Psychedelic Lighting Effects

Written by stephanie daniels
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The use of hallucinogenic drugs in the 1960s and 70s gave birth to the idea of light shows. These shows used psychedelic effects to produce swirls of colour and light that were intended to make a drug trip more thrilling. Light shows are still conducted today and are enjoyed even by those not under the influence.

Strobe Lights

The psychedelic effect produced by a strobe light resembles lightning during a thunderstorm. The strobe flashes on and off for less than a second, and when used in a dark room, it makes objects briefly visible before disappearing again into darkness. Strobe lights are used at dance clubs and accompanied by fast-paced music.

Disco Ball

The disco ball is used at dance clubs and in 1960s and 70s theme parties and room decorations. Its mirrored surface reflects white and coloured lights aimed at it. As the disco ball turns, the glinting reflections crawl along the walls and floors of the room, making you feel like you're moving when you're standing still.

Liquid Lights

Liquid light shows use overhead projectors and clear containers of coloured liquids and oils to produce psychedelic effects. The liquids and oils are of different densities to ensure that colours don't mix together. Hosts of a liquid light show encourage the liquids and oils in the container to move by manipulating them with their hands without blocking the show.

Laser Lights

Laser light shows are created by laser beams in various colours. Lasers can create ribbons of light, as they play a trick on the eyes and seem to appear in one spot for longer than they actually are there.

Black Light

Black lights are bulbs that produce ultraviolet light. They make pale, neon-coloured and glow-in-the-dark objects shine brightly. This effect is used often at dance clubs, and bedroom posters are made specifically for use with black lights.

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