Best DJ Lights – Buyer’s Guide (September 2020)

 

best dj lights

There are lots of “best DJ lights” lists, but many times you read them and wonder, “How did that make the list?” There’s no rhyme or reason to the selection and it’s hard to find the lights you’re looking for.

 

Here, we’ve compiled some of the best DJ lights by category so you know exactly why we’ve chosen them and what they can do. We’ve picked lights with a variety of effects so you can find professional DJ lights that best fit your style.

 

Lighting is essential for creating an immersive audio-visual experience. Light will guide and enhance the energy of a show, so it’s important to explore the different kinds of DJ lighting equipment. Whether you’re looking for the best party lights, the best disco ball, or the best uplighting, we’ve brought together a wide variety that will always guarantee a stunning DJ light show.

 

Check out our top 10 list below, and find the best DJ lights for your setup! To find more in-depth lighting reviews, check out our articles on moving head lights, lasers, strobes, and fog machines.

 

Name CategoryPrice
ADJ StarburstBest LED Disco BallBest Dj Lights
ADJ 16” Mirror BallBest Disco BallBest Dj Lights
ADJ StarshipBest Light Show CenterpieceBest Dj Lights
Chauvet Scorpion RGBBest LaserBest Dj Lights
hauvet DJ Gigbar Move 5-In-1Best Combo EffectBest Dj Lights
American DJ Focus Spot 4ZBest Moving HeadBest Dj Lights
ADJ Dotz MatrixBest Blinder And StrobeBest Dj Lights
Chauvet Freedom StickBest LED EffectBest Dj Lights
ADJ H20 DMXBest Water And Fire EffectBest Dj Lights
Chauvet Freedom ParBest Wireless UplightBest Dj Lights

 

1. ADJ Starburst

 

 

ADJ StarburstThe ADJ Starburst combines the fun of a classic disco ball with futuristic LED beams. The ADJ Starburst rotates like a classic disco ball and projects 34 vibrant beams in all directions, each beam piercing the air at a 1 degree beam angle for clean, sharp lighting effects. Further, this LED disco ball contains a strategic mixture of HEX LED lights to provide a wide-range of colors.

 

The Starburst LED disco ball offers various modes of operation to personalize your performance. You can try Auto Mode for easy setup, use Sound Active Mode to synchronize the Starburst with your music, or you can design your own performance via DMX programming. This LED disco ball is lightweight, making it easy to transport and mount in various venues for fun indoor disco lights. The ADJ Starburst is one of the best DJ lights to use if you’re looking for unique flair because it combines the classic appeal of a disco ball with the clean, vibrant effects of professional lighting.

 

Pros
  • Disco ball–360 degree lighting
  • User-friendly
  • Wide color range
  • Fun and retro
Cons
  • Limited application
  • Audience specific: dizzying for some

 

2. ADJ 16” Mirror Ball

 

ADJ 16” Mirror BalIf you’re looking for the classic 70’s disco ball, the ADJ Mirror Ball is the way to go. This 16 inch disco ball is covered in durable, quarter-inch glass tiles and fills a room with dancing lights. A classic mirror ball creates an equally vibrant but different effect than the LED disco ball: it’s retro and nostalgic, and there are no set number of beams because each mirror catches and reflects light as it passes by, so the beams appear and disappear like a free-flowing dance.

 

The ADJ Mirror BAll is lightweight and easy to install with its durable mounting brackets. It comes with a ring that easily connects to a rotating motor, which works for both mounted and standing applications. Overall, it’s easy to use because it doesn’t require programming like other DJ lights–it’s the best disco light because it naturally creates its own effects and brings a room to life.

 

Pros
  • 70’s retro classic
  • User-friendly
  • Simple, durable design
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Does not include rotating motor
  • Need separate spotlight for dark venues

 

3. ADJ Starship

 

ADJ Starship The ADJ Starship could be a great focal point in your setup. As the name implies, this DJ light fixture looks like a star with 6 arms of LED lights. Each arm tilts side-to-side for a mesmerizing light show with sharp, vibrant beams. The ADJ Starship comes with several built-in programs, or you can design your own light show by controlling each LED independently with DMX programming.

 

The ADJ Starship is the best DJ light to create central movement in your lighting that allows you to grab and guide your audience’s attention. The fun design and movement of the ADJ Starship makes it great for clubs and parties. It works as a stand-alone centerpiece, or you can “daisy chain” (link) the ADJ Starship with other lights for an elevated experience.

 

 

Pros
  • Crisp beam projections
  • Color variety
  • Customizable movement
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Not subtle–event specific

 

4. Chauvet Scorpion RGB

 

Chauvet Scorpion RGBFor stunning laser shows, the Chauvet Scorpion RGB is the way to go. This small system is lightweight and user-friendly but not limited by any means. The Chauvet Scorpion comes with 32 stunning built-in programs, or you can easily customize your lighting as well. You can control the Chauvet Scorpion manually, link it with other lasers in master/slave mode, or use sound-active mode in place of the automatic programs. With this level of variety, the Chauvet Scorpion makes for quick and easy setup right out of the box, but still adapts to more demanding shows as well.

 

This DJ light fixture contains red, green, and blue laser diodes for maximum color mixing and variety. The Chauvet Scorpion will deliver sharp laser effects with stunning colors and movements for your specific style and performance. These lasers are especially great for events with fog and haze because fog captures your light show mid-air. These are the best led DJ lights to bring excitement and energy wherever you go.

 

Pros
  • Lightweight, compact and portable
  • Color variety
  • User-friendly
  • Customizable
  • Sharp, clean lasers
Cons
  • Need fog for maximum effect
  • Doesn’t include optional IRC-6 remote

 

5. Chauvet DJ Gigbar Move 5-In-1

 

Chauvet DJ Gigbar Move 5-In-1The Chauvet DJ Gigbar is an all-in-one light system with moving heads, derbies, washes, lasers, and strobe effects. These are some of the best DJ lights because they can adapt to any event. Each light serves a different purpose–washes for lighting large areas, moving heads for beams and spotlights, lasers for sharp projections, and so on–and they’re all mounted on a single bar for an easy, organized setup. The Chauvet DJ Gigbar is super versatile and allows you to combine different lighting for stunning effects.

 

You can customize the Chauvet DJ Gigbar with your personal gobos, and it’s easy to operate different functions through the LCD display. The price also includes a tripod, wireless footswitch, and carrying bags, so you know the Chauvet DJ Gigbar is travel-friendly and cost efficient. These are the best DJ lights when it comes to variety and quality.

 

 

Pros
  • Versatile
  • User-friendly
  • Portable
  • Includes tripod, footswitch, and bags
  • Gobo wheel
Cons
  • Relies mostly on pre-programming

 

6. American DJ Focus Spot 4Z

 

American DJ Focus Spot 4ZThe American DJ Focus Spot 4Z is one of the best DJ lights for crisp spotlights and projections. It offers interchangeable color and gobo wheels for stunning designs, plus it has DMX-controlled motorized zoom and focus to guarantee sharp projections. The American DJ Focus Spot 4Z can function as a stage spotlight or throw crisp projections over the crowd. For more customization, this light also includes several dimming modes and strobe speeds.

 

Spotlights are a staple when it comes to lighting because they’re halfway between a beam and a wash, making them versatile and adaptable. This particular spotlight comes with a strong Omega bracket for mounting as well as flexible pan and tilt, which means wherever you choose to mount it, it will be secure and still freely rotate in all directions. The American DJ Focus Spot 4Z will deliver powerful projections to suit any venue or event and grant you creative freedom whenever you need it.

 

 

Pros
  • Versatile
  • Gobo wheel
  • Crisp projection
  • Adaptable to many venue sizes
  • Comes with clamp and cables
Cons
  • Generic–not highly specialize
  • Single head (others offer several heads)

 

7. ADJ Dotz Matrix

 

 ADJ Dotz Matrix The ADJ Dotz Matrix will elevate your show with unique strobe effects. With a wide variety of applications, you can get creative with your light show. The ADJ Dotz Matrix has a wide 60 degree beam angle, so it can illuminate large areas like a wash light. With such wide, clean projections, it’s also amazing as a blinder and strobe. It’s easy to use with auto-mode, sound-active mode, or various built-in programs, but you can also design more complex matrix patterns by activating individual LED lights with DMX control.

 

The ADJ Dotz Matrix is relatively lightweight for its size and function, plus it comes with a bracket for easy mounting. Whether you’re just starting out or you have years of experience, these are the best DJ lights to elevate anyone’s performance. The Dotz Matrix allows for your preferred level of customization depending on your experience, event, and venue. It can perform basic functions with professionalism and ease, or it can bring excitement and movement through more complex light design.

 

Pros
  • Versatile
  • User-friendly
  • Customizable
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Bulky for smaller events
  • Use strobes and blinders with caution

 

8. Chauvet Freedom stick

 

The Chauvet Freedom Stick gives you exactly that: freedom. The Freedom Sticks are LED strips that come in a pack of four, and you can mount in their metal base or mount them as free-standing, battery-powered lights. Each strip contains RGB LED lights that can be individually programmed for personalized movement and design. This DJ light bar can easily resemble the dripping of icicle lights, the glittering of an arcade, or the flow of mesmerizing waves.

. Chauvet Freedom Stick

 

The Chauvet Freedom Sticks come with user-friendly programs, Sound Active mode, and master/slave capabilities, so it takes little effort to wow a crowd with professional designs. Or, you can pixel-map each LED light for ultimate creativity and control. They’re the best DJ lights for house parties and clubs because they create electric visuals and clean movement that will grab a crowd’s attention.

 

 

Pros
  • Customizable and professional LED effects
  • Unique
  • User-friendly
  • Creative freedom
  • Includes carrying bag, wireless IRC-6 remote, charger
Cons
  • Clamps sold separately
  • Need multiple for large effects
  • Audience specific–dizzying

 

9. ADJ H20 DMX

 

ADJ H20 DMXThe ADJ H20 DMX light specializes in water and fire effects.The unique rotating color wheel inside the ADJ H20 splits and moves the light in a smooth, wave-like motion to mimic the flow of fire or water. You can interchange glass wheels for different effects and use DMX control to manually dim and focus light beams. This allows you to illuminate a space with the brilliance and clarity that you desire. The ADJ H20 makes lighting design easy because you can simply plug it in and let it run on its own.

 

 

The ADJ H20 is one of the best DJ lights when it comes to energy efficiency, so it’s a wise investment if you need special effects for years to come. You can run it all night with no problems. The AJD H20 is by far the best light for glassy, smooth, and quality fire and water effects.

 

 

Pros
  • Unique effects
  • Energy efficient for longevity
  • User-friendly
  • Smooth light movement and flow
Cons
  • Niche performance abilities

 

10. Chauvet Freedom Par

 

Chauvet Freedom ParThe Chauvet Freedom Par is a completely wireless uplight that you can place anywhere. These types of mobile DJ lights are great for creating wash lighting on walls, curtains, and trussing. It’s small and portable, and it’s designed to fit perfectly inside stage trusses. It’s easy to control with the IRC-6 remote or through the FlareCON app on your phone. Further, it’s compatible with other Freedom fixtures so you can create a coordinated show.

 

Smooth, professional uplighting is the firm foundation of your whole lighting design. It covers large areas of walls and ceilings to transform a venue into your creative space. The Chauvet Freedom Par achieves this with powerful, tri-color LED lights that give you a wide range of color options, plus professional dimming curves for smooth transitions.

 

 

Pros
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Powerful
  • Wireless
  • Control through remote (included) OR app
Cons
  • Carrying bag not included
  • No option to use wires
  • 6 hours to recharge

 

Best DJ Lights – Buyer’s Guide

 

Types of DJ Lighting

 

There are so many types of DJ lighting that it’s difficult to navigate and define them all. The lights listed above break from your typical categories of beam, spot, and wash. Instead, these lights explore a variety of effects that allow for more specificity and creativity.

 

Several of the lights listed above are great centerpieces–like the disco balls and the ADJ Starship–because they project light from a central point in all directions. It’s also important to note that these lights move. These centerpieces, as well as moving head lights and lasers, automatically tilt and rotate to create their unique effects.

 

Other lights listed above are physically stationary but create movement in other ways. Some lights–like the Freedom Stick and the Dotz Matrix–allow for individual LED control so you can light them one-by-one in wave-like designs. Some light fixtures–like uplighting and water effects–use smooth blending and transitions to create movement while washing a large area with light.

 

In addition, there are many light fixtures that combine several or all of these features. A multipurpose fixture can deliver creative freedom because it’s an all-in-one lighting package. When searching through different types of DJ lighting, it’s important to note how each light offers their specific strengths and specialties.

 

 

How To Control Your Lighting

 

DMX

 

DMX stands for “digital multiplex.” It has become an industry standard because it allows you to link several lights together and control them. When you link–or “daisy-chain”–multiple lights, you’ll use DMX to activate lights individually to create the timing and design you want. DMX allows for ultimate freedom, control, and creativity when it comes to lighting.

 

Sound Active

 

Sound Active mode makes professional light shows simple. Lights with Sound Active mode have built-in sensors that respond to and synchronize with the bass of your music. It enhances your music and it’s a go-to method for quick and easy setup.

 

Auto mode

 

Most lights come with a few pre-programmed settings (examples: club, stage, live, etc.). They’re user-friendly; you can count on them while you’re still learning the intricacies of lighting design or whenever you’re in a rush.

 

Totem Mode

 

Totem mode allows you to set limits on the pan and tilt of your light. This is especially helpful with moving head lights that spin full circles and tilt in all directions. Setting limits with Totem Mode ensures that your light stays focused on the crowd rather than turning around and blinding you (like it could in auto mode).

 

Master/slave mode

 

Master/slave mode synchronizes several identical lights. As the name implies, one light is the “master” and other lights follow the master’s lead. Master/slave mode ensures perfect timing and organization. Similar to master/slave mode, sometimes lights will include chase mode, which is similar because several lights mimic a master but in a slightly delayed, sequential order.

 

3 Common Lighting Mistakes

 

#1 – Lighting Overkill

 

More is not always better. When it comes to lighting, you want to walk the line between exciting and overwhelming.

 

Your audience may become overwhelmed with excessive strobing or competing lighting effects. Light is great for transforming any venue into a creative work space, so it’s important to work with the environment and work with the music, but never overpower them. Too much lighting can result in a cluttered and messy performance.

 

#2 – Wrong Context

 

Context is key. Lasers and strobes are great for clubs, but you would never expect those same effects in a church service or a wedding reception. Lighting is a great tool to enhance the elegance, the hype, the solemnity, or the craziness of different events, so always aim for the appropriate mood to avoid confusion.

 

#3 – Color Coordination

 

Color coordination creates a sense of harmony and cohesion, and failure to coordinate quickly kills the mood of an event. Colors and sound can work together toward a unified experience but can also create confusion if they don’t mesh well.

 

 

How To Maximize Lighting

 

Haze and fog are the easiest methods for maximizing lighting. Fog captures beams of light mid-air as they travel throughout a room, enhancing the intricacy and movement of your overall light design. Fog is especially essential for lasers because lasers without fog are almost invisible.

 

Besides fog, you can also play with color combinations to highlight certain areas, create contrast, make a space feel bright and airy, or make a club feel dim and cozy. Mirrors can also help create cool lighting effects (like disco balls do).

 

 

How To Create A Great Light Show On A Budget

 

It is possible to find high quality DJ lights for a decent price, but it takes some research. That’s where we come in, helping to connect you to great lights that don’t break the bank.

 

The disco balls, the Chauvet Scorpion, and the Freedom Par listed above are on the cheaper side and deliver high quality lighting. Further, lights like disco balls and uplights project large amounts of light, which makes it easy to fill a large space with high quality lighting with less equipment (and less money).

 

Another way to create a light show on a budget is to invest in a larger, multipurpose light. Equipment like the Chauvet Gigbar is on the more expensive side, but you get the best value because you get a wide range of lighting effects in one piece of equipment. Investing in a quality, multipurpose light fixture could be more cost effective than buying multiple lights for the same jobs.

 

 

Lighting Safety Tips

Watch your aim.

 

Be careful where you aim bright lights and strobes: don’t shine them directly into your audience’s eyes. In addition, if your lights are running automatically, make sure they don’t spin around and blind you onstage.

 

Secure your gear.

 

Secure lights on stands or trussing with the appropriate clamps so a light won’t fall onto someone’s head. It’s also helpful strategically place your light stands in spots where people are least likely to bump into them.

 

Stay cool.

 

Most lights are designed with internal cooling systems to prevent overheating, so opt for lights with quality ventilation. In addition, find ways to create good airflow in your venues to protect your equipment and your audience from overheating.

 

Pay attention to power.

 

Seems like common sense, but it’s worth emphasizing whenever you work with a lot of technology: don’t overwork your equipment. Pay attention to voltage so you don’t accidentally damage your lighting. In addition, manufacturers are continually improving the efficiency of their equipment, so research energy efficient light fixtures.

 

 

How To Safely Transport Lights

 

As a DJ, travel is usually an unavoidable (and fun) part of the job!

 

As tempting as it is to buy the cheapest lights possible, it’s always wise to research durable, high quality lights to save money in the long run. In addition, carrying cases significantly increase the lifespan of your equipment. Most brands will recommend carrying cases that fit their lights best. Caring for your equipment properly adds to your professionalism and prevents many avoidable mishaps.

 

Conclusion

 

When it comes to the best DJ lights, you have a lot of freedom. It’s not hard to find high quality lights that will last for years to come. The best DJ lighting is cohesive and expressive, so it really depends on your gigs and your style. Seek out light fixtures that meld well into your DJ lighting system, enhance the mood of an event, and work well within your usual venues. If you bring all the elements of space, light, and sound together in a unified design, you’ll always leave an impression.