Theatrelight New Zealand

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Theatrelight New Zealand

May 2022

Theatrelight NZ Celebrates 50 Years of Service to Theatre!

In 1972 Rex Gilfillan established Theatrelight NZ with his first commission to supply stage lighting control, dimmers and sound mixers to the, then under construction, Hannah Playhouse also to be known as ‘Downstage’ in Wellington. Opening night in 1973 was a huge success with considerable interest shown in these innovative, high quality locally made products. The rest is history!


In 1977 as demand outstripped the company’s Wellington factory capacity, Theatrelight moved to larger premises in Auckland.


Theatrelight has gone on to provide dimmers and control boards to most of New Zealand’s iconic performance venues from Concert Halls, Theatres and including Television New Zealand and TV3 studios through to amateur theatres, school halls and drama rooms.


In the 1980s Theatrelight began its first exports to Australia and quickly opened up markets throughout South East Asia and beyond.


Today Theatrelight equipment is sold around the world and although this success has required ongoing expansion in manufacturing internationally, no compromise has been made to the quality and value the products deliver.


Theatrelight wireless and wired DMX 512 and Ethernet distribution nodes and splitters have also become firm favorites with the film industry. Most major international and local films employ TL DMX distribution within New Zealand’s outstanding film industry.


In 2015 Theatrelight designers turned their expertise to the evolving revolution of stage lighting through the application of LED light technology. The current range of single and multi-colour stage Fresnel and Profile spot lights are cleverly designed with high end optic control while being affordable to all from drama rooms to large scale theatres. These luminaires have also become favorites in TV studios from TV3’s The Project to the upcoming season of Lego Masters.

These lanterns are designed for ‘lighting not landfill’ so have replaceable LED light engines for when the expected 20,000 hours are exceeded. Like all Theatrelight products the lights are designed to be serviceable with spare parts locally available if ever needed.


There will be very few members who have not encountered Theatrelight dimmers, control boards or lights and we thank you for your support over the past 50 years. Here’s to the next 50!