Lighting Design Software

in Buyer's Guide
When AutoCAD was first being used by lighting professionals, a software license was almost as much a status symbol or a badge of honor as it was a useful tool. To the uninitiated, it seemed terribly advanced and hopelessly impossible to learn. There were commands and syntax that were totally foreign to the untrained masses, and the price tag alone was enough to convince you that it was not child’s play. And when someone was serious enough to invest in a pen plotter, you just knew they were in a league of their own.

Today, there’s a different mystique about computer-aided design. With many very good lighting design computer-aided design software packages, the game is about speed, efficiency and quality of work. And the work can be many things — lighting plots, schedules, magic sheets, photo-realistic renderings, visualization, video renderings, and more. In the world of software, things move fast, and last year’s products are old news. This year’s models are better than ever, with more features and more offerings than ever before.


In the eight years that PLSN has been compiling these types of product comparisons, no single area of the industry seems to advance as rapidly as lighting design software. The developers have been busy expanding the horizons and the possibilities of working on a computer and in virtual reality. If the trend continues, in no time at all we’ll all be totally immersed in the virtual world of live event production up until the first downbeat of the show.


Sometimes it’s challenging to keep up, but with the help of this month’s Buyers Guide you can quickly get up to speed on the latest offerings. But pay close attention because there’s more on the horizon. Until then, here are the listings.



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