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How to Install Lights That Respond to Music

By Edited Jun 29, 2015 0 0

You can set up lights synchronized to music so that the lights flash to music beats as the music plays. Commonly flash capable lights such as strings of holiday lights are used with special software and hardware to make the lights pulse and flash to whatever audio is piped through the sound sensitive system. The best way to get lights flashing to the beats of your favorite music is to buy hardware and software specially designed for this task. This is a great creative idea for holiday decorations or house parties.


You will need to get a hardware controller from companies such as Light-O-Rama that specialize in theatrical lighting hardware. Figure out how many channels or strands of lights you’ll be connecting and purchase a hardware controller with at least that number of outlets for lights. Make sure the controller has  an audio in port as well. You’ll also need a laptop or desktop computer to hook the light controller up to.

Flashing Colorful Lights That Respond to Music

Install the light control software onto the computer. If no software came with the hardware controller you can find a variety of free and demo versions of light control software online. Depending on how professional you want to go, this hardware and software can cost anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.


Map out the lighting and how you’ll display the lighting. Make sure the power ends of the lights meet at an electrical outlet where the hardware controller should be located. Connect the controller to the power supply and connect the lights to the hardware controller. 


Connect the audio in line to your computer’s audio out line and launch the controller software. In some cases a wireless radio adapter is included meaning the computer does not need to be right next to the flashing light controller. Choose the music files from your computer and put them into a new playlist in the software. Run the software and see how the lights respond to the music.


 If the controller has hardwired knobs and dials for adjusting the flash and pulse rate, adjust them to get the right effect. If the controls are in the software, tweak as needed until you get a good pattern of lighting going to the music.


Make sure that any electrical wires, lights, and cables used if used outdoors are designed for all weather use.



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  1. "Light O Rama." Light O Rama. 16/January/2012 <Web >

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