DMX controllers make controlling LED lighting, light fixtures, and other special effects easy. There are however, many different models for consumers to choose from. If you are considering purchasing a DMX controller for your next party or event, you need to keep in mind five important factors: features, fixtures, channels, scalability, and wattage.
DMX Controller Features
DMX lighting controllers come with a wide variety of features, so it is important for you to decide which are important to you before making a purchasing decision. The DMX CueServer Pro for example, includes a front LCD display as well as front panel buttons and MIDI ports. DMX controllers also have varying levels of portable memory capabilities and onboard memory. Make sure you choose a DMX controller with enough features to meet your current and future needs.
DMX Controller Fixtures
Before choosing a DMX controller, you must determine the number of fixtures you need to control. That way, you can be sure your DMX controller is capable of handling your entire project. Take into account all of your LED disco lights, effects, servos, and valves. The DMX controller assigns each group of fixtures a unique address that facilitates control of up to 512 channels.
DMX Controller Channels
The DMX controller assigns at least one channel to each fixture and different fixtures have different channel requirements. A single colour LED light only needs one channel to function, while a four-colour RGBW fixture needs four channels. Again, each DMX controller has different channel capabilities, so you need to choose one that can handle your entire event, as well as future projects.
DMX Controller Scalability
Scalability is another factor to keep in mind when choosing a DMX lighting controller. How large your projects and events are determines which DMX controller is right for you. The FW-LT-800 DMX controller, for example, while slightly less expensive than other controllers, can only control a maximum of 512 channels. The FW-Arnet-8 on the other hand, though much more costly, has eight standard DMX output ports, which allows the user to control a maximum of 4,096 channels. When faced with this kind of decision, remember to allow yourself room to grow your projects. It is better to spend a little extra on a DMX controller with better scalability than to have to purchase a new DMX controller later on.
DMX Controller Wattage
Each DMX decoder has its own specific wattage limits as well. If your lights exceed the maximum wattage limits, it could send the decoder into overdrive. If you find a DMX controller that is perfect for your events but wattage is an issue, you can solve the problem by incorporating a signal amplifier for the rest of the wattage load.