What DMX Mode Should I Put My Lights In?

Nov 08, 2022

Whether you’re working with LED’s or moving-head lights, at some point you have to decide which mode you’re going to run them in.

When I first start started out I would set my equipment to run at the very highest mode. I had assumed this was the best option but later learned that was not the case. In this post, I am going to share 3 things to consider when selecting a DMX Mode for your LED’s and moving head lights.


The first thing you should take into consideration is your console.

How many DMX Channels and DMX Universes can you control with your console? No matter what console you are working with you’re going to have some limitations.

Depending on the hardware and fixtures you are working with you really should put into consideration how much your console is going to be able to handle.

Having a fixture that takes a lot of channels is great until you add the other fixtures and equipment only to find you may not have enough channels to work with.

With that, just be sure to consider all of the equipment you are working with and making sure that you know what your console is able to handle.


When setting up your fixtures something to consider is how far away will those lights be from the audience?

This will method will take some experimentation, but if done correctly you will be able to free up some DMX channels without affecting the looks of the lights.

If the fixture is going to be a good distance from the audience it is very likely that you will be able to avoid breaking down the lights to fewer segments. At a distance, the difference between using 6 segments and 12 segments will not be noticeable.

Not only will you be able to save some DMX Channels your audience won’t notice the difference in the lights. Take into consideration how far away will the fixture be and can the audience actually see the difference?


Every show has an allotted amount of time available for programming. At times you may have a lot of time, very little time, or you may not want to spend much time programming.

Working with fixtures or even pixel mapped lights that have a lot of capabilities are really fun but also very time-consuming. With features and options, it is very easy to get carried with using the biggest mode for your fixtures.

While you want to make an impact on your show be sure to consider how much time it may take you to program your lights. You want to avoid spending valuable time on small details when you can use that time to program something that will have a bigger impact on the stage.

In closing, when deciding what DMX Mode you should set your lights in be sure to carefully consider your console’s and fixture’s capabilities.

Then, consider visuals and how the lights will look to your audience. Lastly, how much time do you have available to program the show?

And then, make sure you have a great show!


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