Tech Specs

System Requirements

  • Mac computer with M1, M2, or Intel processor  RUNS NATIVELY ON M1 and M2 MACS
  • macOS 10.15 or later (compatible with macOS 12 Monterey)
  • 8GB of RAM
  • 720MB of disk space
  • Screen size of at least 1200 × 700 pixels
  • One of the supported USB or network interfaces for DMX output
  • Live Triggers require Ableton Live 9 or newer on the same computer (optional)

Get Lightkey for older macOS versions

Key Features

  • Live preview with 3D virtual light beams
  • Direct manipulation of fixtures within the visualization
  • Preview can show multi-beam fixtures, including LED strips, bars, matrixes, and PARs (grid, ring, or hexagon layout)  migliorata
  • Effect generator with over 50 fully editable effect templates
  • Built-in fixture editor allows on-the-fly changes  migliorata
  • Extensive keyboard control and support for multi-touch gestures
  • External control through DMX-In, MIDI, customizable keyboard shortcuts, Open Sound Control (OSC), or shortcuts in macOS Monterey

User Interface

  • Single Window and Dual Window modes
  • Supports full-screen mode and Split View
  • Extensive support for Touch Bar
  • Project-wide search feature
  • Lock projects and preferences with a password or Touch ID1
  • On-screen controls optimized for touch-screens
  • Haptic feedback on Force Touch trackpads
  • White-on-black user interface optimized for usage in dark environments
  • Adaptive background color
  • Optimized for macOS Dark Mode
  • Supports high-resolution Retina displays
  • Localized in English, German, Italian

1 Requires Mac with Touch ID sensor.


  • Engineered from the ground up as a native 64-bit macOS application
  • Virtual light beams rendered through Apple’s Core Animation and Metal 2 technologies
  • Highly efficient DMX output engine, decoupled from user interface
  • Abstract control model based on logical values—defers DMX generation to the final stage
  • Device communication through the Open Lighting Architecture (OLA)
  • Project files and fixture profiles support macOS’s auto-save technology
  • Full undo support
  • Automatic download and installation of app updates

DMX Output

  • Up to 4 DMX512 output universes (2048 channels), depending on license
  • 2 DMX512 input universes (512 channels)
  • Variable output rates from 30 through 44Hz
  • Supports numerous USB interfaces and output protocols through the Open Lighting Architecture (OLA)
  • Can integrate with an existing OLA server (optional)
  • Automatic detection of connected Art-Net nodes through Art-Poll
  • Blind mode allows making changes without affecting the DMX output while cuelists, sequences, and effects continue to run
  • Freeze DMX output and seamlessly resume cuelists, sequences, and effects
  • DMX output window shows live channel values for universes or individual fixtures
  • Conditional fixture properties through Operation Mode property
  • Supports 16-bit output values

Interfaces and Protocols

USB icon USB Interfaces1
  • DMXking ultraDMX Micro
  • DMXking ultraDMX Pro
  • DMXking ultraDMX RDM Pro
  • DMXking ultraDMX2 PRO2
  • DMXking eDMX2 PRO2
  • Eurolite USB-DMX5123
  • Eurolite USB-DMX512-PRO
  • Eurolite USB-DMX512-PRO MK23
  • Eurolite USB-DMX512-PRO Cable3
  • Jese DMX-TRI
  • Jese RDM-TXI MK2
  • Jese RDM-TRI MK2
  • Robe Universal Interface
  • Robe RUNIT WTX
  • USB-DMX Stage-Profi MK2
  • USB-DMX Stage-Profi MK3


Ethernet icon Network Protocols

Any device which supports one of the following protocols:

  • Art-Net versions 1, 2, and 3
  • sACN (streaming Architecture for Control Networks)/E1.31 multicast
  • ESP Net (Enttec Show Protocol)

1 All required device drivers are included. To output more than one DMX universes we recommend to use an interface with multiple output ports. 2 Lightkey can only use a single port on the DMXking ultraDMX2 PRO or eDMX2 PRO when connected via USB. Both ports are available through Art-Net or sACN. 3 These USB interfaces require that an admistrator password is entered at startup.

Supported Fixtures

Controls any type of DMX512-compliant fixture, including:

  • PARs
  • Moving Heads
  • Scanners
  • Blinders
  • Lasers
  • LED Strips
  • LED Matrixes
  • LED Bars
  • Panels
  • Strobes
  • PAR Arrays
  • Moving Head Arrays
  • Fog Machines

Fixture Properties

Natively Supported Fixture Properties
  • Position (pan/tilt, 8 or 16 bit, support for fixtures with up to eight separate heads)
  • Infinite movement (clockwise/counterclockwise)
  • Movement Speed
  • Dimmer (8 or 16 bit, optional master channel, beam level control)
  • Color Mixing (RGB or CMY with 8 or 16 bit, optional master channel; warm/cool white, amber, lime, ultraviolet; beam level control)
  • Color Wheel (up to three separately controlled color wheels, split colors, rainbow effects with variable speed)
  • Color Temperature (8 or 16 bit)
  • Green Saturation (8 or 16 bit)
  • Xfade to Color (8 or 16 bit)
  • Gobo Wheel (predefined or custom gobo images, up to three separately controlled gobo wheels)
  • Gobo Indexing (8 or 16 bit)
  • Gobo Rotation (clockwise/counterclockwise, bounce, variable speed)
  • Gobo Shake (variable speed)
  • Focus (8 or 16 bit)
  • Zoom (8 or 16 bit)
  • Iris (8 or 16 bit)
  • Frost (on/off, 8 or 16 bit linear, pulse effects)
  • Prism (various prism types, up to two separately controlled prisms)
  • Prism Indexation (8 or 16 bit)
  • Prism Rotation (clockwise/counterclockwise with variable speed)
  • Shutter (beam level control)
  • Strobe (constant speed, random speed, sound-active; beam level control)
  • Shutter Pulse Effects (beam level control)
  • Lamp
  • Fog
  • Command (channel value is applied for a specified time)
  • Operating Mode (conditional properties)
Custom Fixture Properties
  • Discrete options (e.g. built-in macros)
  • Variable values (e.g. speed)
  • Default option and/or default value
  • Display as percent or DMX value
  • Support for 16-bit output
  • Up to 41 custom properties per fixture

External Control

  • Input from up to two DMX universes
  • User-definable triggers and actions
  • Capture triggers when a channel in an input universe changes
  • Automatic detection of control type (button vs. fader)
  • Save, import, and export DMX-In configurations
  • Compatible to any standard MIDI controller through Core MIDI
  • Connect multiple MIDI controllers
  • Supported MIDI commands: Note On/Off, Control Change (CC), Program Change, Pitch Wheel
  • User-definable triggers and actions
  • Capture triggers when a button, fader, or other control is operated
  • Automatic detection of control type (button vs. fader/rotary knob)
  • Support for 14-bit faders
  • Support for jogwheels (“encoders”) to change continuous parameters
  • Support for Shift key on some MIDI controllers
  • MIDI feedback (for LEDs, motorized faders etc.), including multi-color feedback for many popular controllers
  • Customizable feedback messages
  • Receive and send MIDI from/to other software applications
  • Save, import, and export MIDI configurations
  • Extensive keyboard control throughout the application
  • Context-sensitive shortcut display
  • User-definable keyboard shortcuts
  • Save, import, and export keyboard configurations
Open Sound Control
  • Control cues, presets, fixture properties, and many other application features through OSC messages
  • Receive OSC over UDP or TCP
  • Full support for OSC address patterns
  • OSC service discoverable via Bonjour
macOS Shortcuts
  • Integrates with the system-wide shortcuts feature in macOS 12 Monterey
  • 15 different action types are available in the Shortcuts app
Multi-Touch Gestures1
  • Control Intensity, Master Intensity, color hue and saturation through scroll wheel or swipe gestures
  • Control Position, Focus, Zoom, Iris through pinch gesture or force click
  • Multi-touch gestures are user-configurable
Touch Screen
  • Main user interface optimized for touch screens
  • Controls have large click regions for comfortable touch control
  • All essential functions accessible without a right mouse button or scroll wheel

1 Scroll gestures require Apple Magic Mouse, trackpad, or mouse with scroll wheel. Swipe and pinch gestures require multi-touch trackpad or Apple Magic Trackpad. Force click requires trackpad with Force Touch.

Live Triggers

  • Drag lighting cues as clips to the Ableton Live timeline
  • Lighting cues are activated/deactivated in sync with the music
  • Communication through MIDI messages
  • Works with cues from both control panels and cuelists1

1 Lightkey can create up to 128 clips per page, on up to 128 pages (control panel or cuelist).

2D Visualization

  • Arrange, resize, and rotate fixtures according to their physical locations
  • Freely edit the shape of LED strips
  • Flexible placement of fixture name tags
  • Add built-in or custom images, shapes, trusses, and text labels
  • Resize and rotate multiple objects at once
  • Various style options for shapes and images
  • Smart alignment guides allow precise placement of objects on the same horizontal or vertical axis
  • Smart spacing guides allow equidistant spacing of objects
  • Commands for flipping, aligning, distributing, and layering objects
  • Virtual beams simulate pan/tilt angles, intensity, color, gobo and gobo movement, focus, zoom, iris, frost, shutter/strobe
  • Fixture position (pan/tilt) control uses polar coordinates to reflect actual beam positions
  • Customizable perspective for stationery and moving lights
  • Customizable limits for pan and tilt ranges
  • Maintain relative pan/tilt offsets when positioning multiple fixtures
  • Display multiple instances of a fixture (for identical fixtures with the same DMX address)
  • Visualization adapts itself to screen size
  • Visualization can be hidden for live control

Design View

  • Intelligent selection commands
    • “Type selection” quickly selects fixtures with a common prefix or individual fixtures
    • Groups allow selecting multiple fixtures with a single click
    • Keyboard shortcuts to select fixtures by position (Arrow keys) or name (Control-Tab)
  • Copy and paste values and effects between fixtures, including fixtures of different types
  • Change properties relative to current state (supported by Dimmer, Position, Focus, Zoom, Iris)
  • Define per-fixture default values for fixture properties
  • Unlimited undo support for all fixture property changes
  • Individual beam control for multi-beam fixtures (intensity, color, shutter/strobe)
  • Use fanning to spread fixture property values across a range of fixtures or beams (supported properties: Dimmer, Color, Position, Focus, Zoom, Iris, Frost, Fog, custom properties)
  • Design view adapts itself to the patched fixture’s properties for optimal use of screen space
  • Rearrange fixture properties and hide unused properties
  • Color mixing for RGB and CMY with hue, saturation, and brightness controls
  • Synthetic Dimmer control for RGB fixtures with no Dimmer channel

Preset Palette

Presets and Groups
  • Store arbitrary combinations of fixture properties as presets
  • Auto-assigned preset names and icons, depending on content
  • The selected preset’s contents are displayed in the visual preview
  • Add the contents of a preset to the overridden properties by drag and drop
  • Quickly add the overridden fixture properties to a preset
  • Organize presets in nestable groups
  • Sequence order options: repeat, forwards/backwards, autoreverse, random, freeze on completion
  • Hold and crossfade times can be defined for entire sequence or individual steps
  • Edit hold and fade times for multiple steps at once
  • Control overall sequence speed factor
  • Create pan/tilt movements through defined points (either at defined times or with uniform speed)
  • Beat-controlled sequences with definable beat multiplier
  • Smart icons reflect the sequence order options
  • Reverse of shuffle sequence steps
  • Adjust sequence speed from Live view

Live View

  • Store an unlimited number of cues comprised of an arbitrary selection of presets and sequences
  • Set fade-in/out times and priority for each cue
  • Modifiers allow changing various aspects of cues during a show: Speed, Beat Multiplier, Time Offset, Fade Time, Dimmer, Hue, Color Temperature, Green Saturation, Xfade to Color, Pan Angle, Tilt Angle, Focus, Zoom Angle, Iris Size, Frost Amount
  • Auto-activating cues at application start
  • Auto-activating cues before application quits (e.g. to turn fixtures off)
  • Copy and paste cues between control panels and cuelists
  • Quickly add the overridden fixture properties to a cue
Control Panels
  • Fully customizable with buttons and faders to control cues during a live show
  • Switch between multiple control panels
  • Toggle or flash buttons
  • Arrange and resize buttons freely
  • Resize multiple buttons at once
  • Smart alignment guides and “magnetic” grid allow precise placement of buttons
  • Attach buttons to create a group where only one button can be active at a time
  • Button color is automatically set according to the cue’s contents or can be chosen manually
  • Text labels
  • Create named frames to group related buttons
  • Successively step through the buttons in a frame with Previous/Next buttons
  • Recall cues in a specific order
  • Switch between multiple cuelists
  • Organize cues in nestable groups
  • Automatic cue numbering
  • Automatic crossfades between cues with a predefined duration
  • Manual crossfades with Xfade slider
  • Advance to next cue manually or after predefined hold time
  • Edit hold and fade times for multiple cues at once
Beat Control
  • Synchronize sequences and effects with music
  • Adjust the timing of each cue with the Beat Multiplier modifier
  • Tap the beat and Lightkey will learn and continue the tempo
  • Synchronize to other soft- or hardware with MIDI Beat Clock
  • Synchronize to other software with Ableton Link

Effects Engine

  • Over 50 fully editable effect templates
  • Effects remain editable at any time, even when stored in presets or cues
  • Apply effects to multi-beam LED strips and matrixes
  • Synchronize effects to music
  • Copy and paste effects
  • Overlay multiple effects for the same fixture property
  • Save custom effect templates
  • Adjust effect speed from Live view
Fixture Order Options
  • Order by position in Preview, by short name, by address, or randomly
  • Order from/to center
  • Select fixtures or individual beams (LEDs)
  • Group consecutive pixels
  • Repeat pixel indexes
Pattern Effects
  • Basic patterns: Chase, Fill, Rain, Sparkle, Fire, Jellyfish
  • Apply pattern effects to Dimmer or Color (RGB) properties
  • Configure pattern values and parameters
  • Color pattern effects can include additional color components (cool/warm white, amber, lime, ultraviolet), color temperature, green saturation, xfade to color
Curve Effects
  • Uses repeating mathematical functions to calculate fixture property value
  • 16 basic curve types with adjustable parameters
  • Graphical curve editor for changing X/Y shift, scale, segment widths
  • Apply curve effects to the following fixture properties: Dimmer, Color, Position, Focus, Zoom, Iris, Frost, Fog, custom properties
  • Colors can be split into components using three different color models: HSB (hue, saturation, brightness), RGB (red, green, blue), CMY (cyan, magenta, yellow) plus additional colors (cool/warm white, amber, lime, ultraviolet)
  • Pan/tilt mirroring allows inversion of the pan or tilt angles on one side
  • Relative position effects: Pan and tilt angles are added to the positions defined elsewhere
Movement Effects
  • Uses closed movement paths to define pan/tilt movements
  • 14 built-in, fully editable movement paths
  • Integrated movement path editor uses polar coordinate system to show actual beam positions
  • Translate and scale paths
  • Reverse and flip movement paths
  • Interpolation modes: smooth, linear, points
  • Save custom movement paths for reuse
  • Pan/tilt mirroring allows inversion of the pan or tilt angles on one side
  • Relative position effects: Pan and tilt angles are added to the positions defined elsewhere

Fixture Editor

  • Integrated editor for fixture profiles—changes take effect immediately
  • Built-in, searchable library with over 4000 native fixture profiles  migliorata
  • The latest fixture profiles can be downloaded from online fixture library
  • Manage fixture profiles in the application—no need to track individual files
  • Edit an unlimited number of fixture profiles at once
  • Supports multiple fixture modes (also called “personalities”)
  • Import fixture profiles in the following formats:
    • .lightkeyfxt (native format)
    • .ssl2 (Sunlite 2)
    • .fxt, .pff (DMX Freestyler)
  • Export and share fixture profiles in .lightkeyfxt format
  • Assistant for creating new fixture profiles
  • Graphical editor for beam layout  migliorata
  • Built-in color library includes Lee Filters, GamColor, Roscolux
  • Built-in library of 500+ gobos
  • Live warnings as profile is edited
  • Full undo support for all changes to a fixture profile
  • Copy and paste settings between fixture modes or profiles


  • Unified user interface for patching universes and fixtures
  • Set refresh rate and priority (sACN output) for each universe
  • Patch fixtures by drag and drop from the fixture library
  • Auto-assigned short names
  • Patch multiple identical fixtures to the same DMX address
  • DIP switch display
  • Reassign a different profile to existing fixtures
  • Print an overview of all fixtures including patching information and comments
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