DMX Lighting: What You Need to Know

DMX lighting

As a DJ or live band, the visuals of your show are just as important as the music you play. In your lighting toolkit, DMX lighting equipment can go a long way towards creating a mood as well as crafting some specialized effects. Understanding your devices, as well as basics on their configuration and use, are vital to any show setup.

What Is DMX Lighting?

DMX stands for digital multiplex, a standard of communication for control units and lighting devices. In this context, DMX can refer to both the network that connects the equipment as well as the style of devices hooked up to it. The units connect via DMX cables, which feed into a USB converter box leading to a central PC or laptop. While the physical logistics can be astonishingly simple, the controller software is responsible for all the magic. It dictates aspects such as brightness, flashing, color changes and other movement patterns during your show.

How Can I Use It?

A few different types of DMX lighting effects are available for your house setup. Wash lighting, provided by broad-beamed illuminating devices or flood lights, covers large areas such as the stage, the floor or walls. Your hue and placement choices are great ways to set the mood for an event as well as provide a backdrop against which your other effects will work. In contrast, effect lighting is used to project a variety of colors, shapes and patterns on the floor or over the crowd. These might change more rapidly over the course of the show, and you can customize them to be timed with certain songs or events during your set. Quickly moving laser lights during a high-energy number, or languidly moving patterns over the dance floor during a slow jam, are just a couple of ideas. However, your own ingenuity will guide you as you set up your show.

About Controllers and Channels

Proper setup of your controller unit is crucial to ensuring that everything runs as planned. First, youll need to understand how the software works and the range of channels that each lighting device in your system supports. Manual configuration will likely be needed for your desired effects. Understanding which channels on your control map to each illuminating unit is key. Finally, its a good idea to plan and test your shows setup well in advance to avoid last-minute mishaps.

Amp Up Your Show With Lighting

Pairing creative lighting effects with the music you play is part of your artistry as a mobile DJ. DMX lighting helps unlock a plethora of possibilities in colors, patterns, speed and timing. These intelligent systems allow remote, pre-set control as well as the changing of live effects on the fly. Knowing your system configuration as well as making careful equipment choices also contribute significantly towards the visual aspects of your show.

Share some ideas and pictures of how you have used DMX lighting to enhance your show!