Top 5 Par Can Lighting Accessories Every Lighting Designer Needs

Introduction of Par Can lighting

A par can is a type of spotlight used in stage lighting, concert lighting, and architectural lighting. It owes its name to its parabolic aluminized reflector, or parabolic lamp, that focuses light from the lamp into a narrow, intense beam. The Par can bulb has become a staple lighting fixture for lighting designers as it has a versatile and adaptable nature.

Key uses and benefits of Par Can lighting

Some of the key uses and benefits of par can lighting include:

Stage lighting – The most common utility of Par cans is its use in spotlights, floodlights or accent lights in theater and live performances. They can highlight actors, sets or other areas of interest.

Concert lighting – Par cans are useful to illuminate musicians, create visual effects and generate an energetic atmosphere at concerts. They are mountable on trusses, catwalks or speaker stacks.

Architectural lighting – Par cans are useable to accentuate buildings, monuments or landscape features. They are an easy way to draw attention or enhance the aesthetic appeal. 

Focus and intensity – Par cans produce a narrow, concentrated beam that can be directed at a specific area. This allows for good focus and control.

Brightness – Par cans typically use high-intensity discharge lamps that provide a large amount of light relative to their size. This makes them suitable even for large spaces.

Adaptability – Par cans are extremely versatile and flexible. They are compatible for fitting perspective with various accessories like color filters, lenses, barndoors, shutters, and gobos to create different lighting effects. This allows lighting designers to sculpt light and shape the ambiance. 

Cost-effectiveness – Par cans are relatively affordable, durable, low-maintenance and easy to set up and operate. This makes them a budget-friendly option for many applications.

Portability – Most par cans are lightweight, compact and can be mounted in various ways. This facilitates their transportation, installation and removal.

Primary goal with the use of Par Can lighting

As a lighting designer, your primary goal is to develop a visually captivating spectacle through the effective use of lighting techniques and equipment. You must have access to suitable lighting fixtures and accessories to achieve this purpose. One of the most versatile and useful lighting fixtures for any designer is the parabolic aluminized reflector light. These are commonly known as a par can.  

To maximize the potential of your par cans, you need to obtain the proper accessories and attachments. In this article, we will examine five of the most essential par can accessories that all lighting designers should possess as part of their toolkit.

With the appropriate attachments like color filters, lenses, barndoors, and shutters, a par can becomes an remarkably flexible lighting instrument. Color filters are also known as color gels. They allow you to change the color of the light. In this way you can create different moods and visual effects.

Lenses and barndoors permit you to modify the size, shape, angle and softness of the light beam. Shutters give you further control to block and crop the light.  

These types of attachments and modifications empower the lighting designer with the tools to sculpt light, highlight specific areas, create dramatic contrast, evoke emotions and ultimately transform the viewer experience.

Par cans and their accessories make it possible to achieve truly spellbinding results for different applications. Par Cans deserve their reputation as a staple of stage and visual design. This is due to their adaptability, affordability and capability when paired with the proper attachments

1. Gels and Filters

Gels and filters are essential accessories for par cans. They are thin sheets of colorful plastic, replacable over the par can’s lens to create different lighting effects. The gels can change the color of the light. The filters of these bulbs help to change the beam angle, diffusion, and softness.

There are different types of gels and filters available, including color correction gels, diffusion filters, and color effect gels. Having a range of gels and filters can help you achieve the desired lighting effects and enhance your creative vision.

2. Barn Doors

Barn doors are another must-have accessory for your par cans. They are metal flaps that attach to the front of the par can. These attachments allow you to control the light’s direction and focus.

Barn doors can are useful to prevent light spill, which can be distracting and take away from the intended lighting effect. They are available in different sizes and shapes to fit different par can models. Some barn doors even have adjustable blades for more precise light control.

3. Clamps

The purpose of the clamps is to attach par cans to various surfaces such as trusses, pipes, or stands. They come in different sizes and shapes, and some have a design to fit specific par can models.

Clamps are essential accessories for any lighting designer as they allow you to position your par cans where you need them. They also ensure that the par cans stay securely in place.

4. Safety Cables

Ensuring the implementation of applicable protocols of health and safety should always be a top priority while setting up lighting fixtures because it cant be compromised. Safety cables are essential accessories that ensure your par cans stay in place, even in the event of a clamp failure.

These cables attach to the par can and the support structure, providing an extra layer of security. It is desirable and preferable to use safety cables for all lighting fixtures, especially for those which hang overhead.

5. DMX Cables

DMX cables are essential accessories for controlling par cans remotely. Actually DMX is a lighting control protocol that allows you to control the lighting fixtures from a lighting console or computer. The typical use of these cables is to transmit data from the console or computer to the par cans.

They come in different lengths and can connect multiple par cans together, allowing you to create complex lighting effects. DMX cables are a must-have accessory for any lighting designer who wants to take their lighting design to the next level.

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