A Guide to a Killer Set Up for DJ Lights
A Guide to a Killer Set Up for DJ Lights
Creating an awesome and portable set up for DJ lights take some time and planning. Here's a guide that will help you nail down the basics.
Someone who doesn't know a lot about DJing might say that DJ lights don't matter as much as the music itself. But if you ask any artist, he or she will tell you how important lighting is to the performing arts.
DJ lighting is no exception. The proper lighting equipment could mean the difference between an average party or event and a spectacular one.
Think of it this way, sound is the main star, lighting equipment is your supporting character. And together, they make magic happen.
That said, here's how you can create your own killer set up for DJ lights.
Understand Your Lighting Needs
Before buying any lighting equipment, it helps to consider how they will be used. Consider the venues and events you will be lighting.
Also, think about the effects you want to create. What type of lighting will go well with an indoor event? How about an outdoor one?
There are also technical factors such as access to AC power, outlets, and amperage to take note of. You should also think about your clients' preferences. Perhaps, they already have their own lighting systems or they will have someone else to deal with lighting setup and control.
For the last one, if you're going to be in charge, you have to take into account features such as ease of programming, remote control, as well as essentials such as lighting cables, fixtures, and hardware.
2. Consider DMX
If you're just starting to experiment with lighting, you're bound to encounter DMX or digital multiplex control. The standard is DMX512, which means 1 cable can control 512 channels digitally.
Simply put, DMX allows one to control stage lighting and devices such as fog machines. It's definitely miles ahead of analog control systems, where each channel of the console requires a pair of wires.
Of course, some beginner disk jockeys might tell you to just go for stand-alone lights. They're cheaper and you don't have to worry about learning about the technicalities of another DJ equipment.
However, investing in DMX control now would mean you're already planning for the future. As you get better and get more gigs, you want to scale up your equipment and make sure all of your DJ lights can be controlled from the DJ booth. Using stand-alone lights aren't going to cut it, especially if you're asked to DJ at a big event.
3. Choose Your Console Carefully
When it comes to the perfect light console, the search can be quite overwhelming. So if simple is all you can handle right now, don't be tempted to buy the best in the market just because pros are recommending it.
With a basic console (24-channel), for example, you can control a few LEDs plus some atmosphere machines. It's also very simple to program and run so you should have no trouble setting it up.
Of course, the downside is, it doesn't offer a lot of flexibility. But they're good enough. Plus, once you get better, you can just resell it and move on to a pro-level console.
Just remember whether you're buying a basic or a pro lighting console, don't base your decision on price alone. There are a lot of good ones that offer value for money, are easy to figure out, and have tons of great features so spend some time researching the best option for your needs and skill level.
4. Know The Different Types of Lighting Effects
DJ lights are so versatile. You can use gobos, scanners, mirror balls, intelligent lights, and so on. There are also devices such as fog machines, haze machines, and bubble machines that when used with the proper lighting fixtures can amp up the atmosphere or ambiance of a venue.
Of course, you don't have to buy everything. Well, you can if budget's not an issue. But if it is, you have to be selective and just buy what you really need.
Now, small bands and DJs usually go for dimmer and switch packs if they are using PAR cans with incandescent lamps. They work just like household dimmer switches. And some of them already have built-in programs or chases.
If you don't have a lot of time to research, you can ask experts for advice on lighting production. They can set you on the right path even if you have a limited budget.
5. Look into Uplighting
If you're just starting to get gigs, you probably have an idea about the uplighting trend for weddings and corporate events. Uplights are small lights on the floor, usually placed around the venue's perimeter. They are designed subtly bathe the walls from floor to ceiling with mood lighting.
The great thing about uplights is they're easy to set up and won't break the bank. You can add uplights as an extra service or as a supplement to your current DJ lights rig.
There's another bonus to offering uplights. If you're sticking to a budget, you can rent them.
You don't even have to pay someone to install them for you. Just place the lights on the ground, use a DMX cable, and plug it into your system. And you're done.
Tip: You can also put uplights on a blank wall or a black curtain. They make a great backdrop for weddings and corporate events.
Additional Notes to Consider
DJ lights, just like any other piece of DJ equipment, are not always easy to get right. What works for clubs and private parties may not work for a wedding or a formal corporate event. So always ask your client and if you don't have the right lighting equipment for an event, consider renting.
Now if you already have a collection of DJ lights, you should look into protecting your investment. Consider buying lighting cases and bags. This way you don't have to worry about damaging your equipment while transporting them to a performance space.
Need More Advice on DJ Lights?
We can help. Don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about audio and lighting solutions.
You can also browse our shop. We offer lighting effects, moving heads, tube and tape LED lights and more. We would be more than happy to assist you with any of your lighting requirements.