I’ve played in all types of places from basements and living rooms to concert halls and stadiums. I’ve experienced all types of lighting along the way. I’ve played under a single lightbulb as well as rooms using only a lava lamp for lighting. I’ve also played on huge stages that had individual spotlights for each member of the band and full concert lighting. I’ll tell you, the concert lighting was a lot nicer.
Most clubs that bands regularly play in have woefully inadequate lighting. They usually have a few dedicated stage lights and you’re lucky if more than half of them work. There are exceptions to that rule and I’ve played in some clubs with incredible stage and dance floor lighting. But like I said, those are exceptions and you’ll usually find yourself playing in dim light.
That’s why my band has it’s own self-contained lighting system. A good light system can really add a lot of energy to your show. Your lights will create the illusion of a lot of onstage movement even when you’re standing still. It’s always a good thing when you can keep your audience looking at the stage. Having a good light system can make things a lot more interesting to look at.
Modern light systems have really come down in price the last few years. You can get a great light setup for around $600 that will be adequate for almost any club you’ll play in. Special lighting effects have gotten extremely cheap as well. Green lasers for example used to cost thousands of dollars. Now you can get an excellent green laser for $199.
American DJ Green Phantom Laser Standard
Other great lighting effects such as a fog machine can be had for as low as $29.99
Lighting 400W Fog Machine Standard.
It usually falls on the Live Sound person or soundman to own and run the lights. A good light system is also an ace for a singer to have when joining a band. You can pick up some complete lighting packages that can be as simple as a few light cans or as complex as a full lighting system complete with fog and other special lighting effects. Buying a light system package is a great way to get your band a good light system that will really enhance your live show. I’ve posted a few of the excellent light systems below for you to check out.