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lighting design program


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I'm about to head off on an australia wide tour, and as the only tech I'm going to need to send out each venue a grid design. I was just wondering if anyone knew of the names of programs that you use to design and print out said lighting designs? and if you know rough costs that'd be great too.





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Possibly a place to start with this would be to contact each venue from your tour and ask for CAD plans of their rigs; and see what formats you get offered.

It would make sense if the package you choose allows you to use the venues own plans as a basis for your designs.


There's a good bet that most if not all will be AutoCad files, though Vectorworks and Wysiwyg are common too. All are expensive to buy and have different strengths - there's plenty of threads here on that subject to help you choose which one.


Personally I would suggest Wysiwyg Design - It's a dedicated lighting package with good plotting & pre-visual abilities (Wyg's CAD features are weak compared to the others). AutoCad and Vectorworks are true CAD design packages, there are seperate additional packages for each to give them dedicated lighting features.


All of them can read and write .dwg format which is what most venues will use. (native AutoCad format)



If all these options prove to be simply too expensive, then consider one of the cheaper CAD programs which offer good .dwg compatability. (Don't use any myself but I'm sure there are plenty of members here who could suggest a good choice)

At least you will be able to work with most venues plans and there are plenty of free CAD lighting symbols available to draw 2D plots with.

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Thanks very much guy,


I was only looking for a 2d program, though the others look like great fun. I also stumbled onto the FAQ, and my apologies for not looking there first. and, at the risk of sounding feeble,


does anyone know where I can find the *free* 2d lighting stencils mentioned earlier?



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Manufacturer's websites tend to have a .dwg free download, Selecon for example...


It worked for me, recently a school needed a plot and I was stuck because I didn’t pack my laptop and the school did not have any pro cad apps to hand... Hence the intro of a free simple enough CAD app (but surprisingly handy) via http://freeware.intrastar.net/cadsoftware.htm and then the mentioned download and conversion from .dwg to something the cad app could handle. Nice fix at the time :o



but, in your current situation, perhaps it’s just necessary to go the extra mile and fork out for pro software?



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