How to Make Colored Spotlights

By Mason Howard

Use a color spotlight to add mood and atmosphere to lighted situation. Colored spotlights can be used in theater, film and video, photography or even on holiday lawn ornamentation. Make a colored spotlight using a heat-safe, tinted plastic filter called a gel. Sheets of gels can be purchased inexpensively from photography and lighting suppliers. Most spotlights--from professional theater lights to smaller, more multi-purpose spotlights--come with or have the option for adding a gel frame attachment.

Things You'll Need

  • Spotlight
  • Gel frame attachment
  • Lighting gel
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors or craft knife

Step 1

Place the gel frame on top of the gel.

Step 2

Trace around the frame with a permanent marker.

Step 3

Cut the shape out using scissors or a craft knife.

Step 4

Slide the cut gel into the gel frame. Trim the borders slightly if the gel is slightly too large and doesn’t quite fit.

Step 5

Slide the gel frame back into the gel frame holder.

Step 6

Affix the gel frame holder to the front of the light according to the specifications of the light. Some gel frame holders slide into the end of the light tube while others are held in front with a hinge or a small metal arm.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have a light that does not have a gel frame attachment, gel clips can also be used to clip the gel to the end of the light tube.