The 10 Best Disco Ball Lamps
This wiki has been updated 17 times since it was first published in October of 2016. Whether you are feeling nostalgic for the 1970s or just want to add some dazzling effects to your next dance party, these disco ball lamps will have you feeling groovy in no time. Our selections all provide the classic mirror-ball experience to a greater or lesser degree, and many feature modern capabilities, like remote controls, built-in speakers, and Bluetooth connectivity. When users buy our independently chosen editorial recommendations, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best disco ball lamp on Amazon.
November 28, 2019:
This round of updates, we removed the LumiSource Rotating, Onite Wireless and Yescom Mirror, all due to availability issues. In their place, we added the Trisonic Party Time – a freestanding lamp option, the Grullin Pajama Party Strobe – a two-pack of USB-powered offerings, and the Spooboola Goolight – which has not only an extremely fun name to say, but also built-in lasers that can do a lot to help shape the atmosphere in the room.
A few things to consider while shopping in this category:
Power Source: While the Grullin Pajama Party Strobe needs to be powered by a USB port (it also comes with adapters to plug into your cell phone), the Trisonic Party Time plugs into a standard wall outlet and the Funfest Multicolor screws into a common light-bulb socket. Make sure that you have access to whatever provisions are necessary to power a given model before purchasing.
Light Strength: Larger options like the Spooboola Goolight and the DragonX Mushroom might be suitable for lighting up larger venues, but smaller models like the OTTFF LED and the Ion Party Starter can only be expected to do justice to smaller spaces. Make sure that your selection meets your needs, or consider investing in multiple fixtures. (If you are going to go the route of multiple fixtures, DMX-controllable choices like the 1byOne Crystal are the way to go.)
Control: To be truly effective, a good light show should recognize its roll as a subordinate party attraction, and follow the lead laid out by the music in the room. Options like the DragonX Mushroom are equipped with music-matching modes and are well up to this task. Unfortunately, alternatives like the Funfest Multicolor aren’t designed with any adjustable settings – which makes them still fun, but less effective.
Lights, Sound, And Dancing
Hippies everywhere fawned over massive light displays and the innovative glass-and-oil projections of the psychedelic rock scene.
There's nothing quite like a good light show. Whether it's tens of thousands of watts of lasers bathing a sea of fans, or an understated, automated DJ light adding the perfect ambiance, the right lighting can turn a simple environment into an emotional experience. Humans have known this for a long time, and we've been manipulating light for our own purposes for thousands of years, since at least early Grecian theater, when actors utilized amphitheater layout, mirrors, and the time of day to fit the lighting to a particular scene.
From the 16th century onward, independent light sources became the on-stage standard, starting with the humble candle. As technology progressed, entertainment was on its leading edge; in 1881, London's Savoy Theater installed one of the first complete, electrically powered lighting systems in history. Its 824, 16-candle-power lamps created a spectacle that was practically unimaginable at the time, and the stage was set for electric lighting to take over entertainment.
Inn th emiddle of the 20th century, electrified music began to take the world by storm. Hippies everywhere fawned over massive light displays and the innovative glass-and-oil projections of the psychedelic rock scene. As a counterpoint to the heavy, guitar-driven sounds of popular rock music, many sought the refuge of packed, urban night clubs and pulsating, 4-on-the-floor rhythms that seemed to last forever. Disco was a vibrant, multi-cultural blend with roots in not just different musical communities, but also in the very struggle of the era's everyday urban citizens. Crime, unemployment, and inflation were constantly looming on the horizon. For many disco fans, the immersive, jumping beats were a way to escape their hardships for just a few hours at a time, leaning on the music to help them be who they wanted to be.
And, of course, it cannot be discounted that with the rise of the uniquely American genre of disco came what may be humanity's greatest party accessory of all time: the disco ball.
The Unmistakable Glitter Ball
Rightfully so, most people associate the many-faceted orb with the 1970s, because that's when it cemented its place in USA cultural lore. What few realize is that it was not by any means a new dance-hall accoutrement. There's evidence that as far back as 1897, a group of scientists created a mirrored item very much like a disco ball, specifically to shoot an ultra-bright electrical arc at it and bask in its glow. They appeared in various drinking, dining, and dancing establishments over the next 30 years until Louis Woeste patented the myriad reflector, although its name may have had too many syllables to catch on right away. The mirrored ball was often found in skating rinks and jazz clubs, while manufacturer Stephens and Woeste actually advertised one in Billboard magazine, long before it was an archetypal music publication.
In truth, this shiny sphere had a rather modest (if slightly dizzying) reputation among the general public — that is, until the beginning of the 1970s. Louisville, KY-based Omega National Products acquired the design, and began to produce the rock-solid, self-propelled behemoths that shone through the 1970s and beyond. The newly appreciated disco ball shot forth hundreds of tiny rays of glitz and glamour that perfectly suited the upbeat, driving tempos and exceptionally gaudy styles of the time. Omega would go on to supply 90 percent of the world's disco balls in the later 20th century, and they still supply high-end mirrors, as well as the rare reflective globe, to high-end venues and productions.
Instant Dance Party — Just Add Water
As of the 21st century, the disco ball is still a fixture in many clubs across the country. Advancements in electronics and manufacturing released a huge host of new designs to the market, so those looking to start a dance party have more choices than ever. There are plenty of models that simulate the silvery sheen of a classic myriad reflector, but at a fraction of the cost, installation difficulty, and power draw. With that said, there's also a long list of spherical accessories that boast multicolored, ultra-bright lamps. Some models go so far as to listen to your music and adjust themselves accordingly, adding the right patterns and pulses to complement your tunes.
A few feature swiveling brackets and audio pass-through to add a customized, professional feel, although they may sacrifice the traditional rotating movement.
Most of these lamps are also quite easy to use; some are direct replacements for a standard light bulb, and install with just a few twists directly into the fixture. A few feature swiveling brackets and audio pass-through to add a customized, professional feel, although they may sacrifice the traditional rotating movement. Additionally, a handful are integrated with their own speakers, featuring various physical inputs as well as Bluetooth connectivity. Should you want complete control of the color schemes, a large number of models come with a remote, although some units offer more in-depth control than others.
Whether you're in charge of keeping a wedding reception rocking, or just dancing around the room in your pajamas, there are a few tips to keep in mind. First and foremost, check that all wiring is safely out of the way; it is, after all, a tripping hazard. Make sure that every part of the sound and lighting system is grounded and properly functioning, and be conscious of the overall power load, especially if you're daisy-chaining multiple units. Finally, as anyone who's spent much time in a discotheque will agree, it's wise to stretch before a long night of tropical house music, and it's especially important to stay hydrated. Because when it comes to dancing, if you're breaking a sweat, you're doing it right.
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