The rumors are true! After years of sending suggestions, sitting through tech rehearsals and studio shoots wishing for an upgrade, and laying awake at night wondering what a new version of Lightwright would be like – LW creator John McKernon has finally announced that Lightwright 6 is here!
Lightwright is the standard lighting software that almost all Broadway lighting designers, event technicians, and film studio light board programmers use to track their paperwork. It is a detailed spreadsheet that organizes lighting instruments by position, type, dimmer, accessory, color, etc.. In its previous upgrade Lightwright began to link with the drafting program VectorWorks and was able to load a basic patch into any ETC Eos Family light board.
I’m Meghan Young, a High Output rental account manager specializing in theatre and film. I have been a theatrical/event Master Electrician for about a decade and Lightwright has been a lifesaver in organization and preparation for shows. However, there were always parts of it that I felt could do a little better. Putting multi-cable notes together was a pain, creating labels involved Excel and exporting information, and updating addresses vs DMX vs universes got a bit redundant. I, like I am sure many others, was thrilled with what LW5 could do, but after 7 years I was ready to know when the upgrade would happen.
Below you will find a list of some of the new LW6 features as well as an introduction video by the creator and Broadway lighting designer John McKernon.
- Address, Universe, and DMX have their own columns.
- Dimmer no longer = address!
- Edit one column, and the others adjust as needed.
- The Wattage Column is now called Load. You can add wattage Or amperage.
- Each worksheet now has different layers and layouts. Below are some examples.
- Headers: Positions are divided out. For example, “Front of House” is the main title and it breaks down into different positions. Each position can be expanded or collapsed for better organization.
- Short: information is in shortened text.
- Gaps: Breaks in the page are put in to show where a gap between channel, dimmer, or unit number may be.
- This section helps with inventory, label making, cabling, and more!
- Inventory improvements: You can now put in your theatre’s inventory by unit, or in the case of the Source4, by head and lens. LW6 will now count your lighting instruments not as full units, but broken down. This is especially helpful when you have more Source4 bodies than lenses!
- Moving lights: When addressing, or just researching, intelligent lights, LW6 now has a category where you can select the light of choice and it will give you its technical specs and attribute information.
- Cabling: This new section is especially helpful for one of my biggest frustrations – notating multi-cable. In maintenance there is an area where multi-cable can be listed by position, dimmer rack, pin patch, and address. No more creating these notes from scratch. If you change one part of the notation, it will update all of it of you.
- VectorWorks: With this new upgrade inventory, lighting angle, and more have been added.
- Labels: No longer do you need to edit labels outside of Lightwright. There is a whole new area for information and layout. Simply adjust the labels needed and print away.
- DMX Map: You can now find mistakes easily by looking at the DMX Map layout. It will show you overlapping DMX values, openings, and addresses used.
And for the biggest improvement. The Improvement Master Electricians and Lighting Designers have all been dreaming about…
If you are using a light board from the ETC Eos Family (contact your High Output account manager to ask about which consoles we have available for you), then Lightwright 6 is going to be magical. You can now link your spreadsheet to your light board. Below is a list of the major advancements this
new features can do for you
- Immediately update patch
- Turn lights on and off from your computer!
- Record and edit cue lists
- Upload to the light board pre-made cue lists and cues that were created in Lightwright
(UPDATE) Lightwright 6 is now shipping! Order your copy or upgrade today by contacting me at 781-364-1845 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also contact JP Gagnon in our Portland office (207-854-4737 or email@example.com) or speak with your local account manager. We will gladly assist you in answering any questions you may have about this new program and can send you a quote immediately.
~ Meghan Young