Lights for a beginning mobile dj...

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LittleTreeGuy

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 30, 2021
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Some of you may have seen from my other posts that I'm very new to the dj world and looking to start out with a small setup of my own. I know I don't "need" lights to start as a mobile dj, but being able to offer something I think is a plus if hired for a small party or event with dancing. I have been considering the Chauvet Gigbar 2 and the Chauvet Gigbar Move. I was hoping to keep lighting to under 1k for now. Understanding that down the road, I may want/need to upgrade and/or add. Are these two items suitable for beginners or would it be better to buy individual pieces and create my own "gigbar" so to speak? At what point should I consider up-lighting... once I start doing weddings or events that require them?
 

Albatross

DJ Extraordinaire
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Sep 7, 2016
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The Gigbar 2 and Gigbar Move are both perfectly acceptable as starter lighting pieces.

One of my biggest issues on those all-in-ones is the lasers. I just don't believe cheap spot lasers should be used at high end events. But I believe they can be turned off. So just be aware of that, if you get into doing weddings, crappy lasers are a big no-no.

It partially depends on what kind of events you see yourself doing, but if I were in your shoes right now... Rather than buy a gigbar, I'd buy something like the Chauvet DJ Wash FX Hex.

1) You're going to come in at like $280 rather than $600-$900 for the bars.

2) You get lots of light from a single fixture, so you're going to be able to wash a fairly large area in color.

3) The built in programs give you plenty of eye candy effects out of the box that you don't really need to add the cheap movers or derby lights to it.

4) If/when you expand, you can easily add more of these or other quality fixtures to your rig and these won't look out of place. Where on the gigbar... you can probably expand to 2 of them, but if you're moving upmarket I don't think that's what you'll want.

So basically, cheaper now, greater future options, and still plenty of light to say you offer dance floor lighting.

Uplighting... I'd price check rentals in your area. You can literally start by offering it to clients at your cost or maybe with a slight markup. Don't buy your own set until you have created some demand for it.
 

sawdust123

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Nov 10, 2006
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Lighting comes in two types; ambiance and effects. Ambient lighting is to create a mood and uses wash lights that are static or slowly changing. Effect lighting is to generate energy and uses beams of light that flash and move with them music. You probably want a little of each. GigBar Move seems to let you switch back and forth. However, it is a compromise solution. You don't get a lot of either type. At least you can manually control it via DMX if you want to change how it works for you.
 
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LittleTreeGuy

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 30, 2021
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@Albatross Thank you very much! I was just looking at the wash FX Hex this morning!

I would like to be able to offer a little bit of both... wash and effect.... Would say the FX Hex paired with a Swarm FX 5 give me that? The hex for wash and the swarm for a little bit of "movement"? Both seem to have good reviews and would allow me to grow with them, should I need to. Plus I can get one of each and a T-bar and still be under the cost of the Gigbar option I was looking at.
 
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Albatross

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Sep 7, 2016
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@Albatross Thank you very much! I was just looking at the wash FX Hex this morning!

I would like to be able to offer a little bit of both... wash and effect.... Would say the FX Hex paired with a Swarm FX 5 give me that? The hex for wash and the swarm for a little bit of "movement"? Both seem to have good reviews and would allow me to grow with them, should I need to. Plus I can get one of each and a T-bar and still be under the cost of the Gigbar option I was looking at.
I definitely think it would give you both. You're back to having a laser in that Swarm FX, but again... maybe I'm over sensitive to that.

I posted this in another thread, but I'll share it again just because it's a quick look at how I do a lot of my lighting:

Those are just Chauvet Slimpar H6s, and there are 4 of them (2 on each side of the dance floor). All the energy is coming from how fast the color changes, or pulses, or chases, or strobes are. And I suggested the Wash FX because you can basically create all of those same effects in that one single fixture. You can add a chase across the lenses, or bounce different color combinations around the same light.

I take the view that more can be done by using a simple light well than a complex light poorly. But if you want a more effect driven light, adding something like that swarm will certainly accomplish it.
 

Jeff Romard

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Sep 4, 2006
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The Gigbar 2 and Gigbar Move are both perfectly acceptable as starter lighting pieces.

One of my biggest issues on those all-in-ones is the lasers. I just don't believe cheap spot lasers should be used at high end events. But I believe they can be turned off. So just be aware of that, if you get into doing weddings, crappy lasers are a big no-no.
Ross It's funny you say that I have had several ask if I charge extra to have the lasers there they really love them and I've had a lot of people ask about them at events. Might be a geographical thing. That being said I'm not a big fan of the laser on the Gig Bar I find it kind of gets lost in the other lights

There are a couple of gigs I did in 2019 they specifically didn't want any lighting so maybe I live in an odd spot

LittleTreeGuy check around and see what others are doing in your area and find ways to do it better
 

Albatross

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Sep 7, 2016
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Ross It's funny you say that I have had several ask if I charge extra to have the lasers there they really love them and I've had a lot of people ask about them at events. Might be a geographical thing. That being said I'm not a big fan of the laser on the Gig Bar I find it kind of gets lost in the other lights

There are a couple of gigs I did in 2019 they specifically didn't want any lighting so maybe I live in an odd spot

LittleTreeGuy check around and see what others are doing in your area and find ways to do it better
What are you using for lasers?

I almost never get to use fog or haze which feel like requirements to get a good laser look. If I could use haze at more venues and add something like this...

I think that'd be cool. But the spray and spin stuff never looks good to me.
 

Jeff Romard

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I have a couple of Galaxians I usually only use one. I have a couple of older ones too I rarely use because almost all the venues here have banned haze also I find the Galaxian is the only one that looks OK without it. It would look much better with.

I looked at the Aurora and a couple of others but like you without haze/fog they just don't have the oomph to them
 

MIXMASTERMACHOM

DJ Extraordinaire
Oct 16, 2011
12,145
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The Gigbar 2 and Gigbar Move are both perfectly acceptable as starter lighting pieces.

One of my biggest issues on those all-in-ones is the lasers. I just don't believe cheap spot lasers should be used at high end events. But I believe they can be turned off. So just be aware of that, if you get into doing weddings, crappy lasers are a big no-no.

It partially depends on what kind of events you see yourself doing, but if I were in your shoes right now... Rather than buy a gigbar, I'd buy something like the Chauvet DJ Wash FX Hex.

1) You're going to come in at like $280 rather than $600-$900 for the bars.

2) You get lots of light from a single fixture, so you're going to be able to wash a fairly large area in color.

3) The built in programs give you plenty of eye candy effects out of the box that you don't really need to add the cheap movers or derby lights to it.

4) If/when you expand, you can easily add more of these or other quality fixtures to your rig and these won't look out of place. Where on the gigbar... you can probably expand to 2 of them, but if you're moving upmarket I don't think that's what you'll want.

So basically, cheaper now, greater future options, and still plenty of light to say you offer dance floor lighting.

Uplighting... I'd price check rentals in your area. You can literally start by offering it to clients at your cost or maybe with a slight markup. Don't buy your own set until you have created some demand for it.
I looked online and saw that Chauvet light there for $229.99. That light looks very interesting. Especially at that price.
 

LittleTreeGuy

DJ Extraordinaire
Jul 30, 2021
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190
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Thanks all... I've for sure gotten some good information... I get that the lasers aren't a super big deal, and that you need some haze or even some fog to really make them pop... but people think they're cool... and I don't see many folks around me using them. So I thought if that's something small that I can offer, it would be in my best interest to do so.
 

ittigger

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Feb 1, 2011
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Thanks all... I've for sure gotten some good information... I get that the lasers aren't a super big deal, and that you need some haze or even some fog to really make them pop... but people think they're cool... and I don't see many folks around me using them. So I thought if that's something small that I can offer, it would be in my best interest to do so.
The biggest thing with lasers is that they should not be aimed at people, which is why most are not using them.
 

Ausumm

Gold Plated Productions
Oct 21, 2008
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Bethlehem PA
I would also suggest something like the Gigbar that Ross talked about.
I use the ADJ Dotz Tpar.
Can be a wash, can add a little effect when used as a chase.
These bar systems are a great place to start.

Dotz_Tpar_System_12__18718.1607013532.jpg