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QLC+ The best Open Source light and sound control

I have tried a bunch of computer software for controlling light and sound. There is nothing even close to the usability and simplicity of QLC+.

The QLC+ is completely free software that runs on a Raspberry Pi. Massimo Callegari has also created an highly optimized image that automatically boots right into QLC+. This optimized image can be downloaded after a small donation (suggested 15€) to the maintainer.

You can also just compile the sources on a Raspberry Pi and run it on Raspbian.

The latest version of QLC+ is 4.10.3. It has a lot of new things like direct support for GPIO pins, Raspberry Pi UART for DMX output and SPI support for LED strips and RGB LED arrays.

Many of the new featuires are new to me as well but I try to write the way to set up theater lighting with this latest image.


The first thing we need to set up is the inputs and outputs. In QLC+ you may assign one input to an Universe and one output. Here I decide to set the GPIO pins as an input to Universe1 and the UART DMX output as the output. I do not need SPI for my show. But in case you need it you could assign SPI as an output to Universe2. It could also be cool to assign OSC as an input to Universe2 if you want to control light from crontab or your own scripts.



The fixtures window is where you pick your lights.



Audio, scenes, chases, shows and scripts.



A show is a combination of sound and lights plus special effects. I don't use it much but it is very powerful.


Virtual console

The most important window is the one you run your show from. It is called the Virtual console. Here you can create sliders and buttons and also connect the buttons to real DiscoHAT GPIO pins.

The QLC+ software will export this Virtual console as a web page. You can control your show from a PC with WiFi or Ethernet or even a tablet or a mobile phone.

For DiscoHAT use the best thing is that you can tie the buttons to real pushbuttons and switches.



There is a few other windows as well. But this describes the basic functionality quite well. In the Projects tab I try to go through a few other ways to use DiscoHAT with other Raspberry Pi software as well.


Karri Kaksonen