How to Trigger Video Clips Along With Your Stage Lighting

Today, let’s discuss why and how to trigger both your video and lighting together for a seamless live event.

Keeping things in sync during your show and having everything triggered at the perfect timing takes a little know how and prep work. If you have video that you either want to run on a pixel map or to a media server how do you play them back in the middle of a live event?


One way to go about making sure that you aren’t stuck running lighting and video simultaneously using both hands and having to make yourself crazy to make things flow perfectly is to condense everything into one.

Pixel Mapping

If you are using a lighting console that can pixel map, like ONYX, you will have all of your animations and can play them directly from your pixel mapping screen. This will work exactly the same as running your lights and is all contained in one software. It will be available for you to run it all from the same control surface and save you quite a bit of back and forth effort.

If you are looking for easy playback, this is definitely your best route to take! ONYX is by far not the only lighting program capable of this so knowing what you have to work with and using it to its fullest can really benefit you when it comes to simplicity.


Another great way to take some stress out of your live show is to set up triggering via DMX or MIDI to your other program.

Live triggers are great when you either want to trigger your lighting from another program, if your video needs are potentially more complex than your lighting needs, or vice versa to trigger your video program from your lighting program.

Depending on what you are doing you can easily trigger lighting from video. Take for example in ONYX: ONXY has built in a DMX input function. You can set that up to allow yourself to control playbacks in ONYX through another program.

Similarly, ONXY is capable of using MIDI triggers as well. This can work great if you are using a program to run slides. You can trigger all or part of your lighting from the slides and have less or even nothing for the lighting operator to do if it is all set to be done from the media.

Triggering Video From Lighting

If you happen to be using a lighting console and you are wanting to trigger your video playback there are some really simple ways to go about this as well. All lighting software has DMX output and most media servers can accept DMX input.

This feature allows you to pre-program all you need into your lighting cues so that during your show there is absolute minimal effort. Everything will simply run and flow the way you have programmed it.

Music Sequencers

Another way to control everything would be the option of the music sequencer. This allows you to use MIDI to bring in and organize what you want to use on your timeline and from there send out MIDI control to video, lighting, or to both with ease.

If your needs are simpler, a lot of these types of programs such as Live Tracker allows you to bring video in and use it to play what you want, acting as a simple media server.


When it comes down to it, there is a really great variety of ways that you are able to trigger either your lighting, your video, or both at the same time from one another or alternately from an external source. Ultimately the decision on what to use boils down to what is going to be best for you and your needs with your show. Choosing whatever will make your life easiest while running everything behind the scenes of your show ensures that your stress levels stay low and that you put on the best show possible, that flows seamlessly every time.

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