Have you ever been to a smoke machine show? Smoke machines create smoke and haze that can be used for many different purposes. It is usually done by DJs who use the smoke and haze in their performances. There are actually three different types of smoke machines: smoke, fog and low fog machines. The difference between them all is how dense the smoke or fog appears when they are being used. In this post we will discuss what these differences mean so you can make an informed decision about which one you need for your performance needs!
What is a smoke machine?
Smoke machines are lights on the ground that create clouds of smoke on stage. They may be attached to a sound machine, which can control the timing of streams of smoke with music. A common use for these is in dance clubs, where they produce black or white artificial smoke during some types of Dj sets or dj mixes. This effect is also achieved by mixing dry ice pellets (in an enclosed space) with vegetable glycerine-based hand/body soap solutions (see wet ice).
What is a haze machine?
Haze machines are devices that produce smoke or fog, usually made out of glycol and water – which comes out as a light, low density cloud. Soft haze is often used as backlighting in dance clubs to create a more atmospheric effect, whereas hard haze is traditionally used on stage with the intention of creating an overcast look for outdoor concert performances. The opacity can also be adjusted on most units to suit different conditions. Haze machines are popular because they give off subtle mist, which does not get in performers’ eyes unlike traditional foggers which have heavy liquid droplets that get deep into eyes and clothing.
What is a low fog machine?
Low-fog machines discharge the smallest droplets of fog possible, which is done by using high-pressure pumps to bleed off energy that would otherwise result in large droplets of water vapors – producing smaller particles that dissipate quickly into the atmosphere. This makes them ideal for spaces with low ceilings or hard surfaces since it minimizes the amount of liquid left on said surfaces. The height of these machines can often be adjusted so they can produce small wisps or large volumes – the latter more suited to outdoor venues.
Advantages of Each Type of Machine
Low Fog Machine: Standard fog machine, smokes ambient air and disperses it evenly in a space. Useful for portable events.
Haze Machine: Haze machines use water-based fog fluid to create a persistent cloud of vapor close to the ground or the stage. They are designed to be used in large spaces indoors or outdoors and require at least 30 minutes before performance begins.
Smoke Machine: Smoke machines produce an assortment of thick smoke effects that can be used for atmospheric enhancement or increased theatrical value and increased drama and tension (hmmm) when performing live theater, concerts, productions and special events like pyrotechnics displays.
Disadvantages of Each Type of Machine
Smoke Machine: It generates a larger amount of smoke compared to the other machines.
Low Fog Machine: This machine has an issue with not having enough fog when its fog dials are set above 4.
Haze Machine: It is more expensive, and it does not have a running time that can last as long as a Smoke or Low Fog Machines.
How to Use Them Correctly and Safely
A Smoke Machine is used for longer duration events. A Haze Machine makes very dramatic changes to visibility and will quickly – within about an hour – exhaust the nitrogen inside the machine, requiring that it be serviced or replaced. A Low Fog Machine consumes less nitrogen but emits a higher volume of fog to achieve the desired effect. Lastly, use any device containing flames with care when working near other people who are not wearing flame-retardant clothing.