How can I control floodlights via a foot-switch whilst on stage?
July 3, 2011 8:09 PM   Subscribe

How can I control floodlights via a foot-switch whilst on stage?

I play in a band and we want to step up our live shows for a european tour we have coming up. We want to have floodlights/lights behind our amps and be able to make them come on/turn off via a footswitch.

This is already quite a common thing, an example is this band at 40 seconds in.

The sort of lights are these ones. I'm based in the UK and I think they sell them in B&Q/Homebase etc, and i've found them on eBay, so my question is which lights should I buy and how can I make them turn on/off by just hitting a foot pedal/switch. We're willing to put some money into getting custom built pedals, and I know some people who'll be able to do this for us, but yeah any suggestions on how this could be achieved would be greatly appreciated!
posted by rinsemedown to Technology (1 answer total)
If you want to do it the "right" way, the search term you are looking for is DMX.

DMX is the name for the standard stage lighting control protocol.

If you go this route, you would want to get a DMX Foot controller and pair it with the appropriate DMX Dimmer packs for the lights/wattage you are controlling.

The nice thing about this system is that it would limit the running of more line voltage cables all over the stage as the DMX controller connects to the dimmers using standard XLR cables. You would also have some expansion capabilities if you decided to add more lighting effects.

As for the lights, the ones you would find at a Big Box store will work just fine. (I have been at shows where bands do this, and I like the effect - they do get quite hot though, so be sure to keep flammable materials away)
posted by davey_darling at 9:03 PM on July 3, 2011

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