Stage Lighting - A Small System?


Tin Supporting Member
Silver Supporting Member
Does anyone have any recommendation for a small stage lighting system? We already have a good truss system to attach our banner, so what I'm hoping for is something like:

  • 2 x light cans to attach above/behind us.
  • Colours
  • Automatic light-show response to the music/beat/dynamics...
  • Sensitive to ambient sound (because not everything goes through the PA at small gigs - sometimes only the vocals go through the mixer. So I'm hoping the lighting effects can respond to the bass and kick and guitar, and all that good stuff.)

I'm a bit ignorant in this field (as you might be able to tell). Having looked around on ebay and the audio/lighting store websites, I haven't found what I'm looking for. So I really hope someone can - either correct any bad assumptions in my preliminary requirements above - or direct me to a system that does something like this.

Many many thanks for any helpful suggestions!


Silver Supporting Member
Don't bother with par cans, go LED. They may initially be a bit more expensive, but they last longer, can color change automatically, will respond to sound with the push of a button, won't suck power like crazy, and don't get hot like par cans will.

I've used American DJ, Chauvet, Venue, & a few others.


yes, LED all the way.
I use a 4 Chauvet PAR38 Rain LEDs with no DMX controller.
just the lights set to auto.
great for small gigs where there's no lighting.

if you want to get more elaborate you have to buy a DMX controller and get into programming and cues etc., way more complicated.

lighting can be like pedals, very addictive when you get into it, there's nothing like proper lighting and sound though to really make a show.
we're living in a great era because what you can buy now for reasonable money is amazing.
check youtube for reviews and demos, there's tons.


There are a couple of led systems like the 4bar that are designed to be small all-in-one solutions. I personally like the strip led fixtures (as opposed to even led par cans) like the ADJ megapixel for band washes that still look interesting to a crowd. They can run on auto mode, via momentary footswitch, or DMX control, so you can grow the system as desired.

There have been some other threads giving a lot of details. To summarize some general themes: LEDs are more expensive but draw less power and less heat. LEDs have a different coloring to them that sometimes does not compliment/illuminate performers' skin tones. Fog and haze will make light beams visible, or you rely on the light reflecting off of surfaces and people to be visible. Front lighting, band washes, and rear mounted effect lighting all have different, but complimentary purposes. The right combo of each makes for visual interest and practical band lighting.


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