Lighting is something that some DJs don’t really consider, but it can make a big difference if you get creative with it. Get some inspiration with our 6 creative DJ lighting tips.
1. What Type of Event are You Doing that Requires Lighting?
Before we steam in and get into detail about different lighting options, you need to ask yourself this question. You will obviously know the answer to it, but the point is: you need to think long and hard about what might be appropriate, and what you might need or not need. If you're DJing at a wedding in the same room where everybody has just had dinner, then you're probably not going to need a rig full of multi coloured lasers, but a bit of static up-lighting to spruce up the room when the lights go down may be just the ticket. Likewise, if you're playing in a club, you need to understand what lighting they may already have or not have, and whether they have someone operating it. Just do your homework, basically.
2. Understand What’s Out There
Just like your DJing equipment, there are many lights to choose from. In brief, here are your main options and what they look like:
Do some research on the pros and cons of each.
3. Can Your DJ Setup be Integrated?
You might be surprised. If you're DJing with software, explore what VJing options there are and how these could potentially marry up to a lighting system.
4. Understand Automatic Programmes V DMX Systems
In short, some lighting requires programming with a laptop/unit, and some can be set to run their programmes automatically. The key thing to consider here is just how much time you can dedicate to operating the lighting during your performance. If you mix with vinyl and spend most of your time adjusting records, then it's probably wise to use lighting that can function on its own without much fiddling. If you auto sync your mixes, then operating a load of fancy DMX units won't be a problem.
5. Remember Health & Safety
As boring as this sounds, the more advanced your lighting setup, the more likely it is that people will be in danger if something goes wrong. Rigs have a habit of falling down...make damned sure that yours doesn't. Tripods and trussing are supplied with weight limits - always make sure that your lighting units keep within these. And don't underestimate the importance of the little things like clamps. A lighting unit is always going to have to be attached to something, so remember that you'll need something strong enough to make this happen.
6. Don’t Forget Smoke
This can really help your lighting come to life, especially the lasers.