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Question on a DMX Controller - What do I need

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Dave Williamson:
Greetings !
I am new and know almost nothing about stage lighting (other that it is cool)
I just bought some light. The seller said the were analog Par 56 lights. I bought to of them.
Just need to get them hooked up and have no idea.
All I really need is to have different color lights and be able to dim them.
I was told that I need a DMX Controller. I looked, and would like to buy a Chauvet brand.
I would like to get one unit to run all (10) lights.
What exactly do I need ???
Thanks for your answer in Advance.

Lee Douglas:
What are the model number of the fixtures you intend to control with your DMX controller?  Every fixture needs a certain amount of DMX channels to control it.  Some have options for different numbers of channels depending on how much control you need.

Jeff Lelko:
Hi Dave,

If these are indeed analog (halogen) Par 56s then you'll need some dimmer packs in addition to a DMX controller.  Most dimmers aimed at the weekend warrior are 4 channels each, meaning that you'll need three dimmer packs to control 10 lights.  Others are 6 channel, meaning that you'd only need two.

The appropriate controller for you will depend on what you want to accomplish with your lighting.  Simple control such as on/off/dim is easy.  Building chases or synchronization to music will require something different.  Hope this helps!

Scott Hofmann:
Dave-
I really hope you got those PAR56 halogen lights dirt cheap, because none of the major manufacturers make the lamps (bulbs) any more.
By the time you buy dimmer packs, and gel, and spare lamps either NOS or bad import versions, you will have quite a bit invested.
If you can return them, I advise doing so and instead spending the money to buy cheap LED PAR fixtures. Then you will only need a DMX controller and some DMX cables. You will be able to create any color instead of having fixed gel colors, not worry about replacing lamps, lose all the heat, and have a much more flexible system!

Tim Weaver:
Two of these and one of these.


That will get you 8 different controllable channels which you can plug your 10 lights into. It's about the cheapest way to do it.  Don't forget some kind of lighting tree/tripod to hang the lights from.

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