A little lighting and production values can instantly make you DJ set look more professional. If you are lucky enough to play in a club that already has professional lighting installed, coming up with a set is easy. However, what can you do if you are a portable DJ or don’t have access to professional lighting rigs? Often, adding just a couple of portable lights to your DJ rig is more than enough to take your set to the next level. Here is everything you need to know about adding DJ lights to your regular set.
1. Investing in Lights
We strongly recommend using LED lights as opposed to standard bulb lighting. There are a number of clear advantages of LEDs. Firstly, they consume less power and emit less heat. This means that you can easily power them using a portable battery if you have to, and they won’t add heat to an already stuffy and sweaty club. In addition, LEDs are quite light and less prone to breakage than lights with glass bulbs. This makes them much more portable so you can transport them easily between gigs. Finally, LED lighting makes it easy to achieve colour effects, since you can combine different coloured lights to achieve the shade you want.
2. Different Kinds of Lights
DJ lights come in a variety of different styles. These are some of the most common:
> Scanner lights are the LED version of traditional spotlights. They are perhaps the most common type of portable light. Scanners are available in a huge variety of colours and can be fixed or moving.
> Laser lights can be used to produce patterns or set to scan over the crowd. Much like scanners, lasers can be fixed or moving and come in just about any colour you can imagine.
> Moonflower lights project an image right out of the lens, painting the floor or ceiling of the venue with bright rings of colour.
> Black lights are a little on the retro side, but can still be effective with certain audiences. Be aware that they can be a little disorienting if left on for long periods of time.
3. Programming Lights
Even if you have the perfect set of lights, you may not know how to get them to do what you want. If you are stuck trying to figure out how to program your lights, the DJ software you are already using to make your set may have the solution. Many of the more common brands of DJ software include a feature for syncing lights to the music.
While you probably don’t have the money to buy an entire set of lights right away, consider adding one or two pieces to your gear. You may find that you like them so much that you want to invest in more.