How to Set Up Fashion Runway Lighting

How to Set Up Fashion Runway Lighting

Fashion shows are held so that designers can sell their clothing designs. To achieve this goal, however, they need to use proper lighting. Professional fashion runway lighting is a mixture of theatre stage lighting, artistic vision of the producer, and complementing clothing designs. It is a lighting professional’s task to make a visually stunning show that emphasizes the creations of the designers.

There’s no place for low-quality lighting in the runway. If you want to add decorative bulbs, you can choose DanLamp. However, LED lights are the most preferred lighting option.

To make the runway look professional, you might want to consider the following:


Temperature can control the tone and look of the showcased clothes. Medium temperature and ambient lighting are popular among runway shows because they work with almost all kinds of clothing. Leather and warm-colored clothes work well with warm lighting. Black clothing and suits are best complemented with cool temperature.


Lighting should not overwhelm. Instead, it should make the hues of the clothes stand out. Lighting with a color rendering index (CRI) value of at least 90 allow spectators to see the clothes in their true color.  Full-spectrum white light and LEDs are good options as they provide clear illumination and high degree of color fidelity.


Uneven light distribution is distractive. There should be no hot spots where the lighting is too bright or cold spots where the lighting is too shadowed. The light needs to be consistent so that fine details of the clothing will not be lost. You can distribute the lights evenly on the stage. If you’re using PAR lights, make sure that they can cover the most important parts of the stage.


Before you finalize your lighting plan, you need to consult both the designer and the producer of the show. Your concepts and ideas should be in line with each other. The vision of the designer and overall image of the producer should guide you in choosing the lights and planning ways to use them. If the designer wants to present a summer clothing line, you should not use dark and dramatic lighting. Instead, you should use warm lighting.


Though they are not your main priority, you should also consider photographers when you decide your fashion runway lighting. Professional-looking photographs can promote not only the clothes and the designers but also your services. If you want to make sure that the lighting translates well into photographs, check the set using actual camera lens before the start of the show. 


Usually, you don’t need to light the audience. There are times, however, that the light from the runway overspills, and the front row is given exposure. If the producer of the show asks that you light the audience, you should choose dimmer lighting. Remember that the focus should remain on the runway stage.


Lighting is part of the overall presentation of a runway show. If you are able to light the clothes correctly, then designs can be highlighted and the designers can sell their clothes more easily.

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