Professional standard lighting systems are no longer found solely in large venues. Due to the advances in technology and mass production of recent years, these fixtures are becoming increasingly accessible to smaller venues and bands. Larger venues tend to use centrally controlled systems, with independent control of fixtures allowing sequenced or programmed effects venue-wide. However many effects lights also provide for stand-alone operation, thereby removing the need for expensive control equipment and making them perfect for those on a tighter budget. Most have built-in microphones so that they respond to music automatically, and when linked together, many will work in unison (master and slave), moving and changing colour in synchrony.
With so many effects lights being released onto the market today from so many different manufacturers, and at such a rapid rate, it's important to have a good understanding of the basic types available before you commit to purchase. We'll now take a closer look at these, which will hopefully help you in your future decisions.