Add a professional touch to your theatrical production, film, or photo shoot with vibrant lighting. It isn’t easy to get lighting right. Between the location, color temperatures, and gels, it can be time-consuming and stressful to get the perfect mood and ambiance with lighting. In order to help create vivid scenes and picture-perfect photo shoots, light is a must-have.

Take a look at all the excellent types of gels being used for professional performances. Discover unique uses of gels on lights and determine which kinds of gels will work best for your lighting needs. Instantly boost the professional look and feel of your production with gels and lighting rentals.

Types of Gels on Lights

You may have heard of gels before, but what exactly is a lighting gel? Gels are typically made of polyester and come in a wide variety of colors. Old gels were made out of gelatin, which gives them their name. Like most things, you get what you pay for. Inexpensive gels can only be used with smaller lights, so you’ll need premium gels for larger, hotter lights. Premium gels are typically called tough gels. Look for Rosco, Lee Filters, or Great American Market (GAM) gels in order to get high-quality gels. Gels aren’t all designed the same. Here are three basic types of gels available:

  • Color-Conversion Gels: These gels change the color of your lighting by converting the color temperature. Color temperatures are measured in Kelvin, so indoor lighting is typically 3,200 K, while sunlight and outdoor lighting are typically 5,600 K. Color-conversion gels are described using acronyms. “Color Temperature Blue” gels are called CTB gels. “Color Temperature Orange” gels, on the other hand, are known as CTO gels.
  • Color-Correction Gels: These useful gels filter out certain wavelengths rather than altering the color temperature. For example, old fluorescent lights typically have too many green wavelengths. Use a color-correction gel to remove the excess green. Green is an undesirable light for camera and stage. No one wants to look pale or sick on camera. Newer fluorescent lights offer more balanced light, so color-correction gels are becoming less popular.
  • Color-Effect Gels: Before the days of CGI and digital effects, color-effect gels were one of the most important ways to change the ambiance of a scene. They’re still popular, both for stage and screen. Color-effect gels can add dramatic flair to any scene. Choose vibrant blue to indicate night scenes, or use strong reds, greens, or other colors for unique scenes and moods.
  • Neutral-Density Filter: Although not technically a gel, neutral-density filters interact with lighting in the same way as a gel. Often called ND gels, these filters simply absorb every frequency of light. Think of an ND gel as a dimmer for your lighting. Whether you’re in a confined space or need light that isn’t quite as harsh, it’s always good to have ND gels on hand.

5 Uses for Gels

Now that you’ve got a pretty good grasp on the different kinds of gels available, it’s time to consider how you’ll use these gels to create new moods and scenes for your production. The sheer amount of gels available can make it difficult to imagine what you’ll do with all this light flexibility. Here are five great ways you can make the most out of your lighting:

  1. Sunrise, Sunset: Also known in show business as “golden hour,” sunrises and sunsets offer picturesque golden light that can help you achieve angelic, dreamy shots. It’s especially popular when doing photo shoots. Use 1/2 CTO gels and Straw gels in order to achieve this look with LED lighting.
  2. Moonlit Romance: Another dream-filled location that offers a striking backdrop is moonlight. There’s nothing like moonlight to add mystery, romance, or fear to your production. Simply use blue or cyan gels to achieve this popular effect.
  3. Party On: From discos to raves, lighting can make the difference between a believable party scene and a bland, awkward affair. Pair lights, gels, and other lighting effects for a dance party that never stops.
  4. Cozy Up By the Fire: A warm fire can dramatically shift the mood in any production. Use full CTO gels to create yellow and orange firelight. Pull up a cozy chair and set the scene for a slow, contemplative, or romantic scene.

Lights, Gels, Lasers and More

Gels are only part of the story. Laser lights, special effects, props, and sound equipment can all be combined to create a truly memorable experience. Professional lights and audio equipment can be costly, so consider renting for your event or production. Lights, gels, and laser lights for rent are all cost-effective ways to ramp up your production. If you’re ready to improve your lighting situation dramatically, contact The Wright Group today. You’ll be able to rent almost any item you need to create a professional production. Lights, tents, audio, props, and more are all waiting for you. All you need is an inspirational event to make it all come alive.