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DMX Interfaces

  • Lightkey doesn’t recognize my USB–DMX interface

    Here’s a collection of helpful tips:

    • First of all, check if your interface is on the list of supported interfaces. Other interfaces may not work with Lightkey.

    • Go to the DMX Output pane of Lightkey’s Preferences window and make sure the correct output option for your interface is enabled. The first three options are mutually exclusive, so only one of them can be enabled at any time.

      To use this DMX interface… …enable this option
      Enttec Open DMX USB Open DMX Interfaces
      Eurolite USB-DMX512 Open DMX Interfaces
      Eurolite USB-DMX512-PRO Cable Eurolite PRO
      Eurolite USB-DMX512-PRO MK2 Eurolite PRO
      Any other USB interface Serial USB Interfaces
    • If a wrong option was initially enabled, macOS may have associated your interface with the wrong device driver. In this case it helps to unplug the DMX interface and replug it after about one minute. If this doesn’t help then you should restart your Mac.

    • There may be conflicts if other applications try to access your DMX interface. Please quit all other lighting control applications, then choose Lightkey > Reset DMX Output from the menu bar. If your interface still doesn’t appear, restart your computer and then open Lightkey again.

  • DMX output through Art-Net doesn’t work

    Lightkey can find most Art-Net interfaces automatically. Follow these steps:

    1. Choose Lightkey > Preferences…
    2. Click DMX Output, then click Art-Net.
    3. Select the network interface your Art-Net interface is connected to (e.g. Wi-Fi or your computer’s Ethernet port). If you aren’t sure it may help to check which network interfaces are in use in the Network pane of System Preferences.
    4. Select Automatic and click Find Nodes. Lightkey should now find your Art-Net interface.
    5. Select the Art-Net interface from the list and click Apply.

    After selecting your Art-Net interface, you also need to patch the universe(s) to Art-Net:

    1. Choose Lightkey > Manage Fixtures…
    2. Move the pointer over the universe at the top and click the arrow on the right.
    3. Select Output and then choose Art-Net from the “Output to” menu.
    4. Click Done.
    If Lightkey can’t find your Art-Net interface:
    • Connect the Art-Net interface directly to your Mac with an Ethernet cable. There should be no router between the computer and the Art-Net interface. It may help to disable all other network interfaces in the Network pane of System Preferences.

    • Assign your computer a static IP address that starts with “2” or “10”, for example, “”. The is done in the Network pane of System Preferences. The IP address must be different from the DMX interface’s IP address, and your computer must be on the same IP subnet as the Art-Net interface.

    • Check with the manufacturer if a firmware update is available for your interface.

    • Reset your interface to factory settings (see device documentation).

  • About universe numbers in the eDMX Configuration utility

    Art-Net universe numbers start at 0. However, some Art-Net interfaces (e.g. DMXking eDMX) display universe numbers which start at 1 and are therefore offset by one from those in Lightkey. In this case you must add 1 to Lighkey’s universe numbers when you configure your Art-Net node.

    Here’s a screenshot from the eDMX Configuration utility:

    (A) 1-based universe number. (B) 0-based universe number; this must match the universe number in Lightkey.


  • I get no response from my lights

    If you see no response from some or all of your lights there are many possible causes. The following steps should help you track down the problem.

    If some of your lights don’t work:

    • Do the DMX addresses and modes match? The first step should be to ensure the DMX addresses assigned to your fixtures match the DMX addresses in Lightkey’s Fixture Manager. If your fixtures have multiple operation modes, make sure the modes match as well.

    • Is Lightkey sending DMX to the fixtures? Choose Window > DMX Output from the menu bar to see Lightkey’s DMX output. The channels where your fixtures are patched should have non-zero values. If all channel values are zero you should verify the following:

      • Is your Lightkey license active? To see the state of your license, choose Lightkey > About Lightkey from the menu bar.

      • Are the fixtures within the active channels? For example, if you have a license for 256 channels the fixtures must be patched within the first 256 channels of the first output universe.

      • Has DMX output to the fixtures been disabled? See “Disable Fixtures or Hide Light Beams” in chapter 7, “Preview”, of the Lightkey User Guide.

    If all of your lights don’t work, also check the following:

    • Did you patch the universe to a DMX interface? Choose Lightkey > Manage Fixtures… from the menu bar, then double-click a universe near the top and make sure an output method is selected in the menu labelled “Output to”.

    • Verify Art-Net/sACN universe numbers. When using Art-Net or sACN, the interface must be set to the same universe number as Lightkey. See the documentation for your DMX interface on how to change the universe.

      Some Art-Net interfaces (e.g. DMXking eDMX) display universe numbers which are offset by one from Lightkey’s. Click here for more information.

    If your fixtures still don’t respond: If you checked all of the above points, there’s most likely some hardware or electrical problem. Possible causes include faulty or unsuitable DMX cables, a single faulty fixture in the DMX chain, or a defective DMX interface.

  • My lights don’t behave as expected

    This guide helps you if your lights generally react to commands from Lightkey but their behavior isn’t as expected. For example: A fixture is constantly strobing, shows wrong colors, or spins permanently. Follow the steps from top to bottom to track down the issue.

    1. Is the unwanted behavior also visible in the Preview? This question helps you distinguish between problems in the project or elsewhere.

      • If yes: The unwanted behavior must be caused by the active cues, presets, or Design view settings. It often helps to check which cues are active and which fixture properties each of them defines. If you can’t locate the problem, send us a message with your project file and the steps required to reproduce the problem.

        In this case you can ignore the following steps.

      • If not: Proceed to the next step.

    2. Do the DMX addresses and modes match? Make sure the DMX addresses assigned to the fixtures match the DMX addresses in Lightkey’s Fixture Manager. If your fixtures have multiple operation modes, make sure the modes match as well.

    3. Which fixture profile are you using? If a fixture’s behavior differs from the Preview, the cause is often found in the fixture profile.

      • If you’re using a profile from the built-in library or our online fixture library: Verify that the fixture name exactly matches your fixture. Profiles for a slightly different fixture model often won’t work.

      • If you’re using a profile from a different source: We recommend that you use our free fixture profile service to get a verified, professionally created profile.

    4. Verify Lightkey’s DMX output to the fixture. Select a single fixture in the Preview and choose Fixture > Show DMX Output from the menu bar. Then check if the DMX output matches the expected fixture state by comparing the channels and their values to the DMX chart in the fixture manual.

      Example: If the fixture has the wrong color, select a color in the Design view. Does this affect the correct channel(s) in the output, and do the channel values map to the color you selected?

      • If you think the DMX output is wrong: If the fixture profile is from the built-in library, send us a message and tell us which channel(s) is/are incorrect, what the channel values are and which values you expected instead. It may help to include the DMX chart because sometimes there are multiple DMX chart revisions for the same fixture.

      • If the DMX output matches the DMX chart but the fixture still shows a different behavior: In this case either DMX chart is incorrect or there’s something wrong with the fixture. We recommend that you contact the fixture manufacturer for help. For example, an updated or corrected version of the DMX chart may be available.

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