Adding and Organising Fixtures (2023)

Fixture Browser Layout area, fixtures are added to plans here Fixture Library Fixture properties

Once you have the layout set up as desired you can start populating it with the fixtures as required for the installation:

Local Fixture Library

Pharos Designer ships with a limited Fixture Library which should be enough to get started with most simple shows. The Fixture Library is grouped by manufacturer and then sorted in Alphabetical order. A generic manufacturer is provided for standard fixtures such as Dimmers, basic RGBLEDs etc. and a Generic DALI manufacturer contains DALIpersonalities.

The library is fully searchable, so if you don't know the manufacturer of a fixture you can find it by searching for the fixture name.

Library Groupings

In addition to the main library, which allows you to search for any of the fixtures in your local library.


The Used view shows any of the fixtures that you have used in the current project, to easily reuse existing fixtures.


The Recent view shows fixtures that you have used in any project on your computer recently.


You can Favourite fixtures or manufacturers that you want to always have easy access to from within the Library view. To Favourite a fixture or manufacturer, Click the Star icon in the library.

Deleting Downloaded fixtures

If you have downloaded fixtures and no longer require them in your library, you can delete either individual fixtures or whole manufacturers by right clicking on the fixture or manufacturer and selecting Delete.

This will remove the fixture or manufacturer from the library.

(Legacy) fixtures

Some fixtures within the library have a (Legacy) suffix. This means that there is a version of this fixture that supports Direct Colour (on the LPC family of controllers).

The legacy fixtures automatically calculate values for White and Amber (where necessary), whereas the Direct Colour equivalents allow these values to be set explicitly.

Online Fixture Library

If you can't find a specific fixture in the Fixture Library, you may find it in the more comprehensive Online Fixture Library (accessed from the Adding and Organising Fixtures (2)button next to the Search box).

Adding fixtures from the Online Fixture Library:

The Online Fixture Library contains all the fixture personalities currently available, to add these personalities to your system:

  1. Find the fixture(s) that you want to download, either using the search box or by navigating the folder tree
  2. Select the fixture(s)
  3. Click Download

This will download the personality to your system and make it available within your local Fixture Library.

When you download a fixture it will be available in all future projects, and can be used offline.

If a fixture personality has been updated since being downloaded, the Update Available column will be checked to indicate that a new version is available. This may be due to a change in the firmware of a fixture or an error in the previous personality.

NOTE:If you need a fixture personality which isn't available in the Online Fixture Library, please contact support.

Fixture icons & scale

The following icons are used to differentiate between fixture classes:

Adding and Organising Fixtures (4) Moving light - wash Adding and Organising Fixtures (5) DALI ballast (see DALI)
Adding and Organising Fixtures (6) Moving light - spot Adding and Organising Fixtures (7) Conventional fixture
Adding and Organising Fixtures (8) Moving light - mirror Adding and Organising Fixtures (9) Non-dim (switched control channel) or controller
Adding and Organising Fixtures (10) Accessory (eg. scroller) Adding and Organising Fixtures (11) Media server
Adding and Organising Fixtures (12) Discrete LED fixture (to scale) Adding and Organising Fixtures (13) Compound LED fixture (to scale)
Adding and Organising Fixtures (14) Fountain jet fixture

The LED and compound LED fixture icons are drawn to scale (1cm:1pixel) so that, coupled with a correctly scaled background image, the resulting layout and simulation is as realistic as possible. The other icons are drawn to a standard size that, in most cases, will produce a realistic result. All placed fixture icons can however have their size (scale) and even shape modified using the Fixture Configuration pane.

When using the Simulator these icons instead render the fixture's output, even displaying the selected gobo and iris settings for moving lights. Fountain jet icons do not simulate intensity, but rather fill the icon to mimic the water jet.

Populating the layout

Simply choose a manufacturer, select the required fixture by clicking on it and then placing the fixture on the layout, it will automatically be added to the Browser and grouped with all other fixtures of that type. Once placed, left click to select it, a red highlight will indicate the current selection, see selecting fixtures. Right click to delete, group or duplicate fixtures.

To add a fixture:

There are several ways to add a fixture to the layout:

  1. Click on the fixture in the library and then click to place the fixture on the layout (the layout border will turn blue to indicate you are in fixture placement mode)
  2. Click and drag the fixture onto the layout and release the mouse button to drop it (it will automatically be added to the Browser)

When using Fixture Placement mode, you can pre-set any parameters for the fixture before placing it on the layout.

To add multiple fixtures

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You can continue placing fixtures once they are selected (as above) if the Auto Finish option is not checked, this can also be toggled with Ctrl.

Click Finish to exit fixture placing mode.

To duplicate a fixture (create an array):
  1. Right-click on the fixture (on the layout not the Browser) to be duplicated
  2. Select "Duplicate"

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Adding and Organising Fixtures (17)

  1. Select either "Rectangle" or "Circle"
  2. Set the duplication parameters, see below
  3. Press Next to set Fixture order or Press Finish to close the Window

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Adding and Organising Fixtures (19)

  1. Select the order of the fixtures in the new array, based on the start position and the direction.
  2. Press Next to set Auto Patch or Press Finish to close the Window

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  1. Auto Patch can be used to patch a specified number of fixtures to a certain specified protocol, starting at a specified universe number with a specified patch gap. By default, Controller is set to none, so select the controller that you want to patch too.
  2. Press Finish

For rectangular arrays, positive width and height values will place the copies to the right and below respectively, negative to the left and above.

For circular arrays, select the radius, count (number of fixtures) and start angle- complete circles are created in this way so, if arcs required, just delete those fixtures that are unwanted. The start angle determines where on the fixture the original fixture sits (0o is at 3 o'clock).

Either array type also allows you to:

Create instances of the source fixture - This will cause all the duplicated fixtures to be instances.

Add to the same groups as the source fixture - This will cause the duplicated fixtures to be automatically added to all the same groups as the original.

To copy a fixture or fixture selection:
  1. Select the fixture(s)
  2. Press and hold Ctrl (Cmd)
  3. Drag the copy to a new location on the layout and release the mouse button to drop (with multiple fixtures, their relative layout and numbering is preserved)

Note: pressing Ctrl after starting to drag will cause the selection to jump back to its original position and create a copy of the selection under the pointer.

Alternatively, Cut, Copy and Paste functionality is provided on the Fixture Manipulation Toolbar and the right click menu.

To delete a fixture or fixture selection:
  1. Select the fixture(s)
  2. Press Delete or right-click > Delete

Note that the fixture(s) will be completely removed from the project and all programming discarded.

To see where a fixture is patched:
  1. Check 'Show patched on' on the toolbar.
  2. Move the cursor over a fixture - the fixture's patch will be shown next to the cursor.
  3. Pick a Controller from the drop down list on the toolbar to see all fixtures patched to it - fixtures patched to the Controller will be shown in blue.
To change a fixture's type:

It is possible to swap a fixture for a different type:

  1. Select the fixture/s that you want to change
  2. Right-click on a selected fixture
  3. Choose Change Fixture Type
  4. Select the fixture in the library that you want to change to

Note: Changing to a fixture that uses more channels will require patched fixtures to be unpatched, changing to a lower channel count will retain the start address, and leave spaces between the fixtures.

DALI fixtures

DALI fixtures/ballasts are added to the layout in the same way as all other fixtures but they do not populate the Browser and no groups are automatically created since DALI fixtures are programmed and controlled via dedicated DALI Interfaces, see DALI.

Import fixtures

You can use Main Menu > Import Object to import a fixture layout from a CAD application via a delimited text file, or the Philips Color Kinetics Video Management Tool, see Import Objects.

Export Layout

You can use Main Menu > Export Object to export a fixture layout to a CAD application via a CSV file, see Export Objects

Fixture Manipulation

The Fixture ManipulationToolbar can be used to perform some manipulation functions on fixtures and groups of fixtures.

Adding and Organising Fixtures (21)

Cut, Copy and Paste

Make copies of fixtures to paste on the same or a different layout. Cut can be used to move fixtures from one layout to another.


Create arrays of fixtures(see above)

Remove From Layout

Delete the fixture from the current layout, but keep all other instances.

Transform Tools

Selecting Transform Tools with multiple fixtures selected will activate the on-layout transformation options.

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Scale selection Adding and Organising Fixtures (23)

The layout of the selected fixtures can be scaled in the X and/or Y direction using the handles round the edge of the selection box.

Reflect Adding and Organising Fixtures (24)Adding and Organising Fixtures (25)

Mirror the selected group of fixture across the specified axis. This will move the selected fixtures, not create a new set of fixtures.

Rotate Adding and Organising Fixtures (26)

Rotate the selection, keeping the relative positions the same.

The angle is set by clicking and rotating the lever on the rotation handle.

The centre of rotation can be moved by dragging on the centre of the rotate handle.


Align the specified part of the selected fixtures. Options:

  • Align Left edges
  • Align Centres
  • Align Right edges
  • Align Tops
  • Align Middles
  • Align Bottoms

These options are available round the right and bottom edges of the selection box.


Distribute the selected fixtures between the extreme fixtures either vertically or horizontally. Use this to create evenly spaced groups of fixtures where the spacing isn't known.

Show VLCFixture Centres

On a VLC/VLC+ layout, checking this option will display the centre of the fixture, which will then be mapped to a pixel on the layout. This maintains the relative positions of the fixtures when they don't map directly onto the pixels.

Adding and Organising Fixtures (35)

Fixture Properties

When fixtures are selected from the Layout or the Browser, the fixture configuration section will be populated. If you have multiple fixtures selected, any shared properties will be displayed.

Fixture Identification

With a fixture selected the top two fields detail the fixture's manufacturer (manufacturer id) and model (model id), they are for reference only and can not be edited.

Number and Name

Here you can enter a new name for the fixture, useful to help make the browser easier to navigate, and the means to change the fixture's unique user number.

Every fixture added to the project is assigned a user number which is used as a shorthand method of selecting it, using the web interface's command line for example. Use the up and down arrows to change the number but note that only available numbers are shown so you may need to change the number of another fixture first to make that number available. Note that the user number does not affect the order of the fixtures in the Browser and thus the order used for transitions.


Below this are two fields for entering any comments about the fixture, useful for annotating the project's documentation. These comments will appear in the fixture report and in exported fixture plans.

X and Y

Use these fields to set numerically the fixture's position on the layout

It is desirable to position the fixtures on the layout as accurately as possible to improve both the accuracy of the programming (in particular pixel matrices created automatically from the layout) and the general neatness of the project and simulation.

To nudge a fixture on the layout you can use the cursor keys to nudge the fixture selection up, down, left or right by the amount set as the grid spacing. Alternatively, use the up and down arrows by each of the fixture's position fields. Holding Shift while using the cursor keys performs a fine-nudge of 1px.


Set the angle of the fixture, setting these accurately will allow Pixel Matrices and Simulate to be as accurate as possible.


Select "Yes" to prevent the fixture(s) from being moved or included in drag selections. Evidently, once locked, drag selection is prohibited to select multiple fixtures to unlock so you must use the Browser instead.

Width and Height

Use these to set the size of the fixture on the layout (1px : 1cm), this is particularly useful when the background image is not to the same scale.


LEDfixtures can be set to be circular or square to match the physical fixture, and this option can be used to change between the two.

Gel colour

For those working with gelled lights it is possible to simulate the gel’s colour so that the fixtures are rendered correctly, press the Gel button and select the required colour via the colour picker.

This can also be used when a fixture is a single colour as these fixture personalities will be simulated as white.


The fixture's dimmer curve and maximum intensity can be set, use the Dimmer Curve drop-down to determine the type of cross fade the intensity channel will perform and set a Maximum Intensity level, useful for balancing light output.


DALI ballasts can be configured as allowed for by the DALI standard; Min Level (0>254), Max Level (0>254), Power On Level (1>254) and Bus Failure level (No change, 0>254). The standard specifies a level range of 0>254 with 255 being used as a special case meaning "no change", a mask if you like. Unlike DMX fixtures, these settings are stored in the ballasts themselves and so must be uploaded separately, see DALI.

Ballasts can also have their default Fade Time and Fade Rate set in the configuration pane.

Emergency DALI ballasts will also have the option to the set the Prolong time in the configuration pane. More information about emergency ballasts can be in the DALI topic.

NOTE: The default Fade Time and Fade Rate will be overwritten when new values are sent to ballasts during playback from triggers or programming. This is due to the way DALI ballasts store this information.

Moving lights

Moving lights can be customised for the project as one would on any sophisticated moving light console. Use Invert Pan, Invert Tilt and Swap Pan & Tilt to normalise the way they respond to the position controls.

Edit Colours

Fixtures with colour wheels will display an Edit colours... button within the Fixture Properties tab. Clicking it will show the current colours set for the available wheels. Clicking any of the wheels will open the colour picker allowing you to choose the colour matching the colour wheel that is or will be located in that fixture's colour wheel.

Adding and Organising Fixtures (36) Adding and Organising Fixtures (37)

Edit Gobos

Fixtures with gobo wheels will display an Edit gobos... button within the Fixture Properties tab. Clicking it will show the current gobos set for the available wheels. Clicking any of the wheels will open the gobo image picker allowing you to choose the gobo image that matches gobo wheel that is or will be located in that fixture's gobo wheel.

Adding and Organising Fixtures (38) Adding and Organising Fixtures (39)

Custom gobo images can be added to the following directories:

  • Windows: %userprofile%\Documents\Pharos\Designer 2\Gobos
  • Mac: ~/Documents/Pharos Controls/Designer 2/Gobos

Requirements for creating custom gobo images:

  • Only .png images are accepted.
    • Transparency is preserved.
    • Colour is allowed.
  • The default images are 128 by 128 pixels, but larger images are accepted. It is recommended to keep them with a square aspect ratio for clear viewing of the image within the gobo wheel selection window.

Note: For new gobo images to be detected the software must be restarted.

Reset Properties

You can return a fixture to its library definition, losing local changes and thus restoring it to its defaults by selecting Reset Properties. This is useful for updating fixtures on the layout with any library definition edits, forcing a redraw. Local changes to a fixture's geometry (shape, size) will be overwritten.

You can also Reset all fixtures of a type from the Used section of the fixture library, by right clicking the required fixture.

Show Patched Status

To see which fixtures are patched to each controller in a project, you can Check the Show patched on checkbox at the top of the fixture browser. The dropdown can then be used to select the controller to display (None will show fixtures which are unpatched)

This will highlight the fixture on the layout in the "programmed" colour (default: blue). See Project Properties.

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