Theatres Trust supports industry campaign to #SaveStageLighting

Theatres Trust supports the Association of Lighting Designers (ALD) campaign to Save Stage Lighting from the threat posed by new EU regulations.

The ALD have launched the campaign to demonstrate to the EU the widest possible cultural opposition to these proposals. We encourage anyone who may be affected by these regulations to use the resources provided by the ALD to lobby by signing a petition, contacting their MP or MEP, and responding to the official EU consultation.  

EU commission have released draft wording of new regulations due to be in force from 2020 that would affect the availability of lamps for stage lighting. These proposed regulations requiring lightbulbs to have a minimum energy efficiency of 85 lumens per watt could have a major impact on the theatre industry. No tungsten lamps would meet this requirement and many LED fixtures would also fail to meet them.

Whilst the Theatres Trust encourages environmentally sustainable theatres, the energy efficiency requirements placed on theatres by the proposed regulations are not workable given the current technology and the cost of replacement.

Existing regulations banning tungsten lamps contain an exemption for stage lighting, this exemption is not included in the new draft. It would prohibit the manufacture of lamps for most theatre lighting currently in use. Once the stock of lamps depletes then it will render most fixtures unusable and dimmers and control may need replacing to accommodate the new lanterns.

Theatres Trust encourages the EU commission to include a stage lighting exemption.  

This would have a dramatic effect on theatres of all scales across Europe, including the UK. The cost of refreshing the lighting stock of every theatre in the country is prohibitive and will prevent some theatres from being able to continue to operate. The UK boasts some of the best theatres and lighting  designers in the world and the range of lighting effects available even to the most well-resourced productions will be reduced if this regulation is passed.

The impact this will have on education should also be considered as many school theatres may be unable to replace their equipment and students will not have access to stage lighting.

We have written to the DCMS requesting that they lobby the EU to:

  • Recognise the very specialist nature of stage lighting and the huge impact of the proposed changes to our theatres; and
  • Attain an amendment to the proposals.

Find out more about the Save Stage Lighting campaign and how you can join it.

UPDATE 18 MAY 2018: The Save Stage Lighting campaign will channel their work into seeking to draft a specific technically based exemption for lighting use.