Large Format Automated Lighting

in Buyer's Guides

For a PDF of PLSN's Sept. 2010 Buyers Guide, CLICK HERE .

What started as a military tool to aid in the search for enemy was eventually hijacked by the lighting industry for use in entertainment applications. Searchlights have been around since the early part of the 20th century, and by mid-century, they became synonymous with Hollywood premieres and other big events. At some point, someone had the idea to motorize the pan and tilt functions of the searchlight. and the Skytracker, now owned by Strong Entertainment Lighting, was born.

Today, the line between automated searchlights and oversized automated lighting has blurred, and the number of large format automated lights has increased dramatically. Some are simply automated lights on steroids, while others are more like conventional searchlights. Without a doubt, these lights have become much smaller and more efficient over the years, and the amount of light that comes out of their relatively small packages is astounding. Now throw in some of the latest features like color changing, beam effects, strobing and even gobo projection, and you have a lighting tool that can super-charge any event. For that reason they are commonly used for high-profile events like the Olympics and the Super Bowl, and for large tours like TSO, U2, the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney.


The laundry list of products that follows is but a small sampling of all of "large format" automated luminaires. Although we try to collect as much information as possible, it is by no means totally inclusive since we have limited space in the magazine. We do, however, have a larger database of these fixtures available online at So turn the page to see some of the latest offerings, and CLICK HERE to download an Excel spreadsheet with even more info.