Battery Powered Uplights – Buyer’s Guide (February 2022)
Battery powered uplights give you high quality, easy lighting in any event. They help you set and control the mood of the atmosphere, washing every corner of a venue with energy and light. You can use wireless LED uplights to establish a consistent and coherent ambiance at a wedding, dance, or club, so your audience is always fully immersed in the experience.
There are many types of washes and uplights, but battery powered DJ lights are especially great because they’re not limited by the length of your cables or the number of outlets in a venue. You can arrange them strategically throughout a space without leaving a mess of wires behind, so your light design feels sleek, clean, and organized.
To help you find the perfect wireless uplighting for your next gig, we’ve compiled a list of the best DJ uplights on the market and categorized them by their strengths. We primarily recommend American DJ and Chauvet uplighting because of their high quality, energy efficient products that bring a professional punch to any event.
|Chauvet Freedom Par Hex-4||Best Overall|
|Chauvet Freedom Par Quad-4 IP||Best High End Outdoor|
|Chauvet Freedom Par Tri-||Best RGB|
|American DJ Element Hex||Sleekest Design|
|American DJ WiFLY Par QA5||Best Housing Color Options|
|American DJ WiFLY QA5 IP||Best For Outdoor|
|Chauvet EZ Link Strip Q6||Best LED Strip|
|Chauvet EZWedge||Best Budget|
The Chauvet Freedom Par Hex-4 uplight is overall the best when it comes to color and duration. With enhanced Hex colors and UV effects, you can mix a wide array of stunning hues. You can easily control your vibrant light show through the IRC-6 remote, or–thanks to the built-in D-Fi transceiver–you can control them through the free FlareCON app on your smartphone.
- Battery limiter
- Wireless control through remote or phone
- 1-year warranty
- No IRC-6 remote included
- No travel case included
2. Chauvet Freedom Par Quad-4 IP
Just like the one above, the Chauvet Freedom Par Quad-4 IP offers vibrant colors, professional effects, high-tech control, and long-lasting battery life. On top of all that, what makes this Chauvet DJ uplight unique is its rugged and durable housing, which is specifically designed for outdoor use.
- Repels water, dirt, sand, snow
- Rugged housing
- Comes in black and white
- Wireless control–remote or phone
- No carrying bag included
- No IRC-6 remote included
- No warranty
For sharp and vibrant colors, the Chauvet Freedom Par Tri-6 is the way to go. This DJ uplight houses 6 professional-quality RGB LEDs in a compact design. They’re easy to control with the IRC-6 remote, the FlareCON app, or the built-in LED display. The built-in LED display is especially useful for mixing custom colors.
- Compact and lightweight
- Custom colors
- IRC-6 remote included
- Great reviews
The American DJ Element Hex wireless uplight is a sleek and compact choice that will blend seamlessly with other equipment. Inside the smooth, black housing are professional LEDs that effortlessly produce a wide array of colors as well as UV light. It’s easy to control through American DJ’s built-in wireless DMX system called WiFLY. Between the control, sleek design, color variety, and UV effects, the American DJ Element Hex uplight is ideal for energetic parties and stage applications.
- Sleek design
- Wireless control
- UV effects
- Compact and lightweight
- Weaker battery life than Chauvet
- Recommended indoor use only
Another competitive option when it comes to high-quality, vivid colors is the American DJ WiFLY Par QA5. This light fixture houses 5 RGBA LED lights for professional color mixing: you can select from a variety of eye-catching colors, or rely on romantic amber hues for a softer touch. These LED DJ lights are guaranteed to illuminate large venues with compelling colors and powerful projection.
- Best colors
- Flexible kickstand
- WiFLY and panel control
- Bulkier design
The rugged and durable design of the American DJ WiFLY QA5 IP is perfect for outdoor events. It’s robust housing repels water and dirt to protect your equipment even in unpredictable outdoor conditions. Plus, it sits on an adjustable stand a few inches off the ground–which keeps away mud, dirt, and bugs–and it’s easy to tilt and secure in your desired direction.
- Durable outdoor protection
- Sturdy, adjustable stand
- Not a sleek design
The Chauvet EZ Link Strip Q6 provides the same high quality uplighting but in a fun strip design. What makes an LED strip uplight unique is its ability to project a wider breadth of light and create cool LED effects. You can coordinate multi-colored light shows to bring movement and energy to your performance, all through the IRC-6 remote or through your smartphone. The Chauvet EZ Link Strip also includes user-friendly automated modes and sound-active mode.
- Unique LED effects
- User-friendly control and programs
- Long-lasting battery life
- No carry bag included
- Three zones (can’t control individual LEDs)
If you’re looking for cheap wireless uplighting with professional results, the Chauvet EZWedge is the way to go. It’s a small, compact, triangle light that fits perfectly in small spaces and trussing. It’s lightweight and easy to carry from gig to gig. Further, it’s incredibly energy efficient, lasting up to 20 hours on a single charge.
- Lightweight-3 lbs.
- Compact quality
- Only 3 LEDs–less color options
- No kickstand–straight up only
- No D-Fi
What is Uplighting?
Uplighting is a simple way to transform a venue’s atmosphere. They’re the lights you see illuminating columns on a theater stage, walls at a house party, curtains in a dining hall, or trussing at a concert. Uplighting is a universal performance tool and you’ll typically see it at any event: for example, basic wall uplighting appears everywhere from churches and weddings to clubs and concerts. Uplighting floods large spaces with light, creating depth and interest, and all you need to do is place lights on the floor and point them upward.
Uplighting is a necessary foundation for light design, but usually it’s not the visual focal point of a light show. Uplights are usually “washes”–meaning they illuminate large areas–so while they’re not the focal point, they provide an essential backdrop to set the mood of a space.
How Does Uplighting Improve Events?
Uplighting is like the first layer of paint on a canvas: it’s the background, or the setting, on which each following layer will sit. Without that visual foundation, everything else on the canvas would be floating in empty space.
In the same way, your light design needs a visual foundation so the rest of your lighting feels grounded in a coherent design. Lasers and gobos would feel out of place without the transformative effect of uplights that fill an entire space with the appropriate mood.
Get the angle right.
Depending on the setting, it’s often helpful to angle your uplights. Aiming uplights directly at a wall can result in a harsh and awkward beam of light, so try angling your uplights to create a nice, long splash of light on the wall. It’s especially helpful to purchase an uplight with a kickstand so you can control this aspect of your design.
Don’t overdo it.
The goal is to create depth and highlight architectural features. It’s tempting to create as much movement and energy as possible with your lights, but this often results in an overwhelming mess. You can easily avoid this by spacing uplights evenly throughout a space and staying within a color scheme.
Look to fill blank space.
Fill a space, but don’t flood it. Uplights can help create depth along bare walls. In addition, look for unique features to highlight, like columns and moulding. In an outdoor space, you can illuminate posts, trees, and gardens for a romantic and ethereal effect.
Why Go Wireless With Uplighting?
Most light fixtures are concentrated in a single place (like a stage) but uplights function best when they’re spread throughout a venue. The problem with placing lights all around a room is that wires have to follow, unless you buy wireless uplights.
Wireless DJ uplights make it easy to place and control your lights anywhere, which allows you to create a cohesive and immersive visual effect. Your clients won’t trip over wires and you can bring sleek lighting design everywhere you go.
Choosing the Right Color
Different colors leave different impressions on viewers. Amber lighting is a popular option for weddings and other romantic settings because it imitates candlelight, which you can easily combine with other soft hues.
On the other end of the spectrum, UV lights with bold colors work best for clubs and parties because they’re high-energy and stimulating. Overall, aim for consistency. Follow an appropriate theme in your lighting based on the event so your colors are coherent and complementary.
How To Control Wireless Uplighting
You’ll notice that many of the lights we recommend offer several different modes of control. The most versatile wireless uplights include some form of DMX control: Chauvet’s system is called D-Fi, and American DJ’s system is WiFLY.
With built-in DMX control, you can connect and send signals to your lights from a lighting board. Lighting boards are one of the most common control methods for lights because they’re a compact, organized way to manage your show. Just make sure your lighting board and lights are compatible.
Specifically with Chauvet’s D-Fi, you can control your lights through the FlareCON app on your smartphone or tablet. The app is free, which is incredibly convenient if you already own a smartphone and you want to save money on buying a lighting board or an IRC-6 remote.
Many of the lights we recommend are also compatible with the IRC-6 remote, which offers non-DMX control. IRC stands for Infrared Control, which simply means it sends signals to your lights differently than DMX. The IRC-6 remote allows you to access the specific functions of any light fixture so long as you’re within 20 feet.
Lastly, most lights offer control panels on the back of the fixture. These control panels are a simple way to manually set up your lights. If you don’t need to change your lighting throughout a show, this is always an easy set-and-forget option.
How To Charge Uplights
Chauvet makes charging easy with their with their travel cases. They offer an 8-charger travel case and a 9-charger travel case. Both include built-in cables to attach to each uplight, then when you plug in the case’s external cable, all of the lights charge simultaneously. They both roll on wheels for easy travel, and their rugged design will significantly increase the lifespan of your Chauvet uplights.
A charging travel case is preferable because it’s a safe and organized way to care for your lights. If you prefer, you can also keep your lights organized while charging with a power strip. This is an affordable way to charge several lights at once, which will save you a lot of time when you don’t have enough outlets.
Safety Tips for Battery Powered Uplights
Uplighting placement is important not only because you want it to be visually pleasing, but also because you have to consider the safety of your clients. With small, compact lights, they’re often hard to see and it’s easy for someone to trip and hurt themselves. For the well-being of your equipment and your clients, place your lights out of heavily trafficked areas.
Watch the Beam
By setting your lights to the side, you’ll also avoid accidentally blinding someone. This can especially be a challenge with uplights because they’re designed to sit on the floor and they can easily harm your client’s eyes if they’re sitting or standing above a light. So be incredibly strategic when placing your light fixtures on the floor and, when possible, try to elevate them on ledges or trussing.
Chauvet and American DJ provide the best uplighting on the market for both indoor and outdoor events, so we’ve created a list to help you find high quality uplighting that fits your style.
When searching for wireless uplights, consider transportation and the kinds of gigs you’ve worked in the past, and this will guide you to the DJ uplights you need.
Wireless DJ uplights are essential because they give you creative freedom by eliminating the restrictions of wires and outlets. They’re easy to spread around a venue, filling every corner with your vibrant light design. Because uplighting is the foundation of your light show, it’s important to invest in wireless uplights that give you sharp colors, easy control, and long-lasting battery life so they’re always ready to adapt to a new gig.
Good uplighting enhances the audio-visual experience of your performance and elevates your professionalism. This way, your audience will always feel immersed in the atmosphere you’ve created.