Unit of competency details

CUFLGT501A - Conceive and develop lighting designs (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUALGT504 - Develop lighting designsUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. Title changed. Minor edits to elements and performance criteria. 14/Jan/2016

ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 18/Apr/2008

Training packages that include this unit

Qualifications that include this unit

CodeSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Code columnTitleSort Table listing Qualifications that include this unit by the Title columnUsage RecommendationRelease
CUE60303 - Advanced Diploma of Stage ManagementAdvanced Diploma of Stage ManagementSuperseded1-2 
CUA50513 - Diploma of Live Production DesignDiploma of Live Production DesignSuperseded
CUF50107 - Diploma of Screen and MediaDiploma of Screen and MediaSuperseded
CUE60103 - Advanced Diploma of Design for Live Production, Theatre and EventsAdvanced Diploma of Design for Live Production, Theatre and EventsSuperseded1-2 
CUE60203 - Advanced Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production)Advanced Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production)Superseded1-2 
CUF60107 - Advanced Diploma of Screen and MediaAdvanced Diploma of Screen and MediaSuperseded
CUA60213 - Advanced Diploma of Live Production and Management ServicesAdvanced Diploma of Live Production and Management ServicesSuperseded
CUV60307 - Advanced Diploma of Creative Product DevelopmentAdvanced Diploma of Creative Product DevelopmentSuperseded
CUE50303 - Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production)Diploma of Live Production, Theatre and Events (Technical Production)Superseded1-2 
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SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100103 Drama And Theatre Studies  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100103 Drama And Theatre Studies  25/Sep/2008 
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Modification History

Not applicable.

Unit Descriptor

Unit descriptor 

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop lighting designs for productions in the film, television and live performance industries.

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.

Application of the Unit

Application of the unit 

Lighting designers apply the skills and knowledge described in this unit. They work closely with directors, directors of photography (DOPs), production designers, technical producers and costume designers to ensure that their lighting designs reflect the style and mood of productions.

On major productions, lighting designers manage a team of lighting assistants/technicians, lighting console operators and electricians. As such, they have responsibility for all aspects of lighting operations, including safety.

Skills associated with realising lighting designs for film and television productions are covered in:

  • CUFLGT401A Implement lighting designs.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

Not applicable.


Prerequisite units 

Employability Skills Information

Employability skills 

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria



Interpret creative briefs

1. Analyse performance outlines/scripts to determine overall production  concepts

2. Participate in preliminary concept meetings with relevant personnel  to discuss lighting requirements 

3. Identify factors  that may determine and affect the lighting design

4. Prepare relevant documentation  and brief team on lighting requirements as required

Conduct and evaluate research

5. Identify and source references  that may inform the design process

6. Critically analyse sources and references in the context of design projects

7. Consider the impacts and potential of new and emerging technologies  to inform the design

8. Collect, collate and adapt materials to develop initial design concepts

Generate and assess ideas

9. Generate a range of ideas for designs that respond sympathetically to briefs and provide creative solutions to technical issues

10. Discuss ideas and collaborate with relevant personnel to maximise their contribution of ideas to initial concepts

11. Continuously reflect on and appraise ideas for implications on cost and time, technical feasibility, and suitability to meet briefs

12. Provide strategic information to effect improvements in the management of production outcomes

Develop and document designs

13. Hold ongoing discussions with relevant personnel so that additional or changed requirements and new ideas are considered and incorporated during the development of designs

14. Ensure that agreement is reached with relevant personnel in relation to consistent artistic interpretation

15. Evaluate initial concepts and select the most appropriate approach, giving due consideration to budget, research findings and ongoing reflection/discussion

16. Use initial concepts as the basis for developing lighting designs, taking into account a range of criteria and factors 

17. Accurately complete documentation according to production requirements and enterprise procedures

18. Ensure that lighting designs and plans can be achieved within budget constraints and production schedules

19. Ensure relevant OHS requirements  are incorporated into the lighting design process

Communicate design ideas and make amendments

20. Present draft lighting plans and specifications to relevant personnel in an appropriate format

21. Participate in the initial and ongoing evaluation of draft designs

22. Negotiate and agree to modifications to designs and undertake necessary amendments

23. Agree to final designs and produce accurate and comprehensive documentation to support implementation

24. Present final designs, plans and specifications to relevant personnel and confirm that all production requirements have been met

Required Skills and Knowledge


This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication skills sufficient to:
  • interact effectively with people with diverse interests and needs
  • seek input and feedback from team members on lighting design concepts
  • conduct effective negotiations with a wide range of production personnel
  • initiative and enterprise in the context of generating a range of creative responses to lighting design briefs
  • well-developed planning and organisational skills in the context of:
  • ensuring that the design process is fully integrated in the production scheduling process
  • undertaking research in relation to production design, including creative interpretation and adaptation
  • ability to address and solve problems and challenges in a timely and collaborative manner
  • self-management skills sufficient to:
  • work under pressure
  • provide appropriate and timely records and documentation
  • meet production deadlines
  • literacy skills sufficient to:
  • interpret written instructions, e.g. script requirements
  • document lighting plans and specifications
  • numeracy skills sufficient to interpret budgets and cost estimates

Required knowledge 

  • industry knowledge, including:
  • roles and responsibilities of personnel in the relevant industry sector
  • impact of technology on production planning and operations
  • sound understanding of the creative and technical elements of productions and phases in the production process
  • issues and challenges that arise in the context of developing lighting designs
  • role of lighting design within the overall artistic direction of a production
  • role of the lighting designer, how this may differ depending upon the production, and relationships with other designers and production personnel
  • relationship between different design elements (costume, sets, lighting, props, sound)
  • copyright, moral rights and intellectual property legislation in relation to ethical standards and protocols for designers working in the film, television and performance industries
  • the formal principles and elements of design and their relevance to lighting design
  • principles and techniques of design and script break-down
  • sources and availability of lighting materials and equipment
  • formats for documenting lighting design
  • current and emerging technologies available to lighting designers
  • construction methods/implementation issues associated with the realisation of lighting designs
  • detailed knowledge of lighting and lighting equipment, including:
  • complementary nature of light
  • mechanics of vision
  • relative perceptions of light and dark
  • principles of reflection and refraction
  • how these principles are used by manufacturers of lighting equipment
  • ways that different lighting filters are manufactured and how this affects their performance
  • duty of care to colleagues and general public
  • OHS legislation and regulations as they apply to all production areas

Evidence Guide


The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the following is essential:

  • effective communication, negotiation and project management skills to facilitate the design process
  • the development of creative lighting designs and plans that meet the artistic requirements of productions and address practical production requirements and constraints
  • research skills, including interpretation and adaptation of design concepts
  • collaborative approach to work.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure:

  • practical demonstration of skills through the development of lighting designs for a minimum of two productions
  • involvement of and interaction with a production team to reflect the collaborative nature of the design process
  • assessment over an extended period of time to reflect the nature of the design process and to assess the experimental aspects of this unit
  • access to performance outlines/scripts on which designs can be based
  • access to appropriate learning and assessment support when required
  • use of culturally appropriate processes and techniques appropriate to the language and literacy capacity of learners and the work being performed.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

  • direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third-party workplace reports of on-the-job performance
  • evaluation of lighting designs produced by the candidate and their quality in terms of meeting creative briefs
  • evaluation of the lighting aspects of a production for which the candidate has been responsible
  • case studies to assess ability to develop designs for different types of productions.

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • BSBCRT402A Collaborate in a creative process
  • BSBCRT501A Originate and develop concepts
  • CUFLGT401A Implement lighting designs.

Range Statement


The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Productions  may include:

  • animations
  • electronic field productions, e.g. news, conferences
  • events
  • film, e.g. feature, documentary
  • live performances, e.g. stage plays, musicals
  • music videos
  • outside broadcasts
  • television programs, e.g. studio drama.

Relevant personnel  may include:

  • camera operators
  • clients
  • directors
  • directors of photography (DOP)
  • gaffer
  • lighting technicians and operators
  • make-up supervisors
  • other specialist staff, e.g. special effects (SFX)
  • producers
  • production designers
  • senior camera personnel
  • set designers
  • technical directors
  • wardrobe supervisors.

Lighting requirements  may include:

  • aesthetics
  • cables, e.g. DMX
  • computers
  • dimmers, e.g.:
  • analogue
  • multiplex analogue and digital
  • single-unit, e.g. follow spot
  • filters
  • gels
  • indoor
  • lighting consoles and peripherals, e.g.:
  • monitors
  • printers
  • memory storage
  • effects unit
  • fader wings
  • luminaires and lanterns, e.g.:
  • fresnel
  • profile
  • HMI
  • plasma
  • theatre-based units
  • studio and location units
  • special effects
  • moving lights
  • digital moving lights (intelligent lights)
  • outdoor
  • period requirements
  • power sources
  • production style
  • rigging accessories.

Factors  may include:

  • available expertise
  • available resources (human, financial, physical)
  • available technology
  • budget
  • director's approach/instructions
  • level of assistance available during implementation and construction
  • needs of other production areas
  • regulations
  • space/venue specifications or restrictions
  • style/period/nature/scale of production
  • timelines.

Documentation  may include:

  • building specifications, room layouts
  • colour lists, plots
  • equipment lists
  • floor sheets
  • focus notes
  • lighting plans (computer or manually generated)
  • lighting specifications
  • mock-ups
  • power requirements
  • production schedule
  • samples
  • script
  • venue procedures.

References  may include:

  • collages
  • digital images
  • film, video, internet
  • historical information
  • models
  • musical scores
  • paintings and illustrations
  • photographs
  • reference books/journals/texts
  • scripts (adapted or original)
  • sketches
  • technical drawings.

New and emerging technologies  may include:

  • digital moving lights (intelligent lights)
  • light emitting diodes (LED)
  • organic light emitting diodes (OLED)
  • zoom profile spotlights.

Criteria and factors  may include:

  • consistency with the style requirements of the script/production
  • effective use of materials
  • features of cameras and lenses
  • research findings
  • resource constraints
  • technical feasibility.

OHS requirements  may include:

  • Commonwealth and state or territory OHS regulations
  • enterprise safety codes and practices
  • relevant local government legislation and regulation
  • relevant national and international standards, guidelines and codes of practice.

Unit Sector(s)

Unit sector 

Competency field

Competency field 

Media and entertainment production - lighting

Co-requisite units

Co-requisite units