Inexpensive DMX Control

While searching on the internet for something totally unrelated I found what appears to be a great way to do DMX lighting control inexpensively. The DMX4Linux site has a driver for DMX control in Linux and a page with a list of interfaces supported by the driver. One in particular caught my eye. The EntTec Open USB DMX Interface can be had for a mere $45 if you forgo the case, $60 with a case. Now that you have an interface you’ll want some graphical way of controlling it. I found the FreeStyler DMX software for Windows, but the one I’m really excited about is the Q Light Controller for Linux. I haven’t had a chance to play with this setup yet but it looks very interesting. Open source on open source running on open source hardware. It doesn’t get much better than that!


  1. Hi, I also recently found a new company offering a DMX controller / lighting controller. It seems quite powerful. You can download the software for free.

    DMX Controller

  2. The problem with that one is that A) It’s Windows only, I was focusing on Linux software and B) it certainly does not fit the category of inexpensive at about $2000.

  3. Ben – I’ve downloaded the Q Light Control software and I am in the process of building it. I’m running into several issues with the build however. How did your build go?

  4. Frankly, I’ve had way too many projects on my plate and no pressing need to start working on this right now so it’s still just a future project. I just ran across the links one day while doing some research and posted them here so I would remember about it down the road and other people may find them useful in the meantime. Good luck on your build!

  5. I think you are mistaken, the product starts at less than $300. I don’t think they are trying to compete with the ultra cheap stuff. But it stacks up very well against the more expensive computer based controllers, like LightJockey and Hog PC.

    I sent them an email asking about Linux support and someone named Curtis responded that they had no plans at this time. In the small world department, one of the email addresses Curtis cc’ed is in the contributor list of the GNU tools I’m using for an oddball MIPs variant I’m trying to write video processing software for.

  6. I don’t know if that was a typo or I missed the less expensive $299 product. Honestly, I’m less concerned about the price than I am about it not being an open design and not having Linux support. I really like the idea of both open hardware and software.

  7. The reason for the confusion about the price point of the BlueLite X1 is, that it used to be $1,995 for the 4 Universe box and there was no 1-Universe box. Now to the LDI (trade show) in November we dropped the price of the BlueLite X1 to $999 and introduced the “BlueLite X1 Mini” with a introduction price of $299. So it’s new, and the price might go up next year.

    The problem with open hardware and software is, that who is going to pay for development? I wrote most of the user interface for the BlueLite X1 and it took us over a year to complete while living of our savings. We currently struggle to sell enought to pay our rent. So the idea of giving it away for free, doesn’t seem to make sense to me. But at this point we might as well do it…

    Hope you guys don’t mind me stopping by.

    Innovate Show Controls

  8. I’m getting ready to test this out myself (all open software). I’ll let you know how it goes. Thanks for the great links.

  9. I have been using the Bluelite x-1 with Capture for over a year now from live rock to TV shows and I have found it to be the most efficient and fixture-friendly lighting program I have ever worked with. I have never had any drama when addressing an unfamiliar or new fixture. We’ve all spent way to many gigs sweating over whether our boards will recognize some wierd or pin-swaped fixture. I love it.

  10. Another free DMX software alternative is miniStageConsole – free software that runs on Win, Mac & Linux.
    Also on the same site is StageConsole – open-source DMX software for Windows.