DJ Lighting – Halogen Vs LED Par Fixtures

February 5, 2018 by Brian S. Redd

Hey. What’s up, guys? Today, I’m going to talk about new school versus old school DJ lighting fixtures. In particular, the halogen PAR can versus the LED par fixture. There are a few reasons that I think this is definitely the way to go for a mobile DJ, especially when it comes to dance floor. First of all, the footprint. The LED PAR fixture is much smaller than the big halogen fixture. When it comes to lifespan of your light source, the halogen bulb has about a 2,000 hour lifespan, whereas an LED can go from 50,000 to 100,000 hours.

Now, when you use LED fixtures, you use a lot less power than halogen. This is 250 watts. This is 16 watts. So the power draw is a lot less from the wall. This particular fixture, the Mega Par Profile Plus is RGB, plus it has a UV diode in it. It’s $79 and it uses less than a 15th of the power that this 250 watt halogen uses.

Now, you might say to yourself, “Brian, I don’t care. I’m not paying the light bill. Let the venue worry about it.” Well, here’s the thing. If I have four of these, I’m only drawing 60 watts from the wall or 64 watts. If I have four of these, I’m drawing 1,000. Now, how much power does your sound system draw? I don’t have any special power needs when I show up at a gig. In fact, my sound system uses a lot more power than my light show. And as far as I’m concerned, that’s cool.

LED fixtures produce virtually no heat, whereas a 250 watt halogen definitely produces heat. How much heat? Take a look at this. I took a chocolate bar and rubbed it up against my LED PAR fixture. Nothing happened. I took that same chocolate bar and rubbed it up against my halogen fixture after it had been on for about 20 minutes. So we’re talking about burn hazard and fire hazard. You definitely couldn’t pull something off like this.

The other cool thing is you need fewer fixtures per effect. For instance, if I wanted to run a show with red, green, and blue, I would need at least three of these halogen fixture; one with a red gel, one with a blue gel, and one with a green gel and I’d have to just turn them on and off to create those different colors. With an LED PAR fixture, I can get all of those colors, plus thousands more, on one fixture without changing out any gels at all. Plus, it fades, it strobes, has internal programs. I can run it DMX. I can master slave several of them together. Or I can use an I-Remote to change them around in internal mode and create some really neat, cool effects.

But the real question is is 250 watts better than 16 watts, because maybe brightness is a big issues? Well, let’s take a look. Here’s what a 250 watt halogen looks like from about six feet away from the wall. Here’s what an LED fixture looks like, full on RGB plus UV from the same distance. Now, you might say, “Okay. The 250 watt halogen looked a lot brighter,” and I don’t know. It probably did, but here’s the weird part. If I add a gel, like this one, I got a blue gel right here in a casing, if I pop this in front of this halogen light source, the game changes. From about six feet away, this is what the halogen looks like against the wall. In just using blue on my LED fixture, which is probably about 4.3 watts, this is what it looks like from six feet. Now, the difference is even more drastic when we go about 15 feet away.

So there is a quick video on why I feel like the LED PAR fixture is superior to the halogen PAR fixture for the mobile DJ and for the dance floor.

Couple quick things I didn’t mention. Because of the heat, the other problem you have with shining these on the dance floor is you make your dancers really hot really fast. My dancers get hot enough from dancing. They don’t need any help from extra heat from these heat lamps.

But one cool thing about these fixtures is they’re cool looking. Look at this. This is rock concert looking stuff. This is Ted Nugent, Molly Hatchet, arena rock cool. This maybe isn’t as cool looking, but it’s much more versatile and it’s more compact. It makes a lot more sense, uses less power. And again, for our purposes, I think this is the clear winner.

So there’s a quick video for you on LED versus halogen. I hope this helps somebody. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments section. And if you are a true believer in these halogen lights, I’m not telling you you’re wrong. I’m just pointing out some of the advantages to LED and giving you something to think about. Practice, and enjoy.


Brian S. Redd Brian S. Redd (27 Posts)

Although he can be seen Djing in places like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or even the UK & Europe, DJ Brian Redd is proud to call Milwaukee home. Brian specializes in mobile events such as wedding receptions, corporate events, quinceañeras, parties and special occasions. He has also been a resident DJ at several major Milwaukee night clubs and also performs at Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. From the beginning Brian has had a passion for music. His talent emerged at the young age of 13 when he was asked to DJ at a local skating rink. After realizing his calling he progressed on to weddings and mobile gigs and by age 18 he was DJing regularly at nightclubs. He understands people & what motivates them music wise, which helps keep them on the dance floor. Brian has been recognized for his work in various DJ publications both domestic and abroad. He has made a name for himself in the DJ community where he is known and respected as an industry consultant. This recognition has led to his contributions as a writer for Disc Jockey News. A true international DJ, Brian travels worldwide to not only perform but to educate and share industry ideas and concepts with DJs everywhere. His career has gone to the next level working with industry leading manufactures bringing new products and services to his peers helping them become better DJs.

Filed Under: Lighting for Mobile DJs