about the new Clay-Paky light, because I have conflicting information about it. Does it use a phosphor? Are there lasers? CP won't say.
    • High End Systems Turbo Ray
    • Vari-Lite 6500 Wash
      • Bet VL didn't see the Turbo Ray coming!
    • Fred Foster passed away in February
  • Notable Tours
    • The 1975 ABIIOR tour
      • Is it called that? I keep seeing two different names for the thing.
    • Tobias, are you listening? We like you <3
  • More news
  • Tea Time
    • Staying healthy on the road, a discussion
    • Send us your tips for staying healthy!
  • Lighting trivia
  • Lighting Term of the Day
    • Source 4


Oct 25, 2018

It's the Lighting Nerds! Your go-to source for slightly up-to-date lighting information!

In this episode:

  • News Items
    • The Vari-Lite VL10 WashBeam
    • Circa-Scoop LED by Mega Lite. Interesting.
    • The Altman AP-150. It' RGBW PAR.
  • Notable Movements
    • George Masek is back at VL. Woo, George!
  • Notable Tours
    • Frame By Frame
  • Tea Time
    • Controlling Media as an LD
  • Lighting Trivia
    • Alex cheats
  • Lighting Term of the Day
    • Additive and subtractive mixing
Aug 17, 2018

We're still not dead yet!

Craig's back from Halsey, and Alex is done with his move. We're here to chew gum and make podcasts, and we're stock full of Juicy Fruit. Er, or something like that?

Since I know you're listening, hi, Drew!

Anyway, in this "ep":

  • Industry news
    • I lost the audio of our last show, which is why this has taken so long. Sorry.
    • Ayrton is making eyes at doing "standard" moving lights. That's kind of interesting.
    • grandMA 3. Yeah, of course we're gonna talk about it.
    • City Theatrical makes top hats for the X4.
    • The WholeHog 4 hardware refresh. Craig has some feelings about the WholeHog.
  • Tea Time
    • The cost of being a lighting designer in 2018
  • Lighting Trivia
    • What does "DIP", as in "DIP switch" stand for?
  • Lighting Term of the Day
    • Punter
Mar 11, 2018

It's the TWENTY-FIFTH EPISODE of Lighting Nerds! In this episode, we keep Alex around, joke (or do we??) about being corporate shills, and talk about festival lighting.


In this ep:


  • News Items
    • Alex sees the Portman lights, Craig still doesn't like them, exactly.
    • The 2018 Superbowl halftime show
    • The 2018 Winter Olympics - we can't review them, because we couldn't watch them. Shame on you, NBC.
    • TARM LaserGrid
  • Tea Time
    • Festival lighting! Building your rig, getting along with people. Perhaps we'll touch on programming for festivals later?
  • Lighting Quiz
    • Alex gets it right
  • Lighting Term of the Day
    • DMX


Feb 17, 2018

It's the one with Brad Schiller!

Fresh off the newly-reinstalled Silver Mac Tower of Audio is Episode 024 of The Lighting Nerds. In this "ep":


  • News Items
    • A new touring roadshow, from ENTECH.
    • GrandMA 3 orders exceeding expectations, delays of up to eighteen months expected.
    • Portman releases the Pix31. The Lighting Nerds question its utility.
    • Martin introduces the RUSH MH11 Beam.
  • Interview
    • It's the one with Brad Schiller, legendary lighting designer, programmer, Renaissance Man, culinary master and inventor of the "Schiller Technique" for cooking pineapple, and all around Friend of the Podcast. Recorded 2017, sat on a hard drive in New Hampshire until now.
  • Tea Time
    • We discuss doing ALL the visuals for productions as one person.
  • Lighting Trivia
    • Craig gets it right, for a change
  • Lighting Term of the Day
    • Lamp / globe / bulb


Jan 24, 2018

We've fixed our audio! Thanks to everyone who sent me pineapples, I really appreciate it.


Our title this time references electric toothbrushes, people...obviously...


In this episode:


  • News
    • grandMA3! It's new! It's big! It has little letterbox screens that are just *begging* for a cool timecode view.
    • GLP Force 120
      • It's a big ass fan. Not to be confused with Big Ass Fans.
    • SGM G-Spot Turbo
      • No green emitter! Fascinating.
    • Katy Perry's "Witness" tour is using PSN for positional data. Had you heard about PSN? Me neither.
  • Tea Time
    • Piracy, specifically console piracy. Don't do it, kids. Inspired by reddit.
  • Lighting Trivia!
    • Craig loses.
  • Lighting Term of the Day
    • Ballast. Also describes some industry people I know.


Happy new year, everyone! Here's to the continuation of the show.



Dec 26, 2017

Does anybody read these? If any of you are reading this, shoot me a email / DM / tag me with "pineapple".


The Lighting Nerds! We're still around. Thanks so many to the many, many people who stepped up in to say that they'd be happy to host a show with me, it felt really good to find out that people still care and want to help. Introducing a new host who will be around (I hope!) a while, it's Alex! From Australia. You might know him as the guy who makes the Console Training videos on YouTube. He's also a Lighting Nerd.


In this episode, our first in several months:


  • News Items
    • Ed Sheeran tour. It's cool

    • MAC Encore line of LED fixtures from Martin.

    • GLP JDC1. Can we come up with a different name? Cool light, though.

  • Tea Time
    • Prepping a rig. I sort of sprung this topic on Alex. Sorry, Alex!
  • Lighting Quiz!
    • Alex doesn't win. Sorry, Alex.
  • Lighting Term of the Day
    • Gacflex vs steelflex vs spanset


And finally…

Merry Christmas
Happy Hanukkah
Joyous Kwanzaa
Rockin’ Ramadan

And a very special tip of the hat to those who believe in nothing but still want holiday pay.

May one day people all over the world not just tolerate but celebrate different faiths and cultures, and have their greetings accepted in the spirit they were given, without fear of being mocked and laughed at by those who lack understanding.


Nov 13, 2016

I'm back from LDI, Gavin is back from Europe and we're both seriously tossing around the idea of emigrating straight back to the shores of Britain! #election2016. In this episode:

  • The PRG Ground Control Long Throw
  • The laser phosphor thingy from Osram
  • The Robe DLF7 wash
  • Indoor spark projectors!
    • They're kind of awesome
  • T-Time (Tech time!)
    • Fades, delays, paths, split timings
  • Lighting term of the day: CMY
  • Craig does okay with Gavin's tough quiz!
Oct 12, 2016

Dear interwebs, we promise never to be away this long again. If two or more of us aren't available, we'll do an episode anyway. Maybe a short one, maybe a long one, maybe with a guest. But we'll stick to that two week (about) schedule from now on. Probably. Maybe. Also, new cohost with Craig today: say 'ello to Josh. Gavin will be back in November-ish.

In this, our pre-LDI episode, we talk about a lot of new lights! Chew on this:

  • News items
    • The Robe Spikie, an update from episode 012
    • Robe Spiider
    • The Robe Halo
    • Philips Showline SL LEDSPOT 300
      • wat
    • Showline Hydrus 350
      • wat again
    • Blizzard BUDDHA
      • Not sure about this one, don't hate me, Frank
  • Tips for being a church lighting (or production!) person
  • Term of the day: LED, and some common myths debunked. Also Craig lets long-winded about how they work and skirts copyright law.
Aug 28, 2016

Hot off the presses, it's a new episode of Lighting Nerds. We did this one right in the middle of being way distracted by houses, touring, and honey-do lists, and it shows a bit in the show. So uh, bear with us.

Jul 25, 2016

It's tour season, and Gavin and I are on the road and subsequently exhausted. But we keep making this for you, because, well, that's what we do. Anyway. In this episode:


Jun 20, 2016

Thanks to the restorative powers of angry e-mails, we're back after a month hiatus! Whew! Let's get this show on the road!

  • Guest star: Rowboat, the man with the Golden Voice
  • Gavin and Craig have jobs, let us tell you about them
  • Live Design Product of the Year Awards
    • The GLP X4 Bar
    • SGM G-1 Beam
    • Ayrton Magic Dot R
    • PRG Ground Control followspot
  • Live Design awards. Spoiler: LeRoy Bennett wins a thing <3
  • We discuss the Beyonce video monolith design by Es Devlin
  • Craig tells you about the Helmholtz-Kohlraush effect, feel smart.
    • Everyone says it's a entoptic effect, but Craig disagrees.
  • GrandMA software release
  • Lighting term of the day: Fleenor, with an extended discussion of opto-splitters
  • Lighting quiz: Craig gets it wrong, wrong, wrong
May 19, 2016

We've got everything this week: Craig's crappy on-location audio, new lights, quizzes, we're like a week late, and more!


  • News items:
    • Elation releases
      • A moving head wash with lots of colors, the Platinum 7
      • An LED PAR that combines all the sources and zooms
      • The eMotion, a moving head projector
      • The Sniper Pro, a cool laser-like effect
    • Martin releases the Axiom, and I totally saw it in action
    • Philips tries to spin off 25% of their entertainment lighting business, since they couldn't find a buyer for the whole thing
    • Hamilton gets 16 Tony Award nominations
  • The science of the health effects of haze. tl;dr, we're all gonna be fine.
  • Lighting Design, Console, and Programming Theory: we walk through how WE would program the famous song "Back in Black" by AC/DC. As it turns out, we're the same person.
  • Lighting term of the day: cable bridge.
  • Lighting quiz: Gavin gets it right!


Links to the studies and whatnot cited about haze:

May 7, 2016

Boy howdy, I was late on that one. But your loss is our, uh, gain? Or something like that. Anyway. In this episode:


  • Ayrton makes cool stuff:
  • Lighting Design, Console, and Programming Theory:effects
  • Some e-mails: David Henry talks to us about termination, Amy Peryam asks about dealing with creative differences, and Amanda Tullis tells us about a solution to makes LEDs dim smoothly
  • Lighting term of the day: PAR can
  • Lighting quiz: Craig 1.5, Gavin 2.5
Apr 14, 2016

In this episode, Gavin admits some...personal shortcomings, namely, his obsession with tiny pieces of metal and glass that change the shape of a light beam. We're all here for you, Gavin.




  • Pro Light and Sound happened
    • The Axiom happened
    • Some other Martin fixtures happened, and Craig might be reviewing one
    • Some Robe fixtures, including the PicklePatt and the Spikie
  • Lighting Design, Console, and Programming Theory: gobos
  • A discussion / introduction to what color temperature is
  • Term of the day: Molefay. Don't call them flashers, please. Nathan.
  • Lighting quiz question: Gavin gets half a point.
Mar 30, 2016

An on-time episode! It's like Christmas in March! In this episode:


  • Gavin and Craig talk about their current projects. Craig does lights for Alan Jackson, Gavin is building a kick-ass previz rig.
  • Industry news:
    • Martin releases a teaser video for the MAC Axiom hybrid, which we still can't talk about
    • Robert Juliat releases the DALIS LED cyc light, and they’re demoing at PLS in Frankfurt
    • Color rendering index TM-30-15, a brief chat
  • What to do when you have a bad day
  • Lighting term of the day: socapex. Cover your virgin ears during this bit, Christian kids.
  • Lighting quiz: Craig 0.5, Gavin 1.
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