origin of a ghost light?


Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
quick note is that Altman has a Ghost Light availabe who's proceeds go to charity.
Sapsis Rigging also I think still offers it on their website as would most theater distributers be able to help with getting this product. Good idea and buy even if not as needed any longer these days in some situations.

On the other hand there is what’s not noted yet - those with the easy switch next to the door that turns on the work lights “thus we don’t need a ghost light...” Those stages no doubt have also had the work lights turn on by mistake during shows. Because of this, fire curtain down or not and or what ever, flash light or not that you have but others might not, a good say even compact fluorescent ghost light is a good thing to have for a proper theater on stage when there is nobody there.


Resident Curmudgeon
Senior Team
Premium Member
ship, The ESTA Foundation Behind-the-Scenes Ghostlight was mentioned by gafftapegreenia two posts above yours:
I used to agree with you (that every theatre needed a "bulb on a stick" ghostlight) until I read Sean's post:
Maybe I'm in the minority, but I hate ghostlights (the bulb-on-a-stand kind). It's just another piece of crap to keep around backstage. ... Yes, more power consumption. But, nobody has to wheel the **** thing out every night (sometimes a problem with raked decks, etc) or find a place in a very cramped backstage to store it. ...
in this thread: http://www.controlbooth.com/forums/lighting/9352-what-kind-ghost-light-do-you-use.html.

To each his own...


Active Member


Active Member
We don't use a Bulb on a stick for our Ghostlight at my college. We have a CFL Flood light fixture permenently mounted on the ceiling with a plug in the booth that we just plug in every night. No "bulb-on-a-stick" here, at MVPAC we have the bulb on a stick but we don't use it, we have the 32 48" flourescent tube worklights above stage wired into 3 seperate circuits, one of those circuits is just three sets of the flourescents (6 tubes) which are wired into the backup generator so they switch to backup power in emergencies. We leave those on 24/7 except when running a show obviously and that is our ghost light. I definitely agree that ghost lights are VERY important.


Myth aside, it is SAFETY that counts.
One of our former Ex. Directors was on the set after everyone had left, turned off the ghost light to save a penny, and then walked off the lip. Not hurt, but we dedicated the light to her.


Senior Team Emeritus
Premium Member
I'm one for tradition. Shut down the dimmers, than the board, shut down the various lights than close the fire curtain. Shut down the various other lights, plug in the ghost light and run it out to center stage. Exit the stage and turn off the last of the various lights. Lock the door.

A shut down prociedure that includes running out the ghost light is not more difficult than any other procedures for leaving the building responsibly. And let me tell you... just because you have a flash light, don't mean it always works when you need it or you will be the one first on stage in needing to use it.

Ghost light, always used one in my past. This not tradition though in part a legal thing.

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