- Aug 20, 2017 -
DMX512 (Digital Multiplex) is a standard for digital communication networks that are commonly used to control stage lighting and effects. It was originally intended as a standardized method for controlling light dimmers, which, prior to DMX512, had employed various incompatible proprietary protocols. It soon became the primary method for linking controllers (such as a lighting console) to dimmers and special effects devices such as fog machines and intelligent lights. DMX has also expanded to uses in non-theatrical interior and architectural lighting, at scales ranging from strings of Christmas lights to electronic billboards. DMX can now be used to control almost anything, reflecting its popularity in theaters and venues.
DMX512 employs differential signaling at its physical layer, in conjunction with a variable-size, packet-based communication protocol. It is unidirectional.
DMX512 does not include automatic error checking and correction, and so is not an appropriate control for hazardous applications,such as pyrotechnics or movement of theatrical rigging. False triggering may be caused by electromagnetic interference, static electricity discharges, improper cable termination, excessively long cables, or poor quality cables.
Lighting design is an art form, and thus no one way is the "correct" way. There is a modern movement that states that the lighting design helps to create the environment in which the action takes place while supporting the style of the piece. "Mood" is arguable while the environment is essential.