What is ellipsoidal light?

Updated: Feb 7, 2023Industry
ellipsoidal light in fashion show


Ellipsoidal light, also known as ellipsoidal reflector spotlight(ERS), leko light, profile spotlights(in Europe), is a type of stage lighting fixture, named for the ellipsoidal reflector used to collect and direct the light through a barrel that contains a lens.

It is named after the shape of the reflector that is used to focus the light beam. This reflector is an ellipsoid, which is a geometric shape that is similar to a sphere but is flattened at the poles. The light source is placed at one of the foci of the ellipsoid, and the reflector is used to focus the light beam onto a specific area or object.

Ellipsoidal lights are known for their versatility and precision, as they can produce a variety of different beam shapes and sizes. The reflector and lens system of an ellipsoidal light allows the user to control the beam angle, focus, and intensity of the light, making it a useful tool for creating various lighting effects.

With this versatile fixture, you can control the shape, size, edge, color and intensity of the beam of light.

Benefits of ellipsoidal lights

One of the main benefits of ellipsoidal lights is that they can be easily adjusted to achieve a variety of lighting effects. The beam can be shaped and focused using the interchangeable lenses and shutters, and the angle of the light can be adjusted using a system of mirrors. This makes ellipsoidal lights a versatile tool for lighting designers, who can use them to create a wide range of looks and moods on stage.

Ellipsoidal lights are also known for their high-quality light output. The light beam is typically very bright and has a smooth, even intensity, which makes it ideal for illuminating people and objects on stage. In addition, ellipsoidal lights are designed to be energy efficient and have a long lifespan, making them a cost-effective lighting option for stage and event production.

What consist of a ellipsoidal light?

There are three main components of a ellipsoidal light: the light source(lamp) which is in the back or called engine, the shutter blades in the barrel that shape the light, and the lens in the front.

  • Light engine body
  • Barrel which carries the four shutter blades
  • Lens with different degrees optional

Ellipsoidal reflector

The ellipsoidal reflector of an ERS is responsible for shaping the light beam. It consists of a shallow elliptical dish that is coated with a highly reflective material, such as aluminum. When the light source (usually a halogen or discharge lamp) is positioned at one of the foci of the ellipse, the light is reflected off the dish and focused onto a small, defined area. By adjusting the position of the lamp within the reflector, the size and shape of the beam can be manipulated.


One of the main features of an ellipsoidal light is its adjustable shutters, which are blades or barn doors that can be positioned around the lens to shape the beam of light. These shutters can be used to create hard edges or feather the light, as well as to cut off light in certain areas of the stage.

Lens tube

In addition to the reflector, an ERS also includes a lens tube that can be swapped out to alter the focus and spread of the light beam. These lens tubes, also known as “barn doors,” contain a series of lenses that can be adjusted to zoom in or out on the beam, or to spread it out into a wider flood.

Where is ellipsoidal light used?

Elllipsoidal are useful when you want:

  • A sharp edge
  • Change the shape of lighting field
  • Reach hard to light places
  • A fixture which can project a pattern(with gobo holder and gobo)

And ellipsoidal can be used to the following applications:

  • Stages
  • Theatres
  • Studios
  • Fashion shows
  • Shops

Lens degree

Ellipsoidal lights come with a certain size lens or lenses that determines the field angle, range from five degrees to ninety degrees.

Fixed lens – Most manufacturers now use field angle to indicate the fixture’s spread typically in this series (5°, 10°, 19°, 26°, 36°, 50°, 75°, 90°), among these, most widely used lens degree is 19°, 26°, 36°.

Zoom lens – Unlike the fixed lens fixture which consist lens + barrel. The four shutter blades are in the zoom lens. The regular zoom lens degree include: 15° – 30°, 25° – 50°, and als 18° – 38° lens from Ovation Honor Series ellipsoidal.

Here below is the fixed lens tuble(plus barrel) and zoom lens tube.

The history of ellipsoidal light

The history of ellipsoidal lights can be traced back to the early 20th century, when the first stage lighting instruments were developed. These early fixtures were relatively simple and were primarily used to provide basic illumination for the stage. Over time, however, lighting technology has advanced significantly, and modern ellipsoidal lights are much more sophisticated and capable than their predecessors. Today, ellipsoidal lights are an essential part of any stage lighting setup, and they are used by lighting designers around the world to create stunning visual effects.

Ellipsoidal light manufacture

The top ellipsoidal lights manufacture listed as below(listed in no particular order):

  • ETC connect. Source Four series, which maybe the most classic ellipsoidal light in the history. It has been sold by millions according to its official. And Source Four has it’s LED series – Source Four LED. Link to ETC ellipsoidal lights.
  • Robert Juliat. A manufacture of high quality lighting equipment for theatres, opera houses, broadcast, events and architecture. Their ellipsoidal light ranges from discharge lamp, tungsten lamp to LED series. Link to Robert Juliat profilespots.
  • Strand lighting. An international theatre and television lighting company. Link to Varilite profile series.
  • Altman Lighting. One of the leading manufacturers of theatrical lighting instruments, located in Denver, Colorado. Link to Altman ellipsoidal series.
  • Chauvet Professional. One of the leading company in lighting and control systems. Theatre lighting is one of their main production time which named as Ovation. Link to Chauvet ellipsoidal.
  • American DJ(Elation). One of the leading manufacturers of entertainment lighting, LED video and atmospheric effects equipment, headquartered in Los Angeles, California. Link to Elation ellipsoidal light.
  • Prolights. The professional lighting division of Music & Lights S.r.l., an Italian company specialized in the manufacture of technologies for the show industry. Link to Prolights’ ellipsoidal light.

Besides the world-renowned brands, you can also consider us – Ovation lighting, we mainly made LED based ellipsoidal light from small power 20Watt and upto big power 350Watt. And color from single source white, tunable white to RGBW as well as RGBALC 6 colors. Visit this link for all our series LED ellipsoidal light.

How to make an ellipsoidal light

To make an ellipsoidal lights, the following steps may be involved:

  1. Designing the light: This involves creating the overall layout and appearance of the light, as well as determining the size and shape of the ellipsoidal reflector that will be used to focus the light.
  2. Fabricating the reflector: The ellipsoidal reflector is typically made from a highly reflective material such as aluminum or silver. It is shaped into an ellipsoid (a three-dimensional oval) and polished to ensure that it will accurately focus the light.
  3. Assembling the light: The reflector is mounted inside a housing along with a lamp and other components such as lenses and shutters. The housing is typically made from metal or plastic and may be designed to be mounted on a lighting truss or hung from a ceiling.
  4. Testing and quality control: Once the light is assembled, it is tested to ensure that it is functioning properly and producing the desired beam of light. Any necessary adjustments are made at this stage.
  5. Packaging and shipping: The finished lights are then packaged and shipped to customers.

Overall, ellipsoidal lights are an essential tool for lighting professionals in the entertainment industry. They offer a high level of control and versatility, along with excellent light quality and energy efficiency. Whether you are lighting a stage, a television set, or a live event, ellipsoidal lights can help you create the perfect look and mood for your production.

Link for our products: Ovation LED ellipsoidal series

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