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PC based lighting control

This is a short pointer to some of the available PC based lighting console systems. Most of the software products have a trial available, so I recommend you download several, and spend some time trying to do the sorts of things that you want to do with them. A word of warning: you will find that lighting control packages do different things in different ways, so there will be a learning curve involved, and the more capable the package the bigger the learning curve will be. But do persever, it will be worth it!

Any additions or corrections to this page would be welcomed using the form at the bottom of the page.


This is a very low cost lighting controller with multimedia and show control capabilities. Software is free, can support up to three USB interfaces (available only from PCStage) giving a maximum of 1536 channels.

Your website author uses and recommends this package.


Designed for use in theatre, architectural and entertainment venues. Different versions are available to suit applications from lighting and audio in a very small theatre, to a 2048 channel system. Also supports video, sound effects and music, and some MIDI functionality.

Artistic License

Artistic License (UK) produce the DMX Dongle, which plugs into the parallel port of a PC. The dongle is shipped with a Windows .DLL (including source), and a few applications for testing, and a control room mimic application. It also has output triggers for a scope. The raw product is clearly aimed at system integrators and developers.

A full lighting console application is available as an extra cost option, entitled Grand Master.

Artistic Licence also make all sorts of DMX512 to anything interfacers, a range of LED lighting, and the very well respected micro-scope II tester.

Dove Systems

Dove Systems make a PC (ISA bus) interface card called the Starcard, which has a kitchen sink full of interfaces including 10V, AMX192 and DMX512 inputs, and a DMX512 output.

The Starcard comes with a free lighting console program.

ROSCO/Entertainment Technology

These folks have a system known as Horizon. This is packaged unusually, in that the software is freely available (on CD or download from their web site), but to actually control anything you have to purchase a hardware interface. The interface plugs into a PC parallel port.

The horizon interfaces and CD should be available through Rosco distribution worldwide.


Manufacturers statement:

LightFactory provides the ability to create exciting and dynamic shows with unprecedented level of control over your lighting environment. Regardless of your requirements LightFactory's advanced features make it at home in any lighting situation. From stage shows to museum displays, LightFactory does it all.

The latest version of LightFactory is available for immediate and free download from here. LightFactory is free to download and use however a registration code is required to communicate with DMX hardware. First time installations will also run the full version, including DMX output for 12 hours of continuous runtime.

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