Theatre Lanterns are used for stage lighting and include five main types - Floods, PC's, Fresnels, Profiles & Parcans.
Floods are the simplest type of lantern, consisting of a lamp and a reflector in a box, with no lens.
The Fresnel (pronounced “Frennel”) is a soft-edged spotlight with more control over beam angle than floods, but less control than profiles.
PC lantern's use a modified plano-convex lens with a pebbled effect on the plano (flat) side. The pebbled effect gives the beam its characteristic soft edge. The edge of the beam is slightly harder than a Fresnel, but is not hard edged.
Profile lanterns produce clearly defined spots of light and are the most focussable and versatile of the lanterns. They have a lens (some have two lenses), a lamp and a reflector, and they also have shutters and a gate.
The Parcan is favourite due to the relative cheapness of the lantern, the weight and the ease of focussing. The lantern itself is simply a “can” in which the PAR lamp is contained (hence “Parcan”). The PAR (Parabolic Aluminised Reflector) lamps are available in a range of beam angles (see table below), depending on the amount of diffusion on the front lens of the lamp.
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