Tag Archives: Fog

Atmospheric Effects 101: Fog versus Haze

Fog      Concert Haze resized

If you’re looking to create atmosphere, both fog and haze do a wonderful job. Though they may SEEM similar, each of these effects creates something slightly different. Below, we’ll explain what each effect actually is, as well as the best way to use it.

Fog, Fog Machines and Foggers

Fog is a thicker density smoke frequently used in movies, concerts, live theatre and amusement parks. It’s perfect for hiding or accenting an object. Additionally, fog is often used to set up a scene. It’s perfect for producing particular moods such as dramatic, mysterious and spooky.

The smoke from a traditional fogger will rise, due to the vapor’s warmth. A “low lying” fog is an alternative solution. It’s quite similar to traditional fog except its smoke remains close to the ground.

While there are cheap fog machines you can buy at local convenience stores, these do not perform nearly as well as the professional ones. Imagine buying a bubble gum ring as opposed to a wedding ring. The distinction is that big.

Recommended Usage: It’s best to use fog only a few times throughout your event. Overuse can easily turn this interesting effect into a boring one. We recommend one to two times for most occasions. Keep in mind that fog generally dissipates within several minutes. If you’re looking for a longer lasting atmospheric effect, haze is your best bet.

Haze, Haze Machines and Hazers

The primary purpose of haze is either to enhance or diffuse beams of light. It’s generally a more subtle effect than fog.

A haze machine places particles in the air, similar to dust. In fact, you can think of it as “liquid dust”. You’ll often find haze at concerts where it’s used to create the common “light fingers” effect. Haze has become synonymous with live events. Without haze, the lights just wouldn’t look right.

Recommended Usage: Haze can be used throughout your entire event. When positioned properly (and if the right-sized hazer is being used), haze can linger anywhere from an hour to several hours.

Oil-based VS. Water-based Hazers

Hazers are either oil-based or water-based, which refers to the type of fluid required to operate properly.

In the past, most professionals have preferred water over oil because oil could more easily set off a fire alarm. This no longer matters. Fire alarms are so touchy these days that either type of fogger has the potential to set one off. There’s only one real difference between oil and water hazers; it’s easier to clean water off anything it falls onto.

No matter which hazer you end up with, using the right fluid is imperative. Always read the instructions before filling (or refilling) the liquid in your device! Certain machines could be ruined by trying to substitute water for oil. Additionally, some manufacturers reserve the right to void the product warranty if you choose to make and use your own fluid. Most people (including professionals) buy their solutions because they don’t want to risk ruining such an expensive piece of equipment.

All in all, both foggers and hazers are comparably priced and provide similar effects. When working with a professional, it’s best to be clear on what effect you want to achieve so they can decide what machine and fluid to make it happen.

Interested in incorporating atmospheric effects at your next event? Contact Bay Stage Live today.