DMX Lighting Tutorial Part 1

6 Oct

This is the first video in a series of 5 tutorial videos on DMX lighting. This series is designed to give you a basic understanding of DMX lighting, how to set it up, and what some of the control methods are. In this first part you will be introduced to the fundamentals of DMX lighting. Be on the lookout for the rest of the tutorial videos coming out soon.

Lights Make the Show

DMX Lighting Tutorial Videos:

Part 1. What is DMX?
Part 2. What is DMX Addressing?
Part 3. Dipswitches
Part 4. DMX Wiring
Part 5. Hardware and Software setup


Hello and welcome. My name is Chris, with the help of this marker board and these turkeys I will be explaining the basics of DMX lighting in this video series. I’ll give you an introduction to DMX, explain DMX addressing, I’ll talk about dip switches, I’ll touch on DMX wiring, and finally I’ll talk about some different methods for controlling lights with DMX. Let’s get started.

DMX stands for Multiplexing Data Transmission. It’s the protocol used to control lighting equipment.

Let’s say we’ve got one light with one dimmer function. This function lets us control its brightness from 0 to 100%. Let’s say the light is connected to a line and we can pass different numerical values to the light through that line with a control device. This light interprets the number 255 as full intensity and the number 0 as off. In part 5 of this series I’ll talk about how this control by numbers is useful. But let’s keep going with our example.

So let’s say we’ve got three more of the same lights and the same controller. First we must connect them in series. We still want to send values that will control brightness, but we want to control each light separately. So we give each light an address. Then we put a number between 0 to 255 in a package and we give that package an address. Then the controller will send that package out to each light in the series. If that address matches the address on one of the lights, the package will be delivered to that light and its brightness will be adjusted according to the value in the package. You know, the value between 0 and 255.

In reality any given light will have more than one function. Each additional function will require it’s own unique address so that it can control that function independently. One single DMX cable can carry packages to 512 addresses. We say that a single DMX cable has 512 channels of control. All 512 channels create a network called a DMX universe. Large control desks or operator consoles that you might see at a concert have the ability to control multiple universes. There is DMX software that also has the ability to control multiple universes.

So there’s a basic introduction to DMX. I hope you stick around for the next video where we’ll talk about how DMX addressing works. Also be sure to checkout for great prices on lights, DMX controllers, or any pro audio gear you may need. If you have a questions you can follow the link to our blog in the description below and leave those questions there there. We’ll answer them as soon as we can. You’re watching

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