Lighting 101 – Part 1 – Haze

Since Davey has his pedal blogs… I feel that I should start a series of post laying out the basics of lighting. You might learn something that you didn’t know.

Part 1 – What is Haze?

Whenever is lighting is used in a professional setting an agent has to be added to the air in order for beams of light to form. It is very similar when light beams come through your blinds and you can actually see the light beams reflecting dust particles floating through the air. The dust floating through the air is not enough for you to be able to see the light beams from spotlights during a concert or show, so a more dense particle must be added to the air.

When you hear the word “Fog Machine” the first thing that comes to mind is a haunted house. Fog (especially low lying fog) is used in haunted attractions to create a “creepy” environment. Fog is very thick and sometimes hard to see through – especially under the proper lighting conditions. That is why it is so popular in those attractions, but fog is actual the foundation in the lighting world to create “lighting effects.” Fog in the air basically allows colorful light beams to form. This allows the viewer to see lights move and change colors. The use of fog is very popular in Nightclubs. Nightclub environments are very dark, and the thick light beams that form work well with that.

The only problem with fog is that it is so thick that you notice it. It very much like atmospheric fog. The thicker it is – the hard it is to see through it. Fog looks very much like smoke – so the natural reaction is for people to start coughing when they see it. Fog is water based so it does NOT make you cough, but spray alot of fog around and people will start coughing due to the “smoke.” That is why in the theatrical world most plays and concerts use an alternative called haze. Haze is oil based instead of water based so the particles that are put out by a haze machine are much finer then the water based foggers. The particles are so fine that they are only seen in light beams. The surrounding areas can be “hazed” without the average person knowing it.

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