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Your Guide to Buying DJ Lighting, LEDs and Strobes

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Your Guide to Buying DJ Lighting, LEDs and Strobes

Many DJs consider what they do to be an art form, with music as their medium. Like painters, these artists transform ordinary music and sounds, into a vibrant and memorable scene. Just as a painting needs a frame to help define and support the artwork, a DJ needs proper lighting in order to enhance the auditory experience. The right combination of light and sound, can create a powerful mood that listeners and party goers remember for a long time.

Due to this complex relationship between light and sound, DJ lighting includes many different styles of lighting systems, and distinct lighting effects, created by LEDs and strobes that add colour and other features. When buying any kind of DJ lighting, the buyer should be aware of what styles and effects are available. Armed with this knowledge, a DJ can find the perfect lights for their needs, regardless of whether or not it is in a music store, or online via eBay.

Lighting Systems

A DJ lighting system is about more than just light bulbs. A lighting system is a complex apparatus that incorporates lights, switches, controllers, and occasionally even features like a fog machine. These devices and fixtures create an infrastructure for the lighting effects, that maximises their ability to create a mood or atmosphere.

Controllers

Nearly all DJ lighting systems have some kind of controller. The controller for a basic system may be nothing more than an on/off switch for lights, but others may include more advanced features. Advanced controllers have built-in and controls that allow the DJ to establish lighting patterns, or to simply shut all light off at the push of a button. Furthermore, advanced controllers often have built-in dimmers and other features that allow the DJ to manage and regulate power to individual lights. Some controllers also tie in sound effects and other sound features into the lights, making it possible for light and sound to work together.

DMX Controllers

The most advanced controllers are known as DMX controllers . These devices allow users to create programmes that make use of all controller features so that the DJ does not have to divide their attention between music and lighting. This can even include auxiliary devices like fog machines. It should be noted that a DMX controller does not work with every device. All devices and lighting systems attached to a DMX controller should be labelled as 'DMX compatible'.

Light Stands

Light stands are simple devices, but are quite important for DJ lighting. Light stands are basically a place to hang lights and dimmers so that they are at the proper height, or position, to create a desired mood. Many stands are lightweight and made of aluminium or steel. These stands can be adjusted in terms of size and height in order to allow for full customisation. In many cases, DJs and other lighting professionals make use of sandbags to stabilise a light stand that is too top-heavy.

Light Cables

Light cables are what provides electricity to the various lights in a DJs lighting setup. Buyers should be aware that lighting cables are rated for different wattages. In other words, cables should be paired with lights that are the appropriate wattage. This ensures the most efficient use of power and keeps excess power from damaging lights or even causing fires. If a controller is present, it is much easier to organise these cables and keep loose cables from causing accidents or damaging property.

Dimmer Packs

While many controllers give DJs the ability to dim lights at will, there are also devices known as dimmers, or dimmer packs, that can be attached to basic dimmers to give them this function. In some cases, these dimmers only work with a single light or group of lights, and in order to be able to dim more lights, multiple dimmers are required.

Lighting Effects

In order to get people moving on a dance floor, a DJ usually needs more than dimmers and controllers. A highly kinetic activity like dancing requires rapid changes in colour, flashing lights, and lights that move around or rotate. In order to create these kinds of effects, there are a staggering number of different lighting effects that can be set up with the proper lights and other devices. Among these are a few that are considered staples of the DJ world, and others that are a bit esoteric. Still, the massive variety is a boon for anyone who wants to create a unique light show. In many cases, the lights used by DJs and other entertainers are referred to as ' par cans'.

LED lights

Many DJ lights, including strobes, make use of LED lights. LED lights are not the only option for lighting, but they do offer some advantages over other lights. LED lights are fairly new for use in such applications because for a long time, LED technology did not produce very bright light. Now, LED lights are much brighter, although in some cases they are not as bright as other lights. Still, LED lights use less energy, which saves money over a long period of time. This may not be a factor for DJs who do not pay for electricity at their shows, but is something to consider for DJs or venues who stay in one place. What is perhaps more important is that while LED's cost less to run and last for a long time, they are typically more expensive than other lights when first purchased.

Strobes

Strobe lights have been a feature of many DJ performances for decades. Strobe lights flash at an intermittent rate, which has the effect of making dancers appear like they are moving in slow motion, or are in a stop-motion video. Strobe lights can use regular white lights or coloured lights, depending on the wishes of the DJ. The rate that a strobe light flashes can usually be adjusted by the user in order to create a custom rhythm.

Other Lighting Effects

While strobes make an appearance at the vast majority of DJ performances, there are many, many more kinds of lights and effects that can be utilised. Most of these lighting effects can make use of LED lights or more traditional light bulbs. It is important to remember that any lighting effects used with a DMX controller should be DMX compatible.

Lighting Effect

Description

Stage Lights

Also known as parabolic lights are basically stable lights that cover a certain area. They can come in different sizes.

Mushroom

Mushrooms feature a single light source with a rotating series of lenses and filters, usually in varying colours to create a constantly shifting array of colours.

Moonflower

A moonflower is a fairly static fixture that makes patterns of light on a floor or other surface. They can change colours if necessary and usually make use of mirror and lenses..

Derby

A derby effect is when multiple beams of light in varying colours can be used together, either to create new colours or to enhance each other.

Barrel Mirror

A barrel effect has a mirror that rotates around a light bulb, causing a beam of light to move around an area.

Light effects that are labelled as 'intelligent', have the ability to time their effect to a musical beat, which can further enhance the mood on a dance floor.

Buying DJ Lighting, LEDs, and Strobes on eBay

You can find a number of different DJ lights, lighting effects, and accessories on eBay, even some that were not mentioned in this guide. The sheer number of possibilities makes it fun and exciting to shop for lights, and unique and new effects, among the offerings on eBay. The most efficient and effective way to shop for DJ lighting is to enter a search term into the search bar on the eBay home page. This term can be general and all-inclusive, like 'DJ lighting ', or something more narrow and specific like 'strobe lights'.

Investigate Each Item

Even with a narrow search, you are likely to find a number of items, both new and used, that fit your specifications. It is important, therefore to read each product description closely in order to make sure that there are no defects or issues that can cause problems in the future. Likewise, an eBay transaction is always more satisfying if you take the time to read the seller's profile and feedback score. This does not only help you to ensure that you can trust the seller, but it may allow you to find sellers in your area, which may help to reduce shipping costs.

Conclusion

DJ lighting is one of the most important parts of any DJ performance and for dancers, can help set the mood and create a palpable energy on the dance floor. Lighting can even be synched up to music in order to create a powerful visual and auditory experience. In order to properly create such an experience, a DJ should examine what kinds of lighting systems and accessories are available, as well as what kind of lighting effects are likely to create a certain mood.

Lighting systems typically consist of lights, a controller, light stands, and cables, although occasionally other devices like fog machines, and bubble machines, are included as well. Lighting effects typically involve a combination of colour and motion, such as the ever popular strobe light. Many lighting effects are made using LED technology, which, while cheaper to maintain, might cost more initially. Once a buyer understands all of the options available, it is easy to find everything they need on eBay.

 
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