Should I Buy Moving Lights or Non Moving Lights? – Learn Stage Lighting .com
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Should I Buy Moving Lights or Non Moving Lights?

In this post, we’re going to take on the great debate of moving lights. Should you buy moving lights or non-moving lights?

This is a question I hear a lot in the lighting world. While moving lights are really great and offer many types of functions it isn’t always the right light to go with your stage setup.

Choosing between purchasing a moving or non-moving light can be a tough decision to make. Here are some questions and factors that you really want to consider before you decide on what type of light you should purchase.

One Question to Ponder

There’s one simple question that you should answer with serious thought and consideration, what is the purpose of this light?

While this is a simple question to ask yourself, it actually demands a very well thought out answer. What is the purpose of this light? You want to seriously consider where you would hypothetically set up this light, where will it be used, what would it be used for, and how often would this moving light actually be used for movement?

Moving lights are a lot of fun to work with and the functionality of them makes a moving light a very tempting purchase. While they can do much more than a non-moving light there is also huge difference in the cost.

What to Consider

As we mentioned earlier the one simple question to ask yourself is, what is the purpose of this light? If you were to purchase a moving light that would stand still 90% of the time, is it really worth spending the extra funds on a moving light? If you are going to barely use the moving head function wouldn’t you better of purchasing a static light at half the cost?

Another angle of this debate to consider is what do you want to use this moving light for? Are you using it as a front stage wash?

For example, if you were working on setting up lights for a front wash. You purchase 10 moving lights at $1500 a piece, that’s $1500 x 10 = $15k. For non-moving lights you could purchase 10 lights at $700 a piece, that’s $700 x 10 = $7000.

With that, you still have the flexibility to purchase 5 moving lights and come out at just $14k.

Instead of using moving lights for a front wash, just purchasing the static lights can save you a lot of money. Why spend the extra funds on moving lights when you’re not going to use them at their fullest potential?

Type of Setup

One last angle to consider is what type of set up are you working with? Is it a permanent setup or one that will get tore down and set back up constantly?

In the installation world, you will see this often -a moving light rig getting sold to a venue that doesn’t move them!

If you’re working with setting up and tearing down often then having moving lights does make sense because you can move them to wherever you need them to be. This type of set up offers so much more flexibility than a non-moving light setup.

This would help save time, money, and labor. If you’re working in more of a church setting or a permanent setting then investing in non-moving lights and not having as much labor costs would seem more feasible for you.

These are some factors to seriously consider and think about before moving forward on your purchases.


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