Gone are the days when DJs relied on their music alone to get crowds going. More and more DJs in today’s world are looking at incorporating some kind of lighting for an added effect. Indoors or outdoors, the right type of lighting can have quite an effect when clubbed with music because these lighting systems match the music’s beat and rhythm.
These modern day lighting alternatives are a far cry from disco balls of yore, although if you are looking at buying some, you should equip yourself with the right kind of information before you start looking at what is on offer. Lighting for your performance and DJ equipment is available through the online auction site, eBay. The aspects to consider before you start looking for DJ lighting equipment include the type of lighting systems on offer, the accessories you may need, as well as what to address when coming up with a budget.
Different Lighting Options for DJ Equipment
When it comes to looking for lighting alternatives to pair with DJ equipment, one truly has a number of alternatives from which to choose. For example, one can opt for stage lights, lasers, strobe lights, beamers, or moonflowers.
If you are looking at getting the right lighting to go with your DJ equipment, know that stage lighting plays an important role, and this is simply because it helps with the overall scheme of things. Parabolic lights, commonly referred to as par cans, are the most commonly used lights when it comes to stage lighting, which goes along with DJ equipment. These lights come in different brightness levels starting from the least bright at Par38 to the brightest at Par64.
Typically used with T-stands, one can use two par cans per T-stand, and definitely think about starting out with a set of two stands and four par cans for a small-to-medium space. Dimmer packs are also part of stage lighting that involve the use of par cans, and these help to vary the power that is provided to the lights, thereby varying their brightness levels.
A numbers of DJs have resorted to using beamers along with stage lights during their performances. Beamers help project solid light beams across any given area. What is to be noted, though, is that this beam loses its intensity the further it travels. Technological advances have now resulted in beamers that can move in accordance to preset patterns and more complex alternatives even enable these lights to move in tandem with the music that is playing.
Commonly used in raves and clubs to produce the slow motion effect, strobe lights, or stroboscopic lamps, produce regular light flashes, and coloured strobe lights that use some kind of a colouring agent are also made available. From a DJ’s perspective, these are definitely worth considering, and you can expect to find basic versions at rather affordable prices.
Lasers emit light that comes out in the form of radiation, which takes place through a process referred to as stimulated emission. Lasers are also commonly used by DJs in nightclubs and outdoor events alike. Lasers that produce aerial beams are known to work best when used along with a medium, such as haze or fog. Irrespective of the intensity of the light that a laser produces, they do look brighter with fog or haze, and this is the reason DJs use fog machines or haze machines in conjunction with laser lights.
Fog or haze do not play an important role if you resort to using animation lasers, because focus moves from the aerial beam to the actual graphic being projected. Some DJs are known to use laser lighting with DMX controllers, as this gives them way more creativity when it comes to how these laser lights are used.
Newer variants of laser lighting for DJs give them the ability to use lasers in highly precise manners, where one can easily write or draw on surfaces using these lighting alternatives.
What About LED Lighting for DJs?
Light emitting diodes, or LEDs, have found their way into lighting systems used by DJs, and while they are favoured by some, some others tend to refrain from using them. This is because they come with their own sets of pros and cons.
The first element that works in favour of DJ LED lighting is that it consumes less electricity in comparison to other conventional lighting alternatives. LED lighting is generally lightweight, making it easily portable, and LEDs are known to produce less heat in comparison to other conventionally used lights. Using LEDs in the three primary colours of red, blue, and green provide a DJ with the ability to come up with various colour combinations. Given the amount of electricity LEDs consume, they end up producing fairly high levels of brightness.
A common complaint about LED lighting is that it cannot be used to create hard-edged beams of light that DJs often wish to produce. Since three or more LED colours are used to create more colours, they end up creating multiple edges where different colours can be seen. LED lighting’s output intensity can be found lacking in comparison to incandescent lighting. For instance, a Par54 can, in most instances, outshine a Par64 LED lamp. The cost aspect continues to remain a drawback as well, given that LED lighting is more expensive than its incandescent counterpart.
DJ Lighting Accessories
Apart from cables, you also need other accessories in order to make the most of your lighting system. What you can also expect to buy are some stands and trusses, as this helps to get your lights in the air, where they help to increase your coverage area and stay away from potential damage. The following table indicates which alternatives are on offer.
Two to four branches
Tripods on either side of the truss
Uses a triangular truss design instead of a beam
Combination of a series of trusses
What you need to buy depends on aspects like the number of lights you wish to use as well as what you can afford. For instance, while tree stands are fairly affordable, I-beam trusses are more expensive, and triangular trusses are considerably more expensive than triangular trusses.
The type of lighting controller you require depends upon whether you want the ability to dim your lights, as well as the number of channels for which you are looking. If you are looking at buying an entire stage lighting system as part of a singular order, you do not really have to worry about the number of channels, as this is addressed before your order gets to you, although this is something that needs your attention if you intend to assemble a lighting system on your own. Dimming controllers are easy to come by and allow DJs to adjust brightness levels.
DJs can control the lights they use with their feet using foot controllers, which allow them to keep their hands free to do what they do best. However, these controllers generally offer very basic functionality.
DJ Lighting Quality and Budget
When looking for the right lighting for your DJ equipment, it is important that you set a budget ahead of time so that you know just what is within your means. Know that lighting costs can mount up quite quickly, and when it comes to stage lighting and the likes, be aware that you have various companies from which to choose. The reason this should be addressed within your budgeting is that while you have some very good companies from which to choose, you also have the option to choose from cheaper, substandard alternatives.
When it comes to DJ lighting alternatives, bear in mind that cheaper options do not necessarily translate into better deals. For example, cheaper alternatives are often made using substandard parts that break easily or lights burn out much quicker than their more expensive variants. Buying from reputed companies is suggested because these products, in almost all instances, are made to last.
During the budgeting phase, also take into account the fact that lights alone are not enough; you need a host of accessories as well.
Buying DJ Lighting Equipment on eBay
DJs across the UK turn to eBay when looking for the right lighting to accompany their equipment, not without reason. What you can expect to find on eBay includes: complete stage lighting systems, and an assortment of par cans, beamers, strobe lights, as well as LED systems. In addition, a host of stands and trusses of different styles and materials are also made available through eBay. You can also expect to find cables, dimming controllers, DMX controllers, and any other lighting related accessory you feel you may need.
One definite advantage that buyers have when purchasing on eBay is the option of different manufacturers and sellers. As a result, one can expect to find seemingly similar products offered at different prices, and if you are prepared to carry out an extensive search, you can expect to come by a good deal. eBay simplifies the search for DJ lighting through its search option and category-specific menu.
Using the right lighting along with your DJ mixers works wonders in upping the entertainment quotient during performances because it can give your listeners a mesmerising visual treat as well. The lighting you choose to buy depends on the effect you wish to produce, and this is where budgeting should be taken into account. What you should also take into account are aspects like durability, versatility, portability, and ease of use, as these play a crucial role in the long run.
If you are unsure of what to buy, take a look at how other DJs use their lighting systems whilst they perform. Remember that the way you use your lighting system has a significant bearing on the mood you manage to create as part of your overall performance. If you feel that you cannot utilise lighting as well as other DJs, know that all it takes is a little practice.