Lighting Up Shakespeare All right, purists, you’re gonna love this one.  Just how close to “original” Shakespeare performance can you get?  Scene breaks? Stage directions?  Accent? How about lighting? The linked project attempts to mimic tallow candles using modern LED technology.

The project is broken down in to a few sub-projects:

  • The colour temperature of the candle-light.  Tallow candles were used which produce a difference colour flame to modern day paraffin candles.
  • Making this colour using LED colour mixing. My next project will be to create the colour of candle light that is not necessarily metameric but that looks the same to the eye when in a black space.  This can be used for basic shows and practical lanterns where the reflection of light is very minimal.  Next I will try to match the colour metamerically using a range of colours to mach the spectral diagram of the candle.  This will be more difficult and less cost effective but will provide a more accurate result.
  • The amount of light available.  How bright was the stage?
  • The flicker of the candles.  Incorporating this into the recreation.
  • The spread of light.  LEDs are quite directional so making the light spread as much as a candle would.
  • Adding all of this in to chandeliers and footlights that seem realistic yet have no naked flames.

Sounds very cool, and makes me wish I’d taken more of an interest in theatre while I was still in engineering school!

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One thought on “Lighting Up Shakespeare

  1. Hey Shakespeare Geeks! This project is about to re-rear its ugly head. I kinda left it alone for a while but now I've got the Shakespeare lighting bug again! I'm presenting a paper at the "Progress in colour studies" conference in Glasgow this year (EEEK!) and Renfrewshire Arts and Museums, Scotland are very kindly letting me take over one of their spaces in their museum to display some of my findings. Also, I've submitted a blog for RSC World Shakespeare 2012. Things are getting exciting! Anyway, jsut thought I'd give you a little update. Please visit my webiste for more info
    E x

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