Are you looking for wash lights, or lights with a moving head? It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for the best lights for your band, or for a small setup, there are some common features that you’ll find on all the best lights. To make sure that you choose the very best stage lights for your needs, consider this buyer’s guide and breakdown of what to look out for.

DJ Effects/Operating Modes

Any good lighting will offer you different operating modes. The most common are: strobe, master/slave, sound-activated (sometimes referred to as ‘voice-activated’), jump, flash, pulse, gradient, and flash. You will have the option to control the brightness and speed of each effect too.

Depending on your requirements, you'll need different effects. For example, strobe lighting and sound-activated effects are great for a party or as band lighting, but they're not as useful for a theater performance. Always make sure that the effects are easy to operate. A good remote or the ability to plug into a DMX controller is also necessary.

LED Lifetime

If you're looking for a cheap light, then you might just go for the lowest price, but be aware, if the LEDs die on you quickly, then you'll need to replace the whole setup, which is another expense. Therefore, you should make sure that the LED lifetime lasts at least 50,000 hours.

Energy Efficiency

This is another feature that people seeking cheap lighting can forget. Your lights will be plugged into the electrical mains and, if they aren't energy efficient, then you're going to end up with a huge electricity bill. Make sure that the stage lights have been designed to offer low energy consumption.


This is a matter of taste. Are you seeking a small lighting setup? A big lighting set up? A moving head? If you'd like a small setup, you'll want small lights, of course. This is the same for anyone seeking a portable light system. Small lights can be powerful, too, so don't settle for ones that aren't bright, even if you want them to be small.


If you're planning on mounting your stage lights to the wall or ceiling, then you should check what the bracket is, how easy it is to mount, and also if there is the option to hang the stage lights, which can make mounting much easier.

How does sound-activated mode work?

A small microphone will be used as a sensor. It will pick up on one element of the music (usually, the low tones or bass notes) and then the lights will create an effect that matches the rhythm of the bass, making for fun stage lighting for parties.

Expert Tip

Keep an eye on the energy consumption the stage lights use, so you don't end up buying cheap stage lights that cost you a fortune in the long run.

Did you know?

Pink Floyd is the most famous for stage lighting shows. The man who was responsible for designing these amazing light shows was called Mark Brickman.


The best stage lights will offer a lot of operating modes, and they'll be easy to use, thanks to a remote, and will last a long time. They might double as wash lights, or come with a moving head. They'll also offer you low energy consumption so your cheap stage lights will remain cheap no matter how much they're used.