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What’s the difference between smoke and haze?

One of the things that confuses lots of people is whether they need a smoke machine or a haze machine for their show. People will often ask smoke, and when you understand what they are trying to do, you realise they actually need haze.

Smoke and haze are both used in stage lighting to create atmosphere and enhance the visual impact of the performance. While they may seem similar, and the terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are significant differences between the two effects.

Smoke is a thick, visible cloud of particles that can obscure the performers and set. Smoke is often used to create dramatic effects, such as simulating a fire or explosion.

Low Smoke is a heavier type of smoke that stays low on the floor. This is used to create drama and a mystical or eerie atmosphere. Low smoke is often used as an alternative to dry ice.

On the other hand, haze is a fine mist. The haze particles are smaller and less visible than smoke particles, creating a more subtle effect. Haze can help to create a sense of depth and dimensionality in the lighting, by allowing light beams to be more visible, without stopping the audience from seeing what is happening on the stage.

In practical terms, all 3 require different machines using different fluids to create the effect – a smoke machine with smoke fluid, a low smoke machine with low smoke fluid, or a haze machine with haze fluid.

While smoke and haze are both used in stage lighting, they serve different purposes and create different effects. Smoke is more dramatic and visible, while haze is more subtle and helps to enhance the lighting effects. The choice between smoke and haze will depend on the specific needs of the performance and the desired visual effect.

Low smoke
Lighting beams seen through haze


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