Jump to content

To Lightwright or not to Lightwright


Recommended Posts

Hi All,


I am poised to purchase a copy of Lightwright by John McKernon, and was wondering what people thought of it. I currently use Excel to format all my lighting paperwork, but because of a job later on in the year I have decided that a proper solution for this may be the way forward.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lightwright is well thought out and has some nice features to make an LDs life easier. I have a good number of Excel templates that I've developed over the years (with only a pretty basic knowledge of Excel, and am still happy to work with these.


However, if you are using Vectorworks Spotlight, then Lightwright is surely the way to go. It seriously improves on the Spotlight data manipulation and makes it easy to work in one, or the other, or both. I'm now teaching Vectorworks at my current institution, it won't be long before I include Lightwright alongside it.


For anyone used to WYSIWYG and it's pretty seamless reporting features, Lightwright makes VW seem a lot less disjointed from an LDs point of view.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is probably worth mentioning that I am not an LD, Lightwright is only going to be used by myself and others to generate the Production Lighting paperwork.


I think similar considerations apply to a Production LX, most importantly, how are you getting your information from the LD? The venues? Basically, who is using what in your working circle? And how?


If you are simply looking to create tidy lists, with some reporting functions and a bit of calculation, a decent set of Excel templates is quite adequate, especially if you are having to input data based on a paper or general CAD plan. Where Lightwright earns it's beans is in integrating with Vectorworks, saving a lot of duplication and mental manipulation data.


But is does have some other features that are useful that you don't get with a standard spreadsheet. Electronic focus notes (OK, so it's not Focus Track), Scroller and ML wheel planning for a start. If these things are would be greatly simplified in your everyday life, then Lightwright has the advantage of being designed specifically for LD and Proddy use. And the tools for multiple user file editing and tracking are great for large teams ( I can think of times in the past working on large scale, Olympics sized pre-production where that kind of thing would have been brilliant).


If you are in a position where you get all your plans from the LD in in VW format, then have to allocate/patch/sort the technical aspects, before communicating it to others, track the focus etc, then LW might be ideal. If you are wondering if it makes better lists, then I'd say, not as such, no.


Hope that helps a little.


On a general point (not directed at the OP), let's not forget that generating paperwork is not THE work, it's a RESULT of the work done while planning and preparing for a show as well as a tool for use. The paperwork is what happens after the thinking, and before communication is required. Whatever tool you use, paperwork is paperwork. I spend a lot of my time trying to get my students to realise that the paperwork is what you use to put the show on, not what you rush together the day after the load out just to get your mark.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.