What Is A Lighting Console?

Martin M2GO Lighting Controller

Are you planning an event and you see a lighting console on your quote and you’re trying to figure out if it’s necessary?

Maybe you’re a lighting tech or musician trying to figure out where to get started with lighting for your band, theatre, or house of worship!

A lighting console is the piece of equipment that technicians rely on to control the lighting for events all over the world.

Lighting consoles, controllers, mixers, or boards come in all different shapes and sizes, but they generally all do the same thing: They control lighting at events.

Event lighting can fall into many different categories: LED Lighting, Static Lighting, Moving Lights, etc. and you need a lighting console that is appropriately spec’d for the types of lights that you have at your event.

If your lighting console is too small, you won’t be able to easily program dmx for various attributes of your light fixtures. If your lighting console is too large, you’ll be wasting event budget in a place that doesn’t need it.

What Do I Need To Know Before Choosing A Lighting Console?

Below are some (not all) things to consider when you are selecting a lighting console for your upcoming event.

  • Fixtures:  How many light fixtures will be at your event? How many channels does each light require to be controlled and programmed?
  • Channels: How many channels of DMX does each light require during programming/operation?
  • DMX Universes: Each universe of DMX contains 512 addresses, allowing you to control up to 512 channels. How many will you need?
  • DMX / ARTNET / SACN?: What type of output do you need from the lighting console?
  • Scenes: How many pre-programmed looks do you need.
  • Faders: How many faders do you need to control the looks that you’re wanting?

What Lighting Console Do I Need?

  • Small – If you’re just trying to control LED uplights and lekos for stage wash, we recommend the Elation SDC12
  • Medium – If you need more options, perhaps more LEDs and Lekos, we recommend the Elation StageSetter 12
  • Large – If you have moving lights, as well as LEDs and conventional lights, we recommend the Chamsys MQ80


Kettner Creative is a full service audio visual (A/V) company located in Vancouver, BC. We rent AudioVideoLightingDrape and LED Furniture for events. If you’re interested in our services for an upcoming event – Please contact us!