How Do I Choose the Right DJ Lighting Controller?

What Console Should You Use for DJ Lighting?

How do you choose the right DJ lighting controller for you? There’s not a once size fits all answer to this question because different setups have a unique style, challenges and needs.

To help you decide what lighting controller is the best fit, we’ll explore two great tools used by DJ’s and help you determine what may be a better fit for your lighting needs.

There are definitely some pieces to consider before choosing a controller. Some thoughts to consider is will you be running lights from the stage, laptop, or will you have someone running them for you? Perhaps, you need more of an automated approach to lighting.

Another thought is will this be a permanent setup or you will be constantly setting up or tearing down? A lighting console is really the brains of your operation so you always want to be sure you choose the right tools.


A product I often discuss is working with ENTTEC’s DMXIS because it’s great as a basic entry-level controller. It’s one of those programs that are easy to learn, quick setup, and has the capability of creating a good lighting show.

One of the features of DMXIS is that you have the ability to run the lights from the stage. You can also use this with a MIDI controller if you prefer to have faders and buttons at your fingertips.

Related: Choosing Your First Lighting Console

With DMXIS you have the ability to set up what is known as a “Punt Page” or also known as presets. This gives you the capability to set up certain looks and lights, then let’s you be able to fire these lights off on the fly.

Who’s It For?

ENTTEC’s DMXIS is ideal for those who may be new to lighting. It’s a great PC software and very easy to learn. If you’re a DJ that will have to setup or tear down often, the DMXIS might be the best fit for you.

Once you have your scenes setup, either you or someone else can hop on to run the lights with little or no knowledge of the upcoming music. DMXIS also has a sound active mode and even a tempo, or chase feature you can utilize.

The downside to DMXIS is that if you’re wanting to do much more complex looks with your lighting, you may need to have someone else run the lighting for you. But if you’re more of a one-person crew and need to keep it simple then DMXIS may be a great fit.


I was initially introduced to SoundSwitch by a friend who works in DJ lighting and I found it to be a great tool to use. When loading up SoundSwitch, you can use the walkthrough mode where it brings in a song for you and helps walk you through the “setting up” phase.

One of the cools features I see with SoundSwitch is that you have the ability to set up a MIDI Controller, then you can use the pre-established looks, and fire them off as needed while still staying automated for other parts of your show.

If you’re working with a DJ software such as Ableton Live or any other DJ software, you’ll have the option of bringing in your music automatically.

Who’s It For?

With SoundSwitch, you can be a one-person show and be able to run your lights automatically. This lighting controller will pair up nicely with a MIDI controller and a DJ software if you’re using one.

In SoundSwitch, you have the capabilities of building a lighting show around a certain song and you have all the tools to do so. If you’re looking for a sound active mode instead SoundSwitch will be able to do this as well.

You will definitely have more control with your lighting such as the option to build a lighting scene for certain songs, you can even build different setups if needed, or even have more of an automated show that you can save to a music file.

It may take a bit to get it set up at first, but once it’s ready, it can run on it’s own and give you a great show, night after night!

About the author