July 15, 2021

Are you wondering how to use DMX lights in xLights? It’s actually easy than you might think, and in this video I go over the basics so that you can get started, using the Dominar Beam.

XLights is not a DMX moving head program so you may be wondering how to use them together. There are many other programs which are actually designed to work alongside DMX moving lights and so they may be a little easier to use together than with xLights. That said, you certainly can use xLights with your DMX moving heads, it just takes a little know-how.

Moving Heads & xLights

There are a couple different things you need when getting started with moving heads and xLights.

Getting Started

The first thing that you need to get started is a controller with a DMX output. These days you will find that pretty much any controller you buy will have a DMX output.

The next thing you will do is to set up your model by bringing in all the attributes of your light into your chosen model. One thing you want to be sure of when you are setting up your moving head is to set up your strand and node names within your program. Those are your DMX channels!

Sub Models

Once your models are set and labelled, it is also a good idea to set up your sub models. There are different ways of doing this, and everyone has their own system, but setting this up will ensure that you keep everything properly organized and running as smoothly as possible.

Groups

Setting up your sub models properly allows you to then go in and create groups. You can have groups for your color wheels, intensity, the prism, the tilt, etc; everything you need to run your lights during your show.

Testing It Out

Once you have everything set up the way you want things to run during your show it’s imperative that you go over to the sequencer part of the program and test everything out.

Ensuring that you have everything properly sequenced is really important because you will find that the output priorities are a bit backwards when it comes to xLights. Double checking your input will make sure that everything runs exactly the way you want it to go.

Effects

When working with DMX moving lights you will use a couple different effects. The first being the DMX effect. This can be really valuable when it comes to getting things done.

Positives of DMX Effect

A great quality of this effect is that you can work with all the channels of the light in one location. This is really great for things that are moving because you can go in and set all of your options customized to your needs. You can then play everything back and see how it will turn out in your preview.

For things that are mot moving around or changing so much you also have the option to use the “on” effect for those. You simply place it on the row that the lights are on and you are set to go with very little effort.

Another benefit is that over time you can build up a library of effects in presets that you can use and maneuver around at any time for your shows. This is really helpful because you do not have to recreate everything from scratch with every new show. You can just easily go in and choose and organize everything you need show to show.

Closing

Taking the time to work with and organize the xLights program alongside your DMX moving heads can be a really great system to use for your displays and shows. It just takes a little time to sort everything out the way you want it to be and to make sure you know the ins and outs of the program and set up. Once you have it down, you will find this to be an incredibly simple way to put on an amazing show every time!

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