Spot00005.pngConcept: Hanging Positions and Associated Loads

Hanging positions represent the hanging points for lighting instruments as well as stage equipment like curtains, video screens, speakers, cables, and other loads. Hanging positions should be placed on the light plot before the load objects are added. Once the event space has been modeled, with the stage and hanging positions defined, the file can be used as a template for future light plots in that space (see Creating Templates).


Creating Hanging Positions

Creating a hanging position is generally a two-step process. First, insert or draw the geometry of the hanging position. Then, convert the geometry into a hanging position object, ready for equipment placement.

Several types of objects can be used as the basis for a hanging position object:

        Lighting pipes

        Lighting pipe ladders

        Straight trusses

        Curved trusses

        Trusses inserted with the Insert Truss tool

        Custom 2D, 3D, or hybrid geometry

The Braceworks product has additional tools and commands, and creating the rigging structure is a more involved process. See Concept: Braceworks Structural Analysis.

While a hanging position cannot directly participate in Braceworks calculations, the trusses or lighting pipes that make up the position can. By converting trusses and lighting pipes to intelligent hanging position objects, you can take advantage of both Braceworks and Spotlight functionality when Working with Associated Loads.

When multiple objects are selected for conversion, you have the option to create a hanging position for each selected object, or to create a single hanging position from all selected objects. Use one of the following methods to create the hanging position(s):

        For any selected geometry, use the Convert to Hanging Position command.

        For a selected truss or lighting pipe object, click the Convert to Hanging Position button on the Object Info palette. This method selects the entire connected system for conversion to one or more hanging positions.

Choose whether to create a symbol from the geometry, or to embed the geometry in the hanging position object. If this is a uniquely shaped hanging position, or if you want to edit the geometry more easily, choose to keep the geometry. If you choose to create a symbol instead, you can use it to insert multiple positions with the Hanging Position tool. You can insert symbols from the current file, the symbol libraries, or a Favorites file.

Working with Associated Loads

When a load object is attached to a hanging position, it assumes the height of the hanging position and becomes “associated” with it. This association has several advantages:

        A hanging position and its associated loads can be moved and rotated as a unit.

        Lighting instruments can be auto-numbered according to their hanging position.

        Instrument summaries and other reports can be created for each hanging position.

        Braceworks calculations include the associated loads (Braceworks required).

Associated loads can be placed at an offset to avoid overcrowding the light plot. For example, if instruments are attached to the top and bottom of a truss, you can display the top-hung instruments above the truss system. Witness lines can be drawn to indicate the instruments’ hanging points on the truss, for display and calculation purposes. The hanging points define where the associated loads are calculated (Braceworks required).


There are several ways to associate loads with a hanging position. The association can be automatically created when the load is inserted or when it is moved in the drawing. For details, see Associating Load Objects with a Hanging Position. In addition, various commands allow you to associate, edit, and disassociate loads from a hanging position.




Associating Loads



Insert a load on a hanging position

Symbol insertion

Spotlight Setup and Adding Lighting Instruments 

Move a load to a hanging position

Click-drag operation

Attaching Loads to a Hanging Position by Dragging

Attach one or more loads to a hanging position, with or without drawing witness lines

Hanging position context menu command

Attaching a Hanging Position to Loads by Clicking

Attach multiple loads to a hanging position without drawing witness lines

Object context menu command

Attaching Loads to a Hanging Position by Clicking

Editing Associated Loads



Set the hanging point of a single load and draw a witness line

Drop-down context menu command

Setting the Hanging Point of an Associated Load

Move a single load to its hanging point

Drop-down context menu command

Moving an Associated Load onto its Hanging Position

Move all loads on a hanging position to their hanging points

Hanging position context menu command

Moving All Associated Loads onto the Hanging Position

Disassociating Loads



Disassociate a single load from its hanging position

Drop-down context menu command

Removing a Single Load from its Hanging Position

Disassociate multiple loads from a hanging position

Hanging position context menu command

Removing Multiple Loads from a Hanging Position

If a hanging position is copied, it is automatically renamed; any attached loads that are copied are associated with the new hanging position. Deleting a hanging position does not delete the attached loads.


Placing Lighting Pipe Objects

Placing Lighting Pipe Ladders

Inserting a Straight Truss

Inserting a Curved Truss

Truss Configuration Requirements

Creating a Hanging Position Object

Inserting Hanging Positions

Spotlight Setup

Associating Load Objects with a Hanging Position

Editing Associated Loads

Disassociating Load Objects from a Hanging Position

Placing a Dimension Tape


Was this page helpful?