Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Did someone say party? If you are already excited just to hear about parties, shows and festivals, you know how much a fog machine makes a difference in these events, right? Besides leaving the environment more lively, the fog enhances the lighting colours.

In the market, there are several options of equipment that serve both for leisure and for professional use. With a simpler model, for example, you can already make a beautiful visual effect at a party at home with your friends. We at ReviewBox Brazil have prepared a complete buying guide. In it, you get to know which are the best options for professional use or to have a party at home.




First things first

  • A smoke machine is essential in events - especially musical events - to highlight the lighting colours and liven up the atmosphere.
  • Models vary according to your needs. If you are an event professional, you need a robust and therefore more expensive piece of equipment. On the other hand, a modest device is more than enough to invite your friends and have a small party at home.
  • In the process of creating the fog, the device heats up a lot, which can cause burns in people or even cause a fire in the presence of flammable objects. So that these risks do not put an end to your fun, we list a series of precautions you should take when using a smoke machine.

The Best Fog Machines: Our Picks

Buying guide

Want to throw an unforgettable party full of visual effects? Then be sure to check out our Buying Guide to find out the advantages and disadvantages of smoke machines and the care you need to take when handling them. Let's go!

Mulher curtindo festa com fone de ouvido e fumaça nos fundos.

A smoke machine adds a special touch to your party. (Source: choreograph / 123RF)

What are the advantages and disadvantages of a smoke machine?

Anyone who works with events knows the importance of a smoke machine. In short, it brings out the colours of the lighting, which provides a beautiful visual effect at electronic festivals, concerts, weddings and so on. Including, this type of equipment is also used in the recording of TV programs. This is because it enhances the lighting without blurring the environment. So that the smoke machine does not lose the sense, it is necessary to activate the fog jet only at strategic moments.

In a club, for example, the ideal is that the smoke is fired when the dance floor is crowded. Throwing a green or red laser makes the effect even more beautiful. You bet: the party will be more lively! Although it is necessary to know how to combine the jet of fog with the right lighting, there is no secret to using a smoke machine. Basically, the step-by-step is as follows:

  • Fill the container with the appropriate liquid;
  • Switch on the equipment;
  • Wait for the initial heating time;
  • Press the button on the control to activate the smoke jet.

Simple, right? Among other advantages, we can also highlight its price. The most modest models that you can use in your parties among friends at home cost less than R$ 200. It's true that professional equipment costs a lot more. However, you can include this cost when charging for your services. In the end, it's an investment that pays off in the long run. Here, we cannot help but remember the problems that a smoke machine has.

In the process of creating mist, the device gets very hot and can cause burns to people or, worse, cause a fire when it comes into contact with flammable objects. In this situation, it is recommended to keep the equipment out of the reach of children. In general, they are more susceptible to making this type of mistake. Another disadvantage is that from time to time you need to buy fog fluid to fill up your smoke machine. In other words, you have a constant fixed expense.

Advantages
  • Enhances the colours and improves the quality of lighting of an event
  • Easy handling
  • Affordable investment for leisure and professional use
Disadvantages
  • Risk of causing burns and fire
  • Need to keep the device out of the reach of children
  • Fixed expense with the purchase of fog fluid to supply the equipment

How much does it cost?

The cost of a fog machine varies according to your needs. If you are an event professional and work in large parties, it is recommended to use a high power equipment. Generally, these equipments are more expensive. They cost between R$ 900 and R$ 4.800. However, since they are for professional use, we can consider it an affordable investment that pays off in the long run.

Now, if your intention is to have a smoke machine just to make a small private party, the cost is much more accessible. For less than $ 200, you can buy a good equipment. Even with wireless remote control and RGB LED lights. Here, it is worth remembering that as you use the smoke machine, you will need to buy the professional smoke charge liquid. As a rule, the litre of a quality liquid has a reasonable cost, less than $ 50.  

What precautions should I take when using a smoke machine?

We know that the smoke machine, besides improving the quality of the lighting, provides more animation in the parties. But not everything is flowers... The excess of smoke can impair breathing and vision of people and - in more extreme cases - even start a small fire. So that the fun is not hindered by these risks, it is necessary to take the following care:

  • Moderate Use
  • Reduced visibility
  • Fire warning
  • Out of reach of children
  • Machine suspended
  • Compatible and quality fluid
  • DO NOT disconnect with fluid inside
  • Avoid homemade

Moderate use

Although the mist that comes out of the device is not toxic, the excessive use of the smoke machine in a small environment may bother some people, especially those with allergies. This is not to mention throat irritations. In this sense, it is recommended to follow the instructions in the manual that comes with the appliance and operate the jet of smoke in a moderate way.

Reduced visibility

The ideal is to operate the machine in enclosed and spacious rooms so that the smoke spreads and does not hinder people's visibility. If you use the device excessively in a small room, the smoke will be concentrated. The tendency is that people will have a smaller view of the space, running the risk of bumping into and tripping over dangerous objects in the way. Therefore, if you are having a party in a small room, remove furniture and objects that hinder the movement of people.

Muita fumaça em fundo preto.

Be careful: smoke machines reduce visibility. (Source: nikkytok / 123RF)

Fire Alert

Do not direct the smoke towards people. As the device gets very hot in the process of creating the mist, people could accidentally get burned. Remember that the smoke outlet remains hot for a long time after use. The situation can be even worse if there are flammable objects around. The heat from the machine can cause these objects to catch fire. Finally, when it is necessary to replace the fuse, replace it with one of the same size and rating. This considerably reduces the risk of a short circuit.

Out of reach of children

It is true that the risks with a smoke machine are quite small, but it is better not to play with danger, right? So try to keep your appliance out of reach of children. In general, the little ones are not so discerning about the consequences of their actions and, therefore, they can use the equipment improperly.

Sinal de proibido para crianças em vetor.

Keep children away from smoke machines. (Source: olgamaslov / 123RF)

Suspended machine

Another caution you should take relates to the location of the equipment. If you put the machine on suspension, try to keep it at an incline of up to 45 degrees - up or down. A steeper slope can result in liquid leakage. And, of course, never leave the machine suspended in areas where there will be movement of people. This way, you avoid more serious accidents in the event of a fall.

Compatible and quality fluid

This can happen: even if you buy a state-of-the-art smoke machine, you notice that the fog jet does not produce a good effect. The problem, here, may lie in the choice of fluid. It is possible to say that buying a cheap fluid (the ones you get as a free gift) is throwing money away. Besides not providing a nice effect in the environment, they don't usually have a pleasant smell. Avoid, also, liquids that have glycerin.

They can clog the heating chamber. In this sense, it is worth buying the best-rated fog fluids in the market, which cost around R$ 40 a litre. However, the performance of your smoke machine will improve considerably. Incidentally, some fog machines require compatible fluids to work and get better performance. This is the case with the JEM ZR44 Hi-Mass, one of the models featured in this guide. Normally, the manufacturers indicate which are the best fluids to fill the equipment in the user manual. So be sure to read the guidelines before using any fluid.

DO NOT disconnect the equipment with liquid inside

Now, a fundamental detail is to completely empty the liquid from inside the reservoir before turning off the device. By the way, it is fundamental to clean your equipment regularly. The accumulation of dirt impairs the performance of the appliance and, worse, decreases its useful life.

Avoid homemade products

Surfing the internet, you can find a number of videos and tutorials teaching how to create a homemade smoke machine. However, it is not recommended to do this. This is because this process requires a lot of technical knowledge, such as the electrical and chemical part (to make the liquid solution). Not to mention the risk of causing fires. The ideal, therefore, is to buy a manufactured machine. In general, the equipment sold has already been tested and approved by experts in the field.

Buying criteria: Factors to compare smoke machine models

In order not to make a mistake when buying a smoke machine, you need to be very clear what your needs are. While a robust device is suitable for large events, a more modest one is enough to bring friends together for a small party at home. Once you are clear about what your goals are with a smoke machine, you need to pay close attention to the details below:

  • Reservoir capacity
  • Spray distance
  • Remote control
  • Lighting
  • Power

Vessel capacity

Knowing the capacity of the container is very important before making a purchase. Depending on the size of the machine, the capacity of its reservoir increases or decreases. While some models can store more than 9 litres of liquid, others have a limit of only 300 ml. If you are a professional and hold large events, machines with a larger storage capacity are the best option. This way, you don't have to keep refilling the machine during the party.

Distance from the jet

Another detail that deserves attention at the time of purchase is the distance of the jet of fog thrown by the machine, especially if you work in large events. On average, the equipments shoot smoke at a distance of 2 to 5 meters for 40 continuous seconds. It is important to remember that the ventilation of the place can interfere with the distance of the jet.

Remote control

All smoke machines on the market come with at least one wired remote control. The difference here is precisely the length of the cable which can vary between 1.5 meter and 3 meters depending on the model. The most modern models also include a wireless remote control so that you can activate the jet of fog even away from the device. You just need to keep an eye on the battery of the wireless controls so you don't have to be left in the lurch during a party! Finally, there are options that have a repetition timer. You need to configure the device so that it produces fog from time to time. This way, you don't have to keep pressing the button every time.

Imagem de show com fumaças aparentes.

In events, the use of smoke is controlled electronically. (Source: Mauro Rodrigues / 123RF)

Lighting

We know that the main function of a smoke machine is to provide a considerable improvement in the lighting of a party. By activating the fog jet, it is possible, for example, to visualize the effects of lights on a dance floor. The coolest thing is that there are some models that unite both visual effects in one device. When the fog jet is launched, the machine's own RGB LED lights turn on. If you don't have lighting equipment, these models can be a great alternative, no?

Power

The density and range of the smoke are directly linked to the power of your machine. The reasoning is simple: the higher the power, the more cubic meters of smoke will be produced per minute and, consequently, you will have a more visually beautiful effect. For large events, you need a device with more than 1,400W of power. However, a device with 400 to 600W of power already breaks a great barrier for your parties among friends.

(Image source: milos stojanovic / 123RF)

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