Spotlight on Performance: Evaluating the Condition of Used Moving Lights

Of course, great lighting can transform an ordinary stage into a captivating spectacle. Moving lights can bring even more dynamism and excitement to any event. While the allure of new equipment is enticing, used moving lights can save you money without compromising on quality. Let’s evaluate used moving lights, ensuring that your performance shines bright and your investment is worthwhile.

The Brilliance of Moving Lights

Moving lights, or intelligent lighting fixtures, can be controlled remotely to create dynamic effects. They will offer pan, tilt, color changing, and patterns/gobos, or beams, adding depth and movement to the stage.

Beginning in the ‘80’s and ‘90’s, moving lights revolutionized stage lighting and continue their growth today. Most shows carry little or no conventional or stationary lighting. The appeal includes versatility from their ability to change focus and color rapidly, along with their dynamic movement. This allows lighting designers or directors to craft intricate and visually stunning effects that elevate performances to new heights.

Evaluating the Condition of Used Moving Lights

Understanding the condition of the moving lights – Whether prior to purchasing (in person), or immediately upon receipt (if purchased online) you will want to check the following:

  • Either in person, or by looking closely at photos provided by a marketplace such as GearSource, you want to check the exterior appearance. Look for any visible signs of wear, scratches, dents, or cracks on the exterior housing. While cosmetic imperfections might not impact functionality, extensive damage could be a concern.
  • Moving Parts: If you are able to, test the pan and tilt movements of the fixtures to ensure they operate smoothly without any jerking or hesitation. Pay attention to any unusual sounds during movement. If you’re shopping online, you can ask whether there are any issues with movement, motor issues, etc. You should also ensure that the seller offers at least a warranty to confirm the condition on receipt. 
  • Power and Connectivity: If you’re onsite, inspect the power connectors and cables for any damage. Ensure that the fixtures power up without issues and that all control options (DMX, wireless, etc.) work as expected. Again, you can ask the marketplace to confirm these answers as well. 
  • Lens and Optics: Inspect the lens for scratches, cracks, or discoloration, as these issues can significantly impact the clarity of the projected light. Additionally, examine the optics for any signs of dust, dirt, or misalignment that could affect light dispersion.
  • Cooling System: Assess the cooling system, including fans and heat sinks, to ensure they function effectively. Overheating can lead to reduced lifespan and performance degradation.

After the initial physical inspection, move on to functional testing:

  • Light Output Assessment: Ignite the fixtures, observing light brilliance. Check color and brightness alignment with expectations. Look for flickering or inconsistencies, indicating potential issues.
  • Movement Precision Evaluation: Initiate movements to assess pan and tilt precision. Seamless, accurate transitions are crucial for captivating visuals. Consistency in replicating movements enhances immersion.
  • Effect and Gobo Performance: Explore built-in effects and gobos for depth. Check smooth transitions and sharp projections for intended impact.
  • Color Mixing and/or Color Changes: Experiment with color changes and blends. Confirm seamless transitions and accurate color representation.

Moving lights are normally controlled via DMX protocols. Test the fixtures with your preferred control setup to ensure seamless communication and responsiveness plus pass through to additional fixtures.

  • Compatibility Checks: Ensure the used moving lights are compatible with your existing control system. Different fixtures may necessitate specific DMX channel assignments or profiles for effortless integration.
  • Control Setup: Configure your preferred control system—be it a console or software—and connect the used moving lights. Confirm the solidity of connections and ascertain that the fixtures interface seamlessly with the control source.
  • Intuitive Command: Engage the moving lights through your control setup. Navigate through pan, tilt, color, gobos, and effects. Evaluate the intuitiveness of the control interface and the ease with which adjustments can be made.
  • Communication Responsiveness: As you manipulate settings, monitor the swiftness with which the moving lights respond to your commands. Prompt and accurate reactions indicate well-maintained fixtures and an efficient control setup.
  • Consistency and Precision: Experiment with diverse pre-set scenes and movements to gauge the moving lights’ ability to mirror your inputs faithfully. The consistency and precision of these movements are pivotal for a seamless execution of your artistic vision.

Why Choose Used Moving Lights?

Investing in used moving lights offers distinct advantages:

Cost-Effective Solution

Used moving lights come at a fraction of the cost of new. This cost savings allows you to purchase a larger quantity, or allocate your budget to other essential aspects of your production. Plus, your return on investment will be better based on the lower initial investment. 

Established Performance

Well-maintained used moving lights can provide the same performance and effects as new fixtures. Modern lighting technology is durable, ensuring longevity even with pre-owned equipment. This is especially true with cooler and more reliable LED products. 

Access to Premium Brands

Choosing used moving lights, you can afford premium brands and models that are cost-prohibitive when buying new. Instead of new B brands, you can purchase used A brands.

The GearSource Guarantee!

When considering used moving lights, it’s essential to source from a reputable provider like GearSource. Their commitment to quality ensures that all equipment is up to the standards you expect, or your money back.


Evaluating the condition of used moving lights is critical in securing reliable and high-quality equipment for your performance. For a curated selection of top-notch used moving lights and other event equipment, visit our website today. GearSource is your partner in delivering exceptional lighting experiences that captivate audiences and leave a lasting impact.

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