Save Stage Lighting Campaign

Equity’s Directors and Designers Committee urges members to sign a petition to stop theatres across Europe going dark.

The Save Stage Lighting campaign is speaking out against a new EU Working plan that could “pose an enormous threat to the way theatrical productions are presented” which would be “immediate and overwhelming”.

The issue lies with the availability of Tungsten lightbulbs. These would “rapidly become unavailable” if the Energy Directorate’s Eco-Design Working Plan 2016-2019 proposals go forward without amendment. As the campaign explains, “this would mean that the majority of lighting fixtures in the majority of theatres - big theatres, small theatres, amateur theatres, colleges, schools, clubs, pubs, village halls - would immediately become obsolete.

“Replacing these with new sources would be expensive as it would mean buying an entirely new rig of EU-approved, efficient, LED lighting fixtures, and it would likely involve replacing the building’s entire lighting infrastructure. For larger venues, this would be both hard to budget for and impossible to implement within the next two years. For smaller venues, it would be ruinous. They would, quite literally, go dark.” Moreover, it is argued that the available alternative to tungsten bulbs is of much poorer quality, which would “result in a considerable degradation in the quality of production lighting and so in the quality of productions.

The petition asks for an exemption to be made for specialist entertainment lighting equipment and light bulbs from the proposed regulations, and any future legislation that could potentially impact access to and availability of this equipment.

Acknowledging the need to conserve the earth’s resources, campaigners quote recent studies that stage lighting account for less than 5% of a theatre’s total energy consumption. Stage lighting does not use a lot of power. The disappearance of tungsten bulbs, however, would have a clearly destructive effect on the quality and quantity of theatrical productions across the continent.

To show your support and sign the petition, click here. You can follow the campaign on Twitter at @SaveLighting and on Facebook at @SaveStageLighting. You can spread the word by using the hashtag #SaveStageLighting