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Band & DJ Lighting: Buying Guide
It’s not just the sound that makes an event exciting; impressive lighting and atmospheric effects can add a totally new dimension to a DJ gigs or a band’s live show, and even to parties and corporate presentations.
Whatever be the show that you’re putting up, your light show can make or break your performance. However, choosing the best lights for your setup is an art form in itself, because there’s a wide range of options available, from moving lights to washes, strobes to lasers and even fog machines.
Here’s a simplified guide to understanding all about lighting system.
Types Of Lighting Effects
- Effect Lights: It use multiple beams and motion in order to create a desired effect
- Beam Effects
- Flower Effects
- Barrel Mirror Effects
- Police Beacons
PAR Lights and Spots
Throw an even wash of color over the stage with PAR lights. Once you’ve blanketed the stage with the glow of a few PAR cans, you can highlight individual performers with the narrow, focused beams of spotlights.
Where conventional PAR (Parabolic Aluminized Reflector) lamps can emit a lot of heat, newer lights use LEDs to stay cool. Even cooler: multiple LED fixtures can be combined to create animated pixel-mapping effects.
Motorized lights can synchronize with music in a range of speeds and patterns. You can do panning, tilting and spinning in time with the beat — from a slow tempo to fast music. These moving lights come with built-in sound-activated modes, so they don’t require programming.
Most shows in any good-sized venue use motorized lights (aka moving lights) and are a must-have for adding depth and movement to your performances. These lights can be set on tripod stands, hung from trusses over the stage, or set directly on the dance floor. They’re perfect for the mobile DJ who wants to enhance their music with an extra kick.
American DJ Festive Light Pak II
The American DJ Festive Light Pak II is a great starter package for the mobile entertainer, home karoake or beginning DJ set ups. It includes color sphere rotating color ball, 1 mini variable speed strobe and a moonflower effect that comes colored, but can be changed to clear with an optional dish included, read more…
Bar Light Systems
These lighting systems deliver excellent value-for-your-buck, and give you a whole show in just one bag, as these come with multiple light heads on a single bar. These systems are loaded with 4 or more individually adjustable PAR lights, spotlights, or moonflower lights. Some of these come bundled with a tripod stand, perfect to get your bar light system off the ground.
Powered by bright white LEDs or high-wattage Xenon lamps, strobes are a must-have fixture for any club. Placed behind the performer or off to the side, they create a great, energetic effect alongside colored lights, taking your light show to the next level by adding a fast-flashing pulse to the dance floor.
Lasers and Fog Machines
Laser lights can project hundreds of razor-sharp red or green beams onto your walls, ceiling, or dance floor. But to really make your laser lighting effects stand out, you should add a fog machine to your setup. With your laser fixture on one end of a long bar or club, and just the right amount of fog, its beams will stretch across the entire venue creating an awesome ambiance.
Captivate your crowd with effect lights, from moonflower lights that cover the floor with rotating spots, to gobo projectors that put a custom-made design on display for the world to see. Whether you’re an entertainer on the go, or the owner of a small club, effect lights can add another visual dimension to your shows, filling an entire wall and turning a dull part of the venue into a highlight. These are also quite effective for outdoor bar or decks, where you don’t want to have a full-on light show, but want to bump up the ambiance with color and light.
Like what mixer is for sound, a DMX Controller is for your lighting. It gives you complete control over the colors and movements, so you can choreograph your lights to the music as per your needs. DMX is a digital signal that can control hundreds of light fixtures daisy-chained together, usually with standard 3-pin XLR cables.
Here’s a brief explanation of how these are used.
To set up your DMX system, start by assigning each light a DMX Address number. If you have four blue wash lights on the stage, you can give them the same DMX Address, and control all four with a single slider on the board. One light can occupy several DMX channels. So, for example, if your lights on Address 1 have 7 channels of DMX control, then your next available DMX Address will be 8. Luckily, DMX gives you up to 512 possible addresses.
Once you’ve got your DMX controller talking to your lights, you may save different lighting looks as a series of ‘scenes’ on the controller. You just need to hit the ‘Go’ button to transition seamlessly from scene to scene.
With so much power at your fingertips, no wonder that pros prefer to use DMX controllers!
Lighting Accessories for Your Setup
Besides DMX Controllers, Relays, Dimmer Packs & Footswitch Controller, you’ll also need accessories such as Cabling, Stands & Trusses.
Here are videos that shows a Good Lighting setup:
With the above knowledge in hand, you should be able to design a band / DJ lighting system that will suit you requirements and that too at an affordable price.