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How to Light a Fashion Show Runway

Prior to setting up and installing the lights for a fashion show, it's important to make a plan. A plan helps you determine the proper location for each of the lights and makes the setup and installation as seamless as possible. Set the lighting up along the length of the runway. Spotlights can also showcase the models and garments that are on display.

Research the cost for the different types of options based on your budget. You will need lights, rigging, a crew and possibly insurance costs. One type of lighting that can you can easily set up along a runway is a can lighting system.

Examine the location if the runway is already set up and installed. Make a note for the width, the length and design of the runway. You can then determine the optimal placement for the lights.

Draw a diagram for the runway on a piece of paper. Make a note for the location of lighting at strategic places along the runway. Label the placement of each light with a number. Doing so helps you to quickly identify a light if a problem occurs.

Measure along the length on one side of the runway with a tape measure. Place a piece of the masking tape on the runway to indicate the location of a light. Mark the light location on the other side of the runway.

Set up the tree stands for the can lighting along the length of the runway and turn on the lights. Position the direction of the light so that it points towards the runway. Re-position one or more light stands, if needed.

Mount the spotlights on the rigging system, if one is set up over the runway. Turn on the lights and verify that the light is pointing at the required position on the runway.

Things You'll Need:

  • Pencil
  • Paper
  • Tape measure
  • Canister tree stands
  • Spotlights


The lights should illuminate the runway without shining on the audience.

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