What is Wash Lighting?

Definition of the Stage Lighting Term "Wash"

Lights washing the stage at a concert
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A "wash" is a general "fill" of light and color evenly across the stage through the use of lighting fixtures (typically, softer lights cast from Fresnel lamps), and colored using colored lighting gels. It's also known as a Fill.  An example of its use would be if the lighting designer decided a nice wash of yellow across the stage would reinforce the feeling of summer in the scene.

Tips for Creating a Wash Lighting

It's important when creating a wash that you have multiple fixtures in fixed positions so that they spread an even amount of light over the stage.

Space your lights evenly to ensure an even amount of brightness and coverage. If the lights can all be hung on the same bar that's even better.

Make sure your lights are evenly focused.

Lights should overlap at the edges to give the appearance of full coverage. When you're going for a wash you want to ensure there are no dark spots on the stage.