The Light Dashboard

The Light Dashboard shows you the current, live levels of all lighting instruments in your workspace, and lets you manipulate them in real time. If you change a value in the Light Dashboard, the change will be sent immediately to the lighting hardware, and you will see that change live. Similarly, when you run a Light cue, you'll see the changes made by that cue reflected in the Light Dashboard as it happens.

You can open the Light Dashboard by choosing it from the Window menu or by using the keyboard shortcut ⌘⇧D.

Light Dashboard

The Light Command Line

This textual command line allows you to manipulate the Light Dashboard or the quickly and powerfully. You can learn more about it in the Lighting Command Language section of this documentation.

Over Time

Typically, any commands you type into the command light will execute immediately when you hit enter. If you type a time into this field, however, the command will fade over that amount of time. This concept, called sneak on some other lighting consoles, allows you to make changes to the live state of your lights in a gentle, subtle way.

Sliders or Tiles

The Dashboard offers two ways to look at your lighting:

Slider view shows one instrument or light group per line, sorted alphabetically, with a text field on the left side and a slider on the right. Values can be typed into the text field, or modified by clicking and dragging on the sliders. Multiple values can be adjusted at once by shift-clicking on two or more sliders and then dragging.

Any row containing a value that has been manually adjusted since a Light cue was run will display a yellow background. Rows which represent groups show yellow marks to indicate different levels of individual instruments within the group.

Mixed levels

Instruments and light groups that have more than one parameter will have a disclosure arrow on the left edge of the Light Dashboard. When the arrow is pointing to the right, only the default parameter of the instrument or light group (typically the intensity parameter) will be shown. If you click the triangle, the slider will "unfold" to show all parameters.


Light groups contain all the parameters for every instrument they contain.

Tile view shows each parameter of every instrument or light group as a tile, sorted alphabetically, with the level of the parameter above in larger text, and the name of the instrument and parameter below in smaller text. The brightness of the outline of each level display reflects the current value of that parameter.


Any tile containing a value that has been manually adjusted since a Light cue was run will display a yellow background.

Latest Light Cue

Latest Light Cue. Unlike many other lighting consoles, QLab is not restricted by the concept of being "in" a cue, since the results of more than one cue be reflected on stage at once. Rather, QLab tracks cues as they are triggered, and lists the most recently run Light cue here.

Update Latest Cue ⌘U. After running a Light cue and then manually adjusting levels in the Dashboard, clicking Update Latest Cue will add all adjusted levels (everything with a yellow background) to the listed cue.

Update Originating Cues

Since not every cue needs to provide a value for every instrument, it is possible that, after running several cues, the Dashboard reflects the handiwork of more than one cue. Clicking this button will update the value of each instrument in the cue that originated the level for that instrument. This is complicated, so we'll walk through that step by step. Consider a show with six instruments, and five cues:

Cue 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 100 100 100 100 100 100
2 15 15 15
3 80
4 25 25
5 50

After running all five cues, in order, the live state of the lights in this show are:

Cue 1 2 3 4 5 6
Live: 15 80 50 25 25 100

The levels for each instrument originate in different cues:

Cue 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 100 100 100 100 100 100
2 15 15 15
3 80
4 25 25
5 50

If you ran those five cues, and then adjusted instruments 3, 5, and 6 to new levels, let's say all to 75, the button would read Update 3 Originating Cues because those three instruments' levels originated in three different cues. If you then clicked the button, those originating cues would all be updated:

Cue 1 2 3 4 5 6
1 100 100 100 100 100 75
2 15 15 15
3 80
4 25 75
5 75

Revert Changes

Clicking Revert Changes ⌘R will restore all parameters that you've changed in the Light Dashboard to the levels that they were last set to. This restore happens over the workspace's panic duration.

Recording New Cues

Clicking New Cue with Changes ⌘N will create a new Light cue in the active cue list, below the currently selected cue, containing commands for only the parameters that have been adjusted (the ones with yellow backgrounds.) This is somewhat analogous to recording a cue with tracking, since the new cue will only contain commands for parameters that have changed since the last cue ran.

Clicking New Cue with All ⇧⌘ will create a new Light cue containing commands for all the instruments in the workspace. This is somewhat similar to recording a blocking cue, since levels for all instruments will be explicitly set by this cue. Any instruments that do not have an explicit level in the Light Dashboard when you click New Cue with All will be recorded at an intensity of 0.

The DMX Status Window

The DMX Status Window, which you can find under the Window menu, is a diagnostic and troubleshooting tool that's not part of the Light Dashboard, but is related. The DMX Status Window shows the current value of one universe of DMX at a time, and lets you manually set the level of individual addresses. You cannot record changes you make in this window; it's intended only to help you solve patching errors, discover whether a misbehaving fixture is correctly addressed, etc.