Power or Rely Packs: It is important to remember that these cannot dim lights. They are designed for on and off capabilities for motorized lighting and for chasing effects. These packs are usually hooked up to a controller for easy use.
Dimmer Packs: Dimmer packs are ideal for incadescent lights because they allow you to control the brightness easily. Think of your basic home dimmer light switch, and apply that same principle to DJ lights and stage lights. You will usually find dimmer packs in bars, clubs and on stage attached to light trussing or light stands and connected to par cans. Some dimmers are fully loaded and include multiple channels, built-in programs as well as chase effects. Other dimmers are basic and allow for ease of set-up and tear-down, making them ideal for mobile DJ's. Many dimmers also have switch capabilities which allow not only the control of the light brightness, but also allow for quick shut down and turn on functions.
Remote Operations: Many controllers have the option to control by remote. Remote's let the user control the lights from his/her DJ booth without having to constantly get up and make changes.
DMX: DMX controllers use a complex system called multiplexing that allows many signals to be sent by one controller. One DMX cable can handle enough signals to control all DMX lights, controllers, dimmer packs, and power packs. In order to use DMX controllers, your lights must be DMX compatible.
Channels: Depending on how many channels your controller has, depends on how many light you can control. Some controllers, however, have the feature of letting you control more than one per channel. It is very important that your lights do not exceed the wattage capacity of the channels.
Built-In Programs: Some controllers have built in programs for things such as pre-set routines or to go with the music.
Sound-Activation: Many controllers have a built in mic that allows lights to be activated by music.
Black Out: This is a switch that allows you to turn off all the lighting with the flick of a switch.
Chase: A term referring to the sequential chasing of lights that are controlled by a controller. It's generally not a good idea to hook motorized lights up to this feature.
Flash: A feature that when you push the button, the lights turn on and when the button is released, the lights turn back off giving a "flash" effect.