With the recent improvements in technology there are new lighting effects being released every week by the likes of ADJ, Chauvet and Prolight. Meanwhile, older models are being discarded in favour of these brighter, faster and more impressive effects. This rapid progress has made the lighting market more dynamic and exciting than ever before but what, do you suppose, is the longest-running and most enduring disco effect in history?
Nightclubs have been using effects such as the Mac250 moving head and the Wizard extreme for years, NJD’s legendary datamoon outlived most mobile effects and the great value Soundlab Vasto moonflower has been lighting up venues and front-rooms alike for over a decade.
So, what if I was to tell you that there is a disco effect that's been a firm favourite for over a century?...
First uses of the the humble mirrorball (or ‘glitterball’ to our transatlantic friends) can be seen back to the early 1900’s where they were a common fixture in Jazz clubs and music halls (The photo on the right, for example, was taken in 1919). The principle of a mirrorball is incredibly simple. When a light is shone onto a mirror, the light is reflected causing a beam to shoot off at a chosen angle. A mirrorball works by using hundreds of small mirror facets which reflect a beam of light in dozens of different directions creating a truly unique effect.
Tradtional mirrorballs can still be seen in many venues today. A mainstay in ballrooms, they will often also feature in nightclubs providing a retro effect amongst the modern moving heads and lasers of today. Earlier this year, the worlds’ largest mirrorball was hung over the Millenium Bridge in London and was taller than 1 1/2 double-decker buses!
At getinthemix.com we stock traditional mirrorballs ranging from 50mm to 40mm and from a fiver upto £50, we can even supply mirrorballs in sizes upto 1.5m so if you really want to stand out from the crowd, give our sales guys a call on 01206 845125 and see what we can do for you. Mirrorballs are normally lit by either a Par Can or a Pinspot. Recently LED pinspots have allowed a mirror ball to be illuminated all night without the pitfalls of using a hot (and short-lived) spot lamp.
Recently we have seen the traditional disco-ball concept bought upto date with the introduction of a number of LED fixtures designed to give a mirrorball-style effect without the hassle of hanging, motorising and illuminating a large ball (not always practical for mobile DJs). The ACME Astro LED was the first of this type which came in both a traditional white and also an RGB version which could be fully DMX controlled.
DJs and venue owners can now choose from a number of simulated mirrorball/discoball effects including the BRILLIANT Fortune Ball, Beamz Magic Jelly Ball, ADJ Jelly Dome and Chauvet Cosmos all of which add a new and modern slant of the most recognisable disco effect in the world.
If you want to add a bit of glitz to your next event then why not check our the mirror ball section on our website or give us a call on 01206 845125