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What simple DMX 512 Controller do I need?

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How many channels do I need to control my moving head or DJ effects lights?

For those with simple control needs, sometimes a inexpensive hardware controller fits the bill.  But how many channels do you need?  Here are a few fixtures and the number of channels you will need to run them.

Moving Heads LED

Moving Heads
For the most part, controlling these with a simple controller is like trying to mix sound with a home stereo remote.  Yes, you can have some control, but the light is simply too much for something so simple.  The controller will need at least 6 if not 10 channels of control per fixture.  There are mid level boards that will handle this with ease.

Puck RGB LED

Puck RGB
These are a perfect fit for basic 3 channel controllers as they can operate in 3 channel mode and still be fully controlled.  The only functions that will not be accessible are the automatic programs, in which case you will need 6 channels.

Puck RGBA LED

Puck RGBA
Puck RGBAs – Since these have 4 colors to choose from, you will need at least a 4 channel controller.  In the advanced mode, you will need 7 channels to access the automatic functions.

Puck 3 LED

Puck 3
Same as the RGB versions, they can happily run in 3 channel mode as well.  Again, to have automatic control via DMX 512, you will need 6 channels.

 

Stormchaser LED

LED Strip Lights
Strip style fixtures like the Storm Chaser and Color Storm 252 can eat up channels very fast because of the ability to control individual blocks of lights on the fixture.  The storm chaser can use 2, 7, 10 or 31 (!) channels.  In 2 channel mode, you can have many effects chases, but don't have individual color or block control.  If you really want to customize the looks of these style fixtures with a controller, only an advanced one will do.

It's important that you know how many channels your fixture is capable of and the best way is to consult the user manual.  It will list all the channel modes and what each channel does in each mode.

What are the key takeaways from this article:

  • Simple low cost controllers can work for some fixtures
  • Moving heads usually require more advanced controllers
  • Consult you manual if you are not sure how many control channels you need

Performance LED lighting carries the fixtures you need for a amazing light show. If you need assistance with selecting a system or fixtures, drop us a line and we would be more than happy to help. Send us an email on your LED Lighting needs.

 

Connect with us:

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LED Lighting Applications Technical Specs for you and me Part 2

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A basic guide to the features and specs for LED lighting Part 2

 

LED Lighting



Here are some more basic definitions of the specs of LED lighting you will encounter in a basic DJ or club setting.


Yoke
The metal bracket that allows a fixture to be mounted either on the floor or from a stand.  They are usually adjustable via a pivot on the side of the fixture to allow for focusing the light to the desired location.  With a double yoke, you can set it directly on the floor.  All will have holes on the top for attaching bolts or a mounting clamp.

O-Clamp
A mounting option allowing the quick and easy mounting and removal of a light from a bar or truss.  They will bolt to the top of a yoke, and tighten down by use of a thumbscrew.  O clamps are suitable for lightweight bars and truss because they will not dent the pipe.

C-Clamp
Another clamping option similar to an o clamp.  If using with lightweight aluminum truss, they can damage or indent the surface, possibly leading to failure of the bar.  With steel truss, this is not an issue.  Larger, more heavy duty clamps can be used for larger fixtures.

Sound Active
Most DMX 512 fixtures have an option to be triggered automatically by sound.  A small microphone is built into the light so that it can sense the beat and change the light accordingly.  Most have a sensitivity control to dial in the right amount of triggering.

DIP Switches
A method of setting the DMX 512 address for an LED effects light. By switching combinations of 10 small switches either on or off, you can set an address between 1 and 512.  These also can be used to switch the fixture between automatic modes and DMX modes.

Stay tuned for more definitions next time!

Performance LED lighting carries the fixtures you need for a amazing light show. If you need assistance with selecting a system or fixtures, drop us a line and we would be more than happy to help. Send us an email on your LED Lighting needs.

Connect with us:

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LED Lighting Applications Technical Specs for you and me Part 1

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A basic guide to the features and specs for LED lighting


What's a lux? Do I want 10mm LEDs or Tri Leds?

Here's some basic definitions of the specs of LED lighting you will encounter in a basic DJ or club setting.

LED Lighting Applications

Lux

A brightness measurement. Usually taken from 1 meter (3.3 Feet).  Lux is equivalent to 1 lumen spread out across a square meter.  In practice here are some real world brightness examples:

  • 1 lux = Full Moon at night with a clear sky
  • 320-500 lux = Typical office lighting
  • 1000 lux = overcast day
  • 10,000 – 25,000 = full daylight, not direct sun
  • 32,000 – 130,000 = direct sunlight

10mm LED

A reference to the actual size of each diode.  Most fixtures will have at least 170, and sometimes up to 250 of these.  Affordable par cans like The Puck use these type.  They are slowly giving way to larger emitters with lenses commonly found in 1 watt to 3 watt fixtures.

Tri LED

An LED that has 3 light emitters built into the same chip/lens combination.  They usually are in the 3 watt range, although they can vary from 1 watt to 4 watts currently.  They are superior because the color is premixed inside the lens.  This eliminates color shadows and the light on the lens is the same as the desired color output.

Next time we will look at features related to mounting, power and DMX 512.

Performance LED lighting carries the fixtures you need for a amazing light show. If you need assistance with selecting a system or fixtures, drop us a line and we would be more than happy to help. Send us an email on your LED Lighting needs.

Connect with us:

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New LED Lighting Products from Blizzard Part Deux

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Spring has sprung!

Time for new LED DMX 512 products!

Last time, we gave the lowdown on 3 out of 6 new products from the boys at Blizzard.

Here's the second half of what's new:

Pocket Nebula
Blizzard's first laser product!  Compact and affordable for DJ effects lighting.  50mw green and 80mw red laser emitters project a moving starfield effect sure to make any dancefloor the place to be.  It has automatic, sound active programs with adjustable speed.  You can mount it to a bar or Truss using the integrated yoke, or place it on the floor with it's collapsible tripod stand.  Room filling laser light for less than $100!

MAP price is $89.99

Pocket Nebula Laser

Flurry Tri

The same great Flurry wash form factor, automatic programs, moving head goodness with Red, Green and Blue 3 watt Tri LEDs!  Just as bright, but with better color mixing and no color shadows.  Still under $400, this is a worthy upgrade to one of the best compact moving head wash lights.

MAP price is $379.99

 

Flurry Tri

 

The Flash

Another first for Blizzard, a compact and bright LED strobe.  A 20 watt LED source equivalent to a 100 watt conventional.  Has a ¼ inch input compatible with many strobe controllers for syncing multiple units. Get you some!

MAP price is $89.99

The Flash



Spring is the perfect time to get upgraded to the latest in lighting technology from Blizzard Lighting and Performance LED lighting!

Performance LED lighting carries the fixtures you need for a amazing light show. If you need assistance with selecting a system or fixtures, drop us a line and we would be more than happy to help. Send us an email on your LED Lighting needs.

Connect with us:

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New LED lights effects Products from Blizzard

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Spring is (technically anyway) here!  Birds are singing, pollen *cough* is gathering in your nose, things are getting green again, and it's time for new LED DMX 512 products!


Here's a rundown on what's new from Blizzard Lighting:

Rocklite Quadra

A powerhouse LED par with quad technology for better color mixing.  Red Green Blue and White are emitted from the same powerful LEDs for shadowless color.  Housed in the same body as other lights in the Rocklite series, this one features dual yokes, some great automatic modes and peel the paint brightness.
Available in Black or Silver.
MAP price is $549.99

RockLite Quadra LED

Rocklite Tri

Just like the Quadra, except in a more affordable Red, Green, Blue configuration.  We have tested this one in the field already, you can read the review here.  The Tri LEDs on this puppy have 9 watts of output, for even more colorful goodness. Same dual yoke, automatic modes both in stand alone and DMX 512.
Available in Black or Silver.
MAP price is $399.99

RockLite TRI LED

Stormchaser RGBW

Similar to the popular Colorstorm 252, but featuring white LEDs and some very cool automatic chasing programs, this strip light is hot!  And it is easier on your wallet too!  252 10 mm LEDs arranged in blocks and able to chase up and down the fixture automatically provide massive visuals to you DJ effects lighting.
MAP price is $199.99

StormChaser LED

 

Next entry we will give you the lowdown on a few other new products in the Blizzard lighting LED line.  Happy Spring!

Performance LED lighting carries the fixtures you need for a amazing light show. If you need assistance with selecting a system or fixtures, drop us a line and we would be more than happy to help. Send us an email on your LED Lighting needs.

 

Connect with us:

Performance LED Lighting on You Tube Club Lights Facebook Performance LED Lighting Twitter

   

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