Old School Mirror Ball Lighting For Mobile DJs

November 20, 2017 by Brian S. Redd

So recently I’ve done a couple of videos on mirror balls and some people have asked me this question. Where do you put the lights? And I thought it was kind of an odd question at first until I realized that there’s a whole generation of DJs out there who never used one of these. These have kind of fallen out of fashion, but they’re back in a big way. They’re cool again.

So this is a little more tricky than if you have the ball in the middle of a room like you would in a ballroom or a skating rink or something like that. You can have lights coming in from several different directions hitting the mirror ball and illuminating the entire space, but as a mobile DJ, you’re kind of stuck against a wall. You don’t have a lot of room to put lights.

So this is how we used to do it back in the old days with three pin spots. We’ll start off by having a look at this light tree. I’m going to use two of them. This one, we have of course the tripod and then the T bar. On one side of the T bar, I’ve mounted a motor. I used zip ties, but usually we screwed them in there, and the mirror ball is hanging from it and going around in circles. On the other end of the T bar is a pin spot. Now, there are a couple of different ways you can mount this pin spot. The way we used to like to do it is have it protruding out a bit.

If you have the light down here and you shine it at the mirror ball, what happens is the tripod gets in the way or as if you protrude it out a little bit forward, then you’re hitting the ball from the side and the front. Let’s go ahead and turn that light on and we do our best to aim it at the ball. Right about there, that’s pretty good. We’re hitting the front of the ball.

So back in the old days, I didn’t just use one light tree, I used two; one on each side of my DJ table. So here’s another light tree with a T bar. I’m going to use another pin spot. I’m going to do the same thing I did with that one over there. Going to attach it kind of protruding out, aim it kind of with the front of the ball and I’ve got the entire front of the ball covered. Well, maybe not the entire front of the ball. You’ll notice there is a dark spot right in the middle. So what we would do is take a pin spot and put it on some kind of wooden platform and put it on the floor below the mirror ball and by aiming that at the front of the ball, you end up with pretty nice coverage.

So there’s a quick video for you on how I used to illuminate my mirror ball back in the old days. We’re talking ’80s and ’90s here. Sometimes we’d use three spots. Sometimes we’d just use two. One on the sides, nothing on the bottom, and then most of the time we used color gels. So we would have like red and blue and maybe yellow on the floor to create colors on the walls. White is cool, though. I think white is the new cool for these mirror balls, but you can absolutely do color as well.

We’ll do more videos on how to illuminate mirror balls coming up real soon. If you like this video, let me know in the comments section. I’ll do more. Thanks for watching. Practice and enjoy.


Brian S. Redd Brian S. Redd (38 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: DJing School Dances, Lighting for Mobile DJs