Choosing the Best DJ Lights for Your Gig
DJs who play many different kinds of gigs need to be able to create an instant mood that is right for the audience, and a musical and visual environment that’s all on the same page. A DJ playing Katy Perry and One Direction at a teen’s birthday party for instance is doing himself a disservice if he turns on a trip-hop light extravaganza best suited to an adult rave. DJ lighting is a subtle thing, and here are some tips for choosing the right lights for the situation.
Old school disco
Remember those school socials when the lighting consisted of a rack of blue and red lights in the dance hall? That kind of old school look can still work for wedding anniversaries, family gatherings, older people’s birthday celebrations, and places where you don’t want too much dazzle. The American DJ Dotz TPar system can deliver this classic vibe with four LED lights, a stand, and a programmable foot controller so you can amp up the visuals or bring down the mood without leaving the DJ booth. The system is portable, reliable and takes you back to the good old days of disco – but with just enough of a modern edge to keep the feel fresh.
Nightclub, Saturday night, 3am
At the opposite end of the gigging DJ spectrum is the kind of mood you need to create when playing trance, deep house, or dubstep – that hypnotic wash of lasers and lights that seems to add to the music itself. American DJ’s Moonflower series delivers razor-sharp light in a variety of shapes and patterns. These lights are sound activated from built-in programs, which means they are triggered by the beat. For the ultimate trippy effect, try the American DJ Fusion FX Bar 5, which offers an LED strobe effect, a red and green laser, and a tri-colour moonflower. The Fusion is also sound-activated, so you rig it and leave it to do its thing.
The mirror ball reinvented
The mirror ball is an iconic part of DJ culture. Although many think of it as part of the disco era, it was first mentioned in a news report in 1897 and was common by the 1920s. Now you can add this classic piece of kit to your arsenal, with the American DJ Spherion Tri LED. More than a hundred lenses focus lights of varied colour – or classic white – over a 360-degree plane. Imagine putting on a slow song, or maybe a classic disco track, firing up the mirror ball and creating an instant mood for your audience. Leaving people with that kind of memorable moment is how you get repeat gigs.
DJ lights are an essential part of your kit as a DJ and are well worth the investment. The trick is to make sure you gauge your audience right, and tailor your light effects for the particular gig.