So Many Foggers...
Okay, so you've decided that you want to spice up this year's Halloween display with some special effects. You've chosen a fog machine as the one device you simply must have to make your display perfect. Now comes the hard part, which fogger should you buy?
Looking through the Cybershop, you may be confused by the wide selection of machines available. Should you get the cheapest one? Should you go all-out for a professional model? How can you pick the machine that will give you the best effect for your money?
The best place to start is to decide what you want to do with the fog machine. It's incredibly difficult to choose a device without knowing how you plan to use it. Is the fog being used to cover an appearance/disappearance or for surprise value? Are you only fogging a small area, or do you want to fill a large room or yard? Will you have an operator, or do you need the fogger to run by itself? Is a wired remote sufficient, or do you need wireless capability? Make a list of the features you want, and compare that list to the available foggers in your price range.
Speaking of prices, what should you expect to pay for a good fog machine? In general, plan on spending from around $100 for a small "party" fogger to $800 or more for a high-end model. When planning your budget, bear in mind that a good fog machine will last you for several years. A medium-sized $250 fog machine will last more than five years, so your cost is less than $50 per year -- that's less than what it would cost you to rent a small-sized fogger each Halloween during that same period.
With these criteria (features and price) in mind, you can begin to look seriously at what's out there. As you read the product specifications for our machines, some of the technical terms may be confusing. Let's take a look at the specifications for our FG-1000 fogger, since it's this week's special.
Voltage 120V or 230V (specify when ordering)
If you live in the United States, your electric service is 120 volts. Most European countries use 230v electricity. We offer a choice of both because we have clients living abroad and working on touring productions in Europe.
This is the amount of electricity that the heater in the fog machine draws. 1000W of electricity at 120V is about 8.3 amps. The circuit-breakers on your home's electrical outlets generally don't trip until you pull between 15 and 20 amps of current through a single circuit. The bottom line here is that the FG-1000 will probably be fine wherever you plug it in, but you may want to keep it off of circuits carrying other high-wattage devices (e.g., toaster ovens or high-power spotlights).
Initial Warm-Up 6 Minutes
This is the amount of time before the heat exchanger in the fog machine will be hot enough to produce fog. The initial warm-up time is based on heating the machine from room temperature. If you're using it outdoors on a cold night, it will probably take a bit longer before you're ready to fog.
Output 5,000 Cubic Feet/Minute
The output of the machine is how much fog will be produced in one minute of fogging. This figure can be somewhat misleading when comparing various manufacturer's machines. Some machines produce a large volume of fog, but it's fairly thin and easy to see through. The FG-1000 makes huge clouds of dense, opaque fog. An output of 5,000CF/M means that the FG-1000 could fill a 25' square room with an 8' ceiling in one minute. That's a LOT of fog!
Dimensions & Weight
These two should be familiar to everybody. They tell you how big the machine is and how much it weighs. In most situations, you won't be concerned with size and weight. If you're a mobile DJ, however, or if you plan to build the fog machine into a prop or set-piece, you should make sure that the machine you get is neither too big nor too heavy.
You now have the tools you need to pick the perfect fogger. So sit down, make up your list of desired features, decide on a budget, and start shopping! Of course, if the FG-1000 meets your needs, you won't have far to go. With all of its features, and this week's special price, it may just be the perfect machine for you.
Theatre Effects Customer Service Department
Theatre Effects, 1810 Airport Exchange Blvd. #400, Erlanger, KY 41018
Phone: 1-800-791-7646 or 513-772-7646 Fax: 513-772-3579