Stage Lighting on the Cheap

Stage Lighting

For the past year and a half we’ve been lucky to have been lent a Leprecon LP-X24 lighting control console. This has been a really nice board, but now we’re needing to give it back to it’s owners who have another use for it. As we move forward with expanding into some intelligent lights in the coming year, I don’t really want to spend a ton of money on a new controller which could easily cost $3,500-$10,000. So, I’m exploring some options of replacing the controller on the extreme cheap.

So, we currently have 24 microplex channels and 5 DMX channels, all of which are non-intelligent lights (not moving or color changing). Adam Callender at Granger Community Church posted a while back about how they started into a High End Hog controller system by simply purchasing something like a HOG 3PC DMX Widget and controlling their lights using a spare computer running the HOG 3PC Software. This option appears to cost about $1200 $1,700 plus the cost of a computer. And presuming we went with a real HOG lighting console in the future, the DMX Widget would continue to be part of that.

But, then that got me to thinking, “Haven’t I seen some other cheap or free software for lighting controllers?”

Well, after a bit more searching online, it appears that we could purchase a lower end (no pun intended) USB DMX Interface for $151. This would let us drive a DMX universe using software like the following:

Below are two web sites that I found with some more details on cheap/free DMX control:

So… I’m looking for any input or experience with any of these cheap/free DMX options. At this entry price point, I’m just tempted to give several of them a try and see if they meet our needs. But, I’d love to get feedback from others who may have already gone down this path.

4 thoughts on “Stage Lighting on the Cheap”

  1. Thanks for mentioning my free StageConsole and miniStageConsole software. I want to point out that my software is suitable only for conventional stage lighting, not intelligent moving lights. Extremely easy to use, though.

    The Enttec USB DMX Pro interface can be found for $131 minus 5% discount at
    Enter save5 when asked for coupon. How can you lose at that price?

    For intelligent lights, I’d recommend MagicQ — basically a Hog clone with so many improvements, that some Hog experts actually prefer it to HogPC. Software is free and works with Enttec USB DMX Pro device. Also you might like Freestyler, another free moving light software controller, sort of like Martin LightJockey.

  2. Great deal on DMX. I’ve also had great experience buying Jenbo replacement stage bulbs at BBD

    So far so good, same spectrum/light/color and life. Paid half price of Philips/Osram and I’m sticking to them until I hear otherwise.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *