DMX512 Starting Address

This may also be termed the DMX Start Channel.

In the commercial lighting industry and the entertainment lighting industry a piece of equipment that receives DMX Data and responds to it is known as a DMX "Fixture".

Types of Fixtures

There are many types of DMX fixtures, but just to name a few:
  • Dimmers: Used to control and dim traditional lighting like PAR Cans. Christmas Lighting Controllers would nearly 100% fall into the Dimmer type. Dimmers could have from 1 channel to hundreds of channels, dimmer racks are often 16 channels and large count Christmas Light Controllers have many different sizes.
  • Scanners: These are actually intelligent fixtures. Scanners do not move like moving head lights, but instead have a moving mirror. Sometimes called moving mirror lights They usually have the ability to:
    • 1. mirror pan;
    • 2. mirror tilt;
    • 3. colour wheel;
    • 4. gobo;
    • 5. strobe;
    • 6. pan/tilt speed (sometimes!);
    • 7. frost/effect;
    • 8. dimming;
    • 9. focus;
    • 10. iris.
  • Moving light/ Moving head/ Moving yoke: Most common of fixtures, yet also most expensive as up to $25,000. They usually have the ability to:
    • 1. pan;
    • 2. tilt;
    • 3. pan fine;
    • 4. tilt fine;
    • 5. gobo;
    • 6. gobo rotation;
    • 7. frost;
    • 8. dimming;
    • 9. focus;
    • 10. iris;
    • 11. strobing;
    • 12. prism;
    • 13. prism rotation;
    • 14. effect one;
    • 15. effect two;
    • 16. framing.
So using the term fixture, it can be seen that any fixture will consume a certain number of channels.

A 16ch fixture would use 16 out of the possible 512 channels and may start at channel 1 or any other channel chosen.


TigerDMX120 - 120 DMX Channels
Lynx Freestyle - 128 DMX Channels
LT6803 Pixel Controller - 384 DMX Channels
TigerDMX48 - 48 DMX Channels
RGB Floodlight - 3 DMX Channels

Some fixtures may use variable numbers of channels depending on their configuration. A TP3244 Protocol Bridge Pixel Controller will use from 3 to 510 channels

Fixtures do not need to be in order on the cable, but it is worthwhile keeping a sheet or spreadsheet on your Start Address Assignments.

Lets show a mythical setup.

Start AddressChannelsLast ChannelFixture Name
9716112Lynx DC16
11316128Lynx DC16
129128256Lynx Freestyle

So how do you set a starting address, well this varies from fixture to fixture so I will only deal with the Lynx Equipment.
See DMX address setting
Categories: DMX Information pages

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