Choosing The Right Lights for a Small Venue

If you buy lighting for a small venue or church, then you need to know these tips for choosing lights that will actually work and make a big impact in your space.

When choosing lighting for your small venue, there are a lot of options so it’s important to know what to look for when selecting the option that’s right for you. Let’s go over what to look for to make your production amazing and keep the show really interesting without breaking the bank!

Choosing Lights For Your Small Venue

When it comes down to it, there’s a couple really important things that you’re going to have to consider when you’re looking at lights for a small venue.

Width Of Beam

The first thing to think about is whether or not the lighting you’re looking at is wide enough to cover the stage you need to light. This is especially prevalent in small moving lights because a lot of small moving lights have really narrow beams and likely no zoom. The reason for this is so that they can appear brighter in more environments. This may work perfectly if you’re in a DJ setting with haze in the air, but if you’re wanting to use the light to light up a wall or light people’s faces you will need something that is much wider.

Wash Or Spot Fixture?

Considering your beam angle and the effect that it offers you during your show often leads people to buying more wash lights and not as many spot fixtures.

Advantages Of Using Wash Lights

There are a couple big advantages to using wash lights over spot fixtures in a small venue. One is that you will end up getting a fixture that has the ability to color change, color mix which gives you smoother color transitions, and zoom for much less cost than a spot fixture.

Smooth Transitions

A lot of fixtures can change color on a color wheel, but the issue with this is that you don’t get smooth transitions. Because of this, a lot more planning is involved to make things look seamless. With wash lights you simply create another preset, change the color, have it fade, and it runs perfectly with ease.


A lot of the time moving spot fixtures will only have a 10-15 degree beam to work with, which is really narrow. With a wash fixture you can commonly get something that will zoom up to a 60 degree angle. That way you are able to narrow the beam if you so desire but if you have a large space that needs to be covered, it does so with ease.

Finding What’s Right For You

The biggest part of finding what suits your needs and desires is really taking the time to think about what features you need, and how in your show you will be making smooth transitions with the lighting that you’re considering. Ultimately wash fixtures will allow you to do this much easier than spot fixtures.

Combo Fixtures

There are some lights that have a beam/wash type effect combined. These lights are great because you get a zoomable unit that can both zoom or pull back to get the effect of a bunch of little beams.

Fan Noise

One thing to consider in a smaller venue is that smaller fixtures are more susceptible to greater fan noise. If you start to get more than one fixture going, that can really increase the amount of unwanted noise. The easiest way to get rid of fan noise is in your PARS, which are great because they have no fan and still come at a very affordable price. When you are looking through entry level PARS some will have fans and some will not so it is best to take the time to find ones that do not so that they will be silent when they run.


When you’re looking for a fixture that really meets your needs in a small venue the main things to consider are portability and ensuring that it has the features you want. When you consider your needs before you buy something, you are much more apt to get something that will enable you to create really great lighting for your venue.

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