Save EU Stage Lighting

The following is quoted from the April 20, 2018 issue of ESTA Standards Watch.

There is a proposal to adopt an EU Energy Directorate Eco-design Working Plan 2016-2019 that would effectively end stage lighting as we know it. Opposition to the plan has often been cast in the past as “Save Tungsten,” but the plan would effective eliminate almost all stage lighting technologies after 2020. Comments on the plan are due by May 7.

The plan imposes minimum efficacy requirements on sources and maximum stand-by power consumption limits in sources and luminaires. The minimum efficacy requirements certainly would have an impact on the use of incandescent lamps, which produce light with efficacies far below the proposed minimum; the plan would end their manufacturer or importation into the EU after 2020. However, additive color-mixing LED sources also cannot meet the proposed efficacy requirements. These sources produce light at the extreme red and blue ends of the spectrum, where, due to the relative insensitivity of the eyes to those colors, the lumens-per-watt produced is low. This low efficacy cannot be ameliorated by better light source technology; it is a function of the response of the human eye. Finally, the proposal mandates a maximum standby power consumption limit for sources and luminaires, and this is low enough that it cannot be met by virtually anything that has any electronic control circuitry or motors. If a product has a muffin fan and a DMX512 line terminating resistor, those two items alone will consume all the power that the proposal would allow.

There is an exemption in the plan for luminaires and sources that are used in image capture work (i.e., video), but none for live entertainment, although the same luminaires might be used in studios and on stage. One idea for fixing the plan and keeping theatres from starting to go dark after September 2020 would be to extend the exemption to those products and their light sources that are within the scope of EN IEC 60598-2-17, Luminaires. Particular requirements. Luminaires for stage lighting, television and film studios (outdoor and indoor). That would help keep people from attempting to skirt the energy-saving requirements by relabeling general-service lamps as “Professional Entertainment Lighting Equipment.”

International Code of Practice for Entertainment Rigging Now Available

ESTA and PLASA have announce the release of an International Code of Practice for Entertainment Rigging (ICOPER).  The document, which is an outline of actions to be taken at each stage of rigging, from pre-design through removal from the venue,  is available as a free download at or  ICOPER was created to promote awareness and safety worldwide by providing a model sequence of considerations and actions.  The focus is on arena rigging, however it is applicable to all event production rigging disciplines. Regulations and standards differ around the world, so ICOPER is not prescriptive. However, it provides a series of guidelines that, if followed, are expected to produce predictable results and enhance safe practice.

ESTA and USITT Announce New World Rigging Symposium

ESTA and USITT announce the New World Rigging Symposium, on March 13-14, 2018 in conjunction with the USITT Conference and Stage Expo 2018 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The Symposium will provide an opportunity for riggers and those interested in the live entertainment rigging industry to network, discuss current issues and new technologies, and help shape the future of the industry. 

Sessions will give participants opportunities to further their technical knowledge, keep up to date with codes and standards, and learn what it’s like to work as a rigger in other segments of the entertainment industry. Attendees will also hear from experts in related fields such as structural engineering and risk management. The Symposium will carry ETCP education renewal credits for re-certification. 

Symposium attendees will receive free show floor passes to the USITT Stage Expo opening on March 15th as well as a discount on the conference registration. 

You can email to be notified when registration opens.