A Lighting Console’s Most Important Feature: Who Will Be Using It?
A professional is going to have much more experience across multiple consoles. However, a novice volunteer who is looking for a new place to serve is not likely to know anything more than what you can teach them.
Lighting Consoles NewsTeam Development: Aim To Create A Welcome Space for Worship A Lighting Console’s Most Important Feature: Who Will Be Using It? Finding Your Lighting Console: Where to Start Lighting Consoles Guide: Shedding Light On Choices
Lighting Consoles ResourceLighting Consoles Guide: Shedding Light On Choices
Learn about a half-dozen options that are particularly scalable, beginning with personal computer operability, all the way up to multiuniverse, full-size lighting consoles.
DMX. Preset. Art-Net. Chase. Wheels. Streaming ACN. Motorized faders. RDM. Channel. Parameter. Palette. Sequence. Universe. Touchscreens. Buttons.
Is your head spinning yet?
The vast array of lighting consoles varies in size, shape, feature set, and scope of function, but there is one key feature that should be the deciding factor in any choice of console.
Before that, though, we must first consider some givens when looking at choosing a new lighting console.
1. The console’s abilities need to match the capabilities of your lighting system. If your entire lighting rig is composed of dimmers and conventional lighting fixtures, then you need only purchase a console designed to run dimmers. Sure, you might rent some LEDs or moving lights for a special event, but you can rent a lighting console as well rather than spending more money on a console you won’t utilize the other 51 weeks out of the year.
2. The console must be able to communicate with your entire lighting rig. Lighting consoles use DMX protocol to communicate with dimmers and lighting fixtures. DMX is simply a communication language where 512 channels of communication can process down a single cable. Each of those 512 channels represent a single feature of a lighting fixture. A dimmer uses only one channel. An RGB LED par with a dimmer and strobe function will likely use five channels. Moving head fixtures can use anywhere from ten to fifty or more channels. Media servers can take an entire 500 channels depending on how they are configured! When your lighting rig grows enough that you need more than 512 channels of control you must add an additional universe. This means you will have another cable and a second set of 512 control channels. Most smaller lighting rigs can operate with only one universe. However, it may be convenient to have a second universe available just to help manage cable runs.
3. The console must fit within your budget. There are software based console apps that can run on a computer with a USB to DMX converter that can be utilized for very little cost. There are also consoles that cost nearly as much as a small house in many parts of the country as well as many in between those two extremes.
Latest ResourceFor Lighting Design, What Software Is The Right Match For Your Needs? (Part 3)
Dig into this final part of a three-part series that looks into choices for lighting design software, including Vectorworks and LightConverse, and how each can best serve the needs of your church.