7 Ways of Using a Smoke Machine That You Never Thought Of

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Chauvet Nimbus dry ice machine

If you’re a DJ, you will know that smoke machines mean atmosphere. When it comes to getting your dance floor filled, knocking back the audience or getting the bride doe-eyed over her first dance: fog works. More often than not, a party venue or club is just about the only time people don’t want to see where they’re going: it adds to the escapism, gives party goers a reason not to talk; to lose themselves and perhaps (intentionally) their partners.

That venue three doors down from McDonald’s, the room where you spend a cosy sofa night; a number and a road name: your guests will forget where they are, and that’s exactly what you want. Know that fog machines aren’t just a filler for your trussing or that gap on your lighting rail: they should accompany any lighting arrangement; be it on stage, dance floor or house party.

But some of the uses of smoke machines, as well as the different types out there on the market; are vastly overlooked by consumers. We envision in our heads a little bit of smoke to keep the kids amused, but there are so many different occasions where smoke really works and can cause massive amounts of hype to your parties and events. If you want guests to be tweeting their thanks the minute they are in the taxi, we have come up with SEVEN uses for smoke machine that you (probably) never thought of: guaranteed to get them talking!
Flame effect with Beamz amber LED fog machine
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AFX Light up shot smoke machine
1) Epic show finale with up foggers

Some smoke machines are surprisingly powerful: powerful enough to visibly shoot up into the air. This makes a knock-back effect for your stage or gig audience, and when used at the right moment and in the right way; can have them bowing down in appreciation for the performers. These machines usually have quite hefty dimensions, but use them at both sides of the stage and they’ll stay grounded even with the frontman kicking up a storm.

Some ingenious manufacturers have even built LED lighting around the nozzle, so the smoke stream is invigorated with changing colours, or a static colour complimentary to your theme or mood. In short: you can spit fire!
Beamz LED smoke machine for Halloween
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Beamz LED smoke machine for Halloween
2) Creepy halloween graveyard effect

If we are ever delighted with an early morning fog, our impairment of sight can have the back of our necks prickling, or as a driver; wary and anticipating the next turn that a HGV won’t have his headlights on. It can be freaky, and set us on edge.

This is exactly what a fog machine can bring to a halloween party. Even a small 400w or 500w machine will fill up a small room and have your guests treading carefully: teamed with ultraviolet glows or lighting and you’ll get that sought-after graveyard effect that’s becoming the halloween ‘must-have’ in recent years.

Le Maitre dry ice machine for weddings
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Le Maitre dry ice machine for weddings
3) The first dance with ground fog machines

What the bride wants: she will get. When most think of smoke machines, they are more likely to think of dry ice, or ground foggers. A romantic dance floor with the bride’s dress blending into the fog; an arm-swaying 90s chart hit on top of the pops, or a theatre effect you get to inhale if you’re sitting on the first row. There’s something about a cloud on the ground that makes a dance floor into a wonderland: and that’s exactly where the bride wants to be for her first dance.

4) Lure their sense with scents

When you next fill up your machine with fluid, dilute in a scent. Nowadays they have whiffs that cater to our modern tastes such as energy drink and frappuccino, but also blend a concoction together and theme it; such as christmas or halloween scents. But even if it’s just a simple fruity flavour; if you have a smoke machine for an exhibition stand, it could help to lure people in: inspire all senses and the crowds naturally drift.

Use a smoke machine in a marquee!
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Use a smoke machine in a marquee!

5) Myth buster: using smoke outdoors

One of our most frequently asked questions we have from our customers is: ‘can I use a smoke machine outside?’ The answer is generally no, you can’t. Sorry! Unless you have an industry standard machine designed to keep the smoke grounded, outdoor conditions simply will not let artificial fog linger.

However: there are certain places where fog could work outdoors, and this is in outdoor ‘enclosed’ areas such as marquees and tents. In other words, in places where it cannot be affected by the weather (particularly wind). So, in a way, I did just beat the myth! (Kind of). But in a marquee for a wedding, festival or exhibition tent; a smoke effect would work wonders for mood.


Le Maitre hazer machine in action
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Le Maitre hazer machine in action

6) When a hazer is mightier than smoke

One of the most solid purposes for a smoke / fog machine is to combine with lighting. As a DJ you’ll know why this is, but for those who don’t know; it’s one of the most effective combinations when it comes to stage and venue effects.

Whether its lasers or LED lights, keep your smoke machine nearby. The smoke catches the light and projects a beam through the air, and without smoke; no light is powerful enough to properly capture this (despite what might be depicted in the images). If you want this for a stage effect, for lights ‘sweeping’ over the audience; it’s better to consider a haze machine. The finer mist from a hazer isn’t strongly visible; but it really works to make light beams.
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7) Frozen parties = dry ice machine

Frozen parties have boomed in popularity. Since Disney's most sought-after release came to our screens, even in 2015 we are planning when to slap the Frozen theme on a kids birthday party. But it's not just for birthdays: the Frozen Party has taken to being a reason for celebration on its own! With the costumes, the props and frozen cupcakes; you make think that you already have enough for a house party, and that may be true.

But if you've gone that step further for our favourite princess sisters, then you may want to think about using a dry ice machine. You want that long, Queen Elsa dress to look as though its wading through snow, then dry ice will do exactly that! It doesn't cost much to hire one for the night, and we recommend the Chauvet Nimbus or Le Maitre Freezefog for a powerful, low-lying cloud of fog. 

It's what I want to see everyone using for their next Frozen party! Why hasn't anyone thought of this before?!
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