Half Top Hats

Lighting designers use City Theatrical Top Hats for three primary reasons:

  1. To decrease the viewing angle to the lens so the audience doesn't see the bright and potentially distracting source of light.
  2. To block spill light caused by optical deficiencies in the lighting fixture.
  3. For decorative purposes, to make a lighting fixture look more "theatrical."

City Theatrical Concentric Rings, Egg Crate Louvers, and Cross Baffles are often used for this purpose as well. Those three reasons illustrate the concept of why designers use Top Hats, but why are Half Top Hats used?

For Standard Half Top Hats, the first three reasons are the same, but there is an important fourth reason to add to the list:

      4. To make a lighting fixture "disappear" in the lighting rig.

This is easy to see in a theatre or light lab. 

Standard Half Top Hats, like all City Theatrical beam shaping accessories, are made at our factory in Carlstadt, New Jersey, USA.

Standard Half Top Hat for Source Four, Strand SL, Shakespeare, Pacific (19-50°) (P/N 2460)

Did You Know?

Top Hats are ideal for reducing a professional lighting fixture's glare and spill. By using a Standard Half Top Hat rotated with its full side toward the viewer, the bright interior light often created when using a full Top Hat disappears, and the lighting fixture is no longer seen by the audience. Top hats are available in white or black, which offers interior flocking for maximum beam control.

Achieve Your Vision

Since our inception over 30 years ago, City Theatrical has worked with professional lighting designers to invent, manufacture, and customize high quality lighting accessories from our USA-based facility. Our mission is to create products that enable designers to achieve their artistic vision. This "Accessories Spotlight" email series will help demonstrate how a single lighting accessory, like Standard Half Top Hats, can help you make your next performance or installation even better.


Call or email us to let us know how we can help you. 

City Theatrical, Inc.



City Theatrical Ltd. (Europe)

+44 (0)20 8949 5051

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