What to Look for When Buying Disco Lights

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What to Look for When Buying Disco Lights

Disco lights are a great way to spice up any party. They can change a room into a dance hall and do more to create a party atmosphere than any other factor. The right lighting can set the mood so that everyone has a great time all evening, while the wrong lighting can put the brakes on an evening so quickly, one’s guests may as well have stayed home. In some ways disco lights can be more important than the music.

It is always possible to put on another song, but changing general or harsh lighting can be a major undertaking. What’s more, selecting the right lighting is one of the things that helps set a great DJ apart from those who are merely good. The trick to doing that is knowing what to look for when buying the lighting, and that involves understanding both the lighting and when possible the space it is used in.

Basics of Disco Lighting

The basics of disco lighting were set back in the 1970s during the disco era, when practically everyone was going out and dancing under disco lights. While the music is still remembered, the lighting also played a huge part in setting the tone for the era. Glittering mirrored disco balls in the ceiling, strobe lights flashing, and beams of multi-coloured light helped take dancers away from their humdrum daily lives and put them in a world where anything was possible. There are two keys to disco lighting, the first is motion, the second is darkness. Anyone who has ever been to a disco knows that the lights are not stationary, the strobes flash and the other lights trace a path along the walls and floor. As for darkness, it provides the field on which the lights can do their job.

Consider How the Disco Lights are Used

One of the first things any buyer needs to look at is how to use their disco lights. The most important question is whether buyers want to install them in a single fixed location, or whether they prefer mobile lights. Those buyers who intend to set up a permanent fixed installation have a significant budgetary advantage over those wanting a regular setup and takedown of their disco lights. This is because buyers thinking of running a mobile setup have to take into account stands in order to mount their disco lights, and those stands can cut into the budget.



Tree Stand

Tripod with telescoping pole; arms support lights

I-beam Truss

Beam supported between two tree stands

Triangle Truss

Heavier than I-beam but more expensive

Box Truss

Heavy but with great load-bearing capabilities

Arch Truss

Clean looking, but fixed height

Evidently, each of these options provides its own set of advantages and drawbacks.  The best way to pick the right one is to take the time to understand their intended utilisation.

Disco Lights

For anyone looking to put together a disco light setup, there are a few lights that are absolute must-haves. These are the lights that create the disco ambiance, the feeling that every dancer is tripping the light fantastic at the disco on a Saturday night.

Strobe Disco Light

The first disco light every DJ should consider is the strobe light. This is one of the first things anyone thinks of when they imagine a disco, its bright flashes creating a stop-motion effect amongst the audience. Strobes are most commonly powered by LEDs, and can come in a number of colours. Most also feature variable speed settings, so the DJ can adjust the strobe frequency as needed.

Beacon Disco Light

The beacon is a great inexpensive option for novice DJs. It basically consists of a coloured cylinder with a rotating light bulb inside. It is simple, flexible, and portable, making an excellent addition to almost any setup.

Disco Beam Lighting

Another disco era classic is the beam light. Just as the strobes create that sense of stop-motion, the beam light is all about motion. Multicoloured lights sweep across the dance floor, highlighting the dancers, and then move on. These fixtures normally consist of a single LED light source, with a number of coloured lenses on a rotating head.

Disco Barrel Lights

A barrel light consists of a cylindrical fixture, or barrel, with mirrors on the surface. It rotates in the beam from a single light source. The moving mirrors throw the lights across the dance space, working in conjunction with the other moving lights and in contrast to the strobe lights.

Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Disco Light

Once a prospective buyer has an idea of what is available and how they intend to use the disco lights, the next step is determining which lights they really want. There are several factors any purchaser should consider, particularly when dealing with portable lighting solutions. Two factors that may be overlooked at first are power requirements and weight.

Power for Disco Lights

A mobile DJ may not always be able to get as much power as they want at all locations. While it may be reasonable to expect access to mains power, the number of available outlets, and more importantly circuits, may be limited. Luckily, LED lights have become common, and they draw much less electricity than the first generations of disco lights ever did.

Weight of Disco Lights

Prospective purchasers should also pay attention to the weight of the lights, and again, there are two factors to consider. The first concern is to ensure the disco lights are light enough so that the truss or other support structure can carry them. The second concern, which is important for a solo DJ, is whether they can either lift the lights onto the support structure, or raise the structure with the lights mounted.

Choosing the Disco Lights Themselves

Once the buyer understands the power and weight restrictions needed, they can start looking for the lights they want. Whenever possible, buyers need to look for the lightest and most power-efficient units that can fit within their budget, so as to make setup and teardown as easy and efficient as possible. From there, it is a good idea to decide how many lights to buy, before going on to the specifics of how many lights of each kind. One good way to start is by deciding on a basic lighting plan and then buying the lights to match it. Variable speed lights are usually a better buy than fixed speed moving lights, as they give the DJ more control and flexibility.

Buying Disco Lights on eBay

Buying disco lights on eBay is a quick and easy proposition. All you need to do is enter the description of the lights into the search box which can be found on every eBay page. From there, it is a simple matter of watching the results come up on your screen and then picking the disco lights that best meet your requirements. If the results seem overwhelming, you can use the filters in the sidebar to limit your results to just the ones you want. There are a whole host of options, including type, brand, and price range, which you can use to focus your attention on the right lights for your needs. You can also use eBay's sort functionality to arrange them as desired, so the ones you want appear at the top of your screen.

Once you have found the disco lights you want, the next step is to connect with an eBay seller. A good place to start is at the seller's profile page, where you can see everything from their feedback to their location. You can also check to see if they have any specific policies such as offering multiple lights in a bundle, or even if they allow local purchasers to pick up their disco lights in person and avoid shipping costs.


Anyone who wants to take up a career as a DJ should consider getting their own disco lights. They can turn a night of boredom into an unqualified success. Before buying any lights, though, the prospective purchaser should take the time to determine exactly what they need, so that they spend their budget wisely. One important factor to consider is whether the lights are destined for a permanent location, or whether they are required to move from site to site. Buying disco lights for a fixed installation is generally easier, as there is not the same need to worry about supports for the lights as well as the disco lights themselves.

Those who are looking for a more portable option have to prepare supports as well, most commonly either tree stands or I-beam supports. In either case, it is a good idea for anyone looking for a portable setup to focus on light weight and power efficiency, as this tends to make setup and teardown much easier. The other thing to look for is variable speed controls on all lights, and a good mix of strobes, and moving coloured lights. With a little planning and thought, finding the right disco lights can be effortless.

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