How to Choose Uplights for Your Stage

If you’re looking for uplights for your stage, should you use a par-type uplight or an “uplighter”? In this video, David covers the pros and cons of each type of light and what you should look for to choose.

When searching for uplighters you will see that there are two different types. For most of the brands you will see units that are outdoor rated uplighter types and also units that are PAR types.

Choosing Your Uplight

When choosing the uplight that best suits your needs there are a few things you want to take into consideration so that you make the best possible decision for yourself. You will find that brand does not really tend to matter when making your choice because you can find either type of light in most brands. So, what does matter?

Physical Comparison

Most of the units at the entry level uplighter have a battery that will last you for at least ten hours. That aside, there is a couple differences between the two styles.

Uplighter Style

The uplighter style is fantastic for when you do a lot of uplighter gigs. You will find a handle on the top and a solid base on bottom and they are easy to preset to wireless DMX. You simply lift the flap up, turn it on, and you have color. You can then simply set these standalone along the wall or other area where you need light, and you are good to go.

There is a shield on these lights where it is taller on one side, which is a great feature because it keeps the audience members from being blinded by the uplight.

Another thing you may notice is a kickstand. The kickstand is really common in these types of units and allows you to get angles on the direction of your lighting. The angle is limited which could be seen as a bit of a downfall, but that all depends on how big of an angle you personally need.

You will find that right on the front under the flap you can view the battery power that you have left which is wonderfully helpful as you go from gig to gig. The flap has magnets which keep it closed and waterproof for outdoor use.

While these units have some great features, such as being fast easy setup, tip over resistant, less expensive, etc. there is also the downside to them that they are more of a “one trick pony”.

PAR Types

The PAR style units are a bit more versatile. These PARs tend to be for more professional type uses. They are wireless, battery powered PARs that provide the most bang for your buck. You will notice glass casing on the front with a convection cooled case, IP rated, waterproof, DMX as well as power in to charge it, and a battery meter that’s separate from the screen.

The big benefit of PAR type units is the aiming. You have a much wider range of angle to work with when it comes to these types of lights, as well as a much brighter beam.

One slight disadvantage about this type of light is that it takes a little bit longer to put out and set up. That said, the little extra set up time is usually worth it for those who need more professional quality.


If you are looking at battery powered, wireless units you have a ton of options. Choosing which is right for you simply depends on your needs and what type of show or display you typically put on, as well as the frequency of these displays. Both types of units are great, just in slightly different ways.

About the author