Most modern moving lights (also known as intelligent lights or fixtures) are controlled via DMX. They require Hard Power, NEVER supply a moving light with Dimmed Power, even by setting a 'Switch' Curve on a dimmer.
Control parameters are generally grouped into the following attributes:
For the Lighting Desk to properly control the moving light, it needs to have the correct personality information for that light loaded. This can often be downloaded from the console manufacturers website, or can be easily created using offline tools provided by the console manufacturer. Some consoles have functions to allow the operator to create and edit this data on the console itself.
Most moving light consoles incorporate Movement Effects Engines or Shape Generators to assist the operator in quickly creating common effects such as circles, squares, triangles etc.
Moving lights (with the exception of high specification units and Media Servers) typically use up to 30 DMX channels for control. Often the moving light will have several operating modes where this channel count varies, and it is important to ensure that the mode which the moving light is set to, matches that of the personality information loaded in the console. The same goes for the DMX address, it must be set the same on the moving light and on the console.
A single DMX universe (512 channels) is therefore limited in the number of moving lights that it can control. If more are required, additional DMX universes will need to be run out from the console to the moving lights. Ensure that additional DMX sockets on the back of consoles do supply additional universes, and are not simply duplicate outputs of the same universe.