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Best Haze Machines 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

by Alex | Last Updated: July 3, 2019

Haze machines are a great way to create an atmosphere or set a mood for an event. Oftentimes these machines are considered to be smoke machines, but the main difference that you should note between the two is that the haze machine utilizes a fan to disperse the vaporized liquid with a fan to give it a less intrusive effect.

They are most commonly used at special music performances, theatrical performances, churches, and dance parties, but they can also be used to create ambiance during Halloween. The level of haze that a machine produces can vary, but typically, the haze is a subtle effect that you can only see through lighting effects.
This guide is designed to help you find a haze machine that fits your needs. We will compare 10 different haze machines as well as take a look at some of the things that you may want to know about before making a purchase.

Name Output (cu.ft/min) Warm-up time (minutes) Weight (lbs) Dimensions (Inches)
Reel EFX DF-50 (Editor’s Choice) No warm up period required 35 15 x 8 x 14 Check Price
MARQ Haze 800 DMX
(Editor’s Choice)
2,500 2 13.2 12.2 × 7.2 × 10.9 Check Price
MARQ Haze 700 1,400 2 11 11.8 × 5.8 × 11.5 Check Price
Antari Z-350 3,000 4 17.6 16 x 10 x 18 Check Price
Blizzard Lighting AtmosFear Tour HZ 8,000 6 29.8 7.4 x 15.6 x 9.9 Check Price
CHAUVET DJ Hurricane Haze 1D 700 1 8.4 12.5 x 10.5 x 9.8 Check Price
Look Solutions Unique 2.1 >212 1 19.1 18.5 x 9.8 x 9.8 Check Price
Martin Professional Jem Compact Hazer Pro 134,000 1 18.8 21 x 8.9 x 11 Check Price
HazeBase Base Hazer Pro >212 1 39.7 59.4 x 54 x 18.5 Check Price
CHAUVET DJ Hurricane Haze 2D 1,200 5 18.7 11.2 x 10.5 x 13.7 Check Price

1. Reel EFX DF-50 DMX Diffusion Hazer – Best Haze Machine for Atmospheric Effects

The DF-50 is a device that creates haze with very little fluid. In fact, this unit only utilizes two ounces of fog fluid per hour, which means that it will take at least 35 hours of continuous use for the machine to use two liters of the haze fluid. This low amount of fluid being used means that more money is saved in the long run.

This haze diffuser is designed with a triple filtration system that breaks down the haze fluid to a mist that is completely safe to breathe. In fact, the mineral oil blend is broken down into odorless droplets that are only about the size of a single micron that meets all of the standards set by OSHA.

This is a haze machine that does not use heat. Of course, this means that there is no warm-up time, but it also means that it could be more difficult to get the fog to rise above the ground for your effects. Though, this could be a benefit for those who are looking for ground effects.

    Great filtration system. No warm-up time. It utilizes very little fluid per hour. 5 Year Warranty.

2. MARQ Haze 800 DMX – Best Programmable Haze Machine

The MARQ Haze 800 is a haze machine that is compatible with DMX control, which means that if you are doing a large production, you will have plenty of customizability that you can utilize. If you are using this feature, the channel information can be found on the back of the device.

This device comes with a remote that can be wired directly into the hazer. With the remote, you can set a timer where you can determine the amount of output, the duration, and the length of the interval. You can also set the remote to a continuous or a manual setting.

The tank is a bit on the small side, so you will only get about four hours of continuous use before it needs to be refilled.

    It fills a room with haze quickly. Compatible with DMX. The remote function gives you a lot of versatility.
    It takes a bit of time to warm-up. The output fan is a bit on the small side.

3. MARQ Haze 700 – Best Haze Machine for Parties

The MARQ Haze 700 is a water-based haze machine that is designed to be easy to clean. It only takes two minutes to clear the unit of any fluid that is left over and about the same amount of time to wipe down the exterior to remove any dust or residue that has accumulated. Never use harsh cleaning solutions because it can get into the haze the next time you use the machine.

There is a gauge on the back of the haze machine to help you keep track of the amount of haze fluid that is in the machine. Remember that this is a water-based fluid, so using other haze fluid in this unit will void the warranty.

The reservoir that holds the haze fluid is a bit small. In fact, it is only designed to accommodate four hours of continuous use. This may be fine for a party or a show, but if you are using it for a Halloween attraction, it may not be sufficient.

    Small footprint. Great price. It disperses fog rather quickly.
    It leaves a bit of an odor. The haze liquid is not included in the packaging.

4. Antari Z-350 – Best Fog/Haze Machine Combination (Fazer)

The Antari Z-350 Water-Based Fazer is a unit that has a very low fog fluid consumption rate. In fact, a full tank, which holds about 1.3 liters of liquid, will last for more than seven hours of continuous use.

This unit is designed with an onboard DMX interface that allows you to use a smart remote to control the fog dispersion. When you connect to the device it will turn on and begin heating up, and when you disconnect, the machine will shut down and enter sleep mode until it comes back online.

When you first power on the machine, it takes about four minutes for it to warm-up, which can be excessive when you are trying to perform a show.

    Automatic self-cleaning mode. It is a very lightweight machine; making it easy to transport. The air pump technology is extremely efficient.
    It requires a significant warm-up time. Externally, it is not an attractive haze machine.

5. Blizzard Lighting AtmosFEAR® Tour HZ – Best Haze Machine for Outdoors

This is a 1,000-watt machine, so you can use the device in any sized venue. You can dial back the amount of haze used in smaller venues and pump it up when you are performing in a larger space. In addition, it can continuously produce haze for the duration of your gig.

There is a control panel on the back of the device where you can set a timer, adjust the haze output, and the speed with ease. There is also a DMX controller that you can utilize for more customizability.

The warm-up time on this machine can require up to six minutes of time. Typically, it does not take this long, but you may need to prepare ahead to accommodate this.

    It is designed with a low fluid automatic shutoff feature. The device is great for indoor and outdoor uses. Two-year warranty.
    It has a bit of a warm-up time. The unit is a bit on the heavy side.

6. CHAUVET DJ Hurricane Haze 1D – Best Value Haze Machine

The CHAUVET DJ Hurricane Haze 1D has a safety function that helps to ensure that you never run out of fog fluid. Whenever the level reaches a certain point, the machine will automatically turn off.

This is a very versatile unit. You can adjust the fan speed and the haze output, and if you find that you want more control, the device is DMX compatible.

The fan does not start as quickly as the haze release, which results in a puff of fog that hovers around the machine for the first few seconds after you power it on.

    It is sold at a very affordable price. This unit only requires a one-minute warm-up. This device does not consume fluid quickly.
    The fan is on a delayed start. Because of the delayed fan, timers for dispersion are inaccurate.

7. Look Solutions Unique 2.1 Hazer – The Haze Machine with the Best Control

The Look Solutions Unique 2.1 Hazer is designed to consume very little haze fluid during its runtime. In fact, a two-liter canister is designed to last for 50 hours of continuous use.

The pump and the fan in this machine can be dampened, which means that the noise output is on the low side when it is compared to similar haze machines.

At full power, the haze from this machine can be a bit too much for a smaller room, so you will have to make the necessary adjustments for the space.

    It only requires 60 seconds to warm-up. It is a very quiet unit. The internal fans are powerful.
    It requires 1,500 watts to function. There is not a remote for stand-alone functionality.

8. Martin Professional Jem Compact Hazer Pro – Best Water-Based Hazer

The Martin Professional Jem Compact Hazer Pro is designed with a unique shutoff button that is designed to clean the system when it is turned off. This helps to prevent clogging from occurring within the unit.

Since this model utilizes a water-based haze fluid, it has a very long hang time that helps make the haze seem denser. In addition, a 2.5-liter container will last for 70 hours of continuous use.

The DMX functionality only comes with a five pin option, so if you have the three pin variation, you may want to choose a different haze machine.

    Shutting down the machine starts an automatic cleaning mode. The control panel is user-friendly. It only takes one minute to warm-up.
    There is not a three pin DMX option. It is a bit on the expensive side.

9. HazeBase Base Hazer Pro – The Haze Machine with the Best Continuous Timer

The fog fluid is available in five-liter containers that promise continuous output from the device for a period of up to 135 hours, which makes this one of the longest performing haze machines on this list.

The machine is designed with a variable output function, which means that you can create a fine mist or a thick haze in any venue with ease. The best part is that it only takes a minute to warm-up.

Though this is a great haze machine, it is sold at a relatively high price point, which makes it a difficult purchase for many musicians who are just starting out.

    It does not consume a lot of haze fluid. The warm-up time is only 60 seconds. It has a very quiet operation.
    It is an expensive model.

10. CHAUVET DJ Hurricane Haze 2D – Best Haze Machine for Theatrical Performances

The CHAUVET Hurricane Haze 2D has a unique fog fluid tank that turns red when the machine is powered on so that you can easily see the level of the fluid that is remaining. This light will turn blue when it is ready to produce haze. There is also an indicator to help inform you when the fluid level is low.

The control panel on the back of the unit is user-friendly. Here, you can control the output, the fan speed, and set up the DMX settings. You can also utilize the timer on the included remote.

The haze is a bit subtle for most DJ applications because it is not dramatic enough for the atmosphere.

    It is a lightweight haze machine that is capable of continuous output. It is a very quiet device. It is perfect for creating a thin layer of haze.
    It takes a full five minutes to warm-up before it can produce haze. A small amount of condensation will be noticed after use.

Best Haze Machines – Buyer’s Guide

When you are purchasing a haze machine, the first thing that you need to take into consideration is the wattage of the device. Typically, they range from about 400 watts to 1,000 watts and the larger the unit, the more fog it will be able to produce. With that in mind, you will need to take your stage into consideration.

Will you need to create a lot of haze for a large space or will it be a small effect that you are trying to create? Don’t underestimate how much haze you need because that will drain more power in the long run. Here is a breakdown of the different wattage options available:

  • 400-watt units will create about 1,500 cubic feet of haze a minute, which makes it ideal for a smaller room.
  • 700-watt units produce more than double that amount of haze each minute. At 3,500 cubic feet, this is ideal for large rooms.
  • 1,000-watt haze machines produce 4,500 cubic feet of haze each minute, which makes it ideal for outdoor events.
What are other important features to consider?

Haze Fluid
No matter which haze machine you chose to purchase, you are going to need to use haze fluid to create the effect. The manufacturer will typically recommend a specific haze fluid to use with each machine because they are designed to be compatible. Never allow the machine to run out of juice because doing so could cause damage to the haze machine.

Noise
Haze machines are designed to create a smoky effect on beams of light, but there are pumps and internal aspects of the machine that can make quite a bit of noise. If you purchase a loud machine, it can disrupt a scene in a play or ruin the feel of your haunted attraction. To avoid this, you may need to consider a more expensive device.

Timers
You are not always going to be right with the haze machine, so some of them have timers that you can set to make sure that the scene is set for when you are away.

With timers you can:

  • Set it to disperse a bit of haze every few seconds or once every 10 minutes if you prefer.
  • Set the amount of haze that you want to be dispersed as well as the amount of time that you want the effect to continue.

Cleaning
It is typically recommended that a haze machine is cleaned after 40 hours of continuous use, so to make sure that everything runs smoothly, you need to make sure that you know how to clean the machine properly. In most cases, this means adding cleaning solution to the device and turning it on for a short period of time to clean out its inner workings.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is the difference between a fog machine and a haze machine?
A: A fog machine basically vaporizes fluid to create thick clouds of fog, while a haze machine creates a less intrusive version of the same effect, which means that you see a hazy effect across the stage.

The main difference is that the effect created from a haze machine is blown out of the machine using a fan. There are also fazers, which is basically a two in one device that is capable of creating both a thin haze effect and a thicker fog.

Q: How much haze fluid will I need for a four-hour event?
A: Well, The amount of fluid that you need for that amount of time will depend greatly on the density of the haze that you are creating. That being said, on average, a machine will use a quart of fluid every four hours, so for a period of eight hours make sure to have at least two quarts available.

Q: Are timers and remotes worth purchasing with a haze machine?
A: They are not required accessories, but they make operating a haze machine a lot simpler. You will not always have the time to manually press the button, so using a timer makes sure that the production goes on uninterrupted.

Final Thoughts

Having a haze machine is a unique experience that can make your parties, dances, concerts, and Halloween attractions so much more exciting. There are a number of haze machines available to you, but you need to look for one that accommodates your venue. These machines can be used for an endless amount of entertainment, so find one that works for you and put your creativity to the test.

Discover the Best Hazer to buy in 2020! (UPDATED). We did the research for You

Hazers – Oil or Water Based? – The Ultimate Guide

Let’s just start off by acknowledging the elephant in the room.

Haze is cool.

Hazers are really cool. If you want one way to really spice up your stage lighting, haze is the way to go! Besides having a good console , haze is the best way to take your show to the next level without spending an arm and a leg.

However, there is a ton of confusion about haze, how it works, if it sets off fire alarms, and if it’s safe to breathe.

I know many of you are also looking to get better looking haze than what they already have.

Perhaps you own a hazer, but it looks more like a cloud of smoke than a concert tour. Or maybe it all gets sucked away into the air vents, and you wonder what possessed you to buy the darn thing.

Whatever your situation, sit back, relax and read on as we dive into the many facets of haze and what you need to know, separating the facts from mythology!

Haze vs. Fog

When it comes to atmosphere for live production, there are 3 types of atmospheres that you can generate.

The first is fog, which is covered right here. Fog is a lower, thicker lying atmosphere that doesn’t give anywhere near the same effect as haze, and isn’t designed as the type of effect you’d run all night long. Fog is more of a thick cloud of smoke than the smooth, air-like atmosphere like haze that we all love.

So, for today, we’re going to focus on haze – breaking it up between water-based and oil-based because they are the 2 most common types of hazers out there.

Haze is designed to create a thin layer of atmosphere over the entire room which you are performing in. However, you don’t get there in 5 minutes.

Haze is a slower process, and hazing a room can take 30 minutes or more, with your hazer likely running non-stop, or at least on and off periodically to maintain the thickness you’re striving for during your show.

Water Based Hazers

The first type of haze is water-based.

This haze is made by heating up a water based fluid and shooting it through a nozzle out of the machine. Compared to oil-based hazers, these units have to heat up before they are ready to go, and they also have a cool-down process where they occasionally seep out small clouds of haze.

So, unlike fog or oil-based haze, you can’t simply turn “off” the hazer and expect a 100% stop on a dime! Water-based hazers also use a bit more fluid than oil-based, so you’ll expect to use 1/2 to a full bottle every night.

The exact amount of fluid used will depend on how heavy and how long you run the hazer, as well as what model you are using. Since water-based haze has larger particles than oil-based, you naturally need more fluid to keep things going, and the particles dissipate into the air within a few minutes.

The upside to this heater design is that the water based hazer is nearly silent as it runs.

Though I don’t like water based haze as much as oil, it does have its place.

In a long-term situation, like an installed venue or church, oil based haze will find its way into all surfaces, nooks and crannies of your equipment and rooms, and can be a pain to clean up if you use a thick haze constantly.

Water-based haze on the other hand, is easy to clean up, and the fluid doesn’t make a mess on and around the hazer itself, making it easy to place anywhere without worry or much planning. A good budget model water-based hazer is the Chauvet Hurricane Hazer 4D.

Oil Based Hazers

Oil based hazers make that lovely haze that is uniform, not cloudy, and hangs nearly forever. It is the choice of professionals for nearly all music tours, special events and theater. Not to mention it is also nicer with fire alarm systems as well (more on that below).

Oil hazers produce haze by pushing a mineral oil fluid through a compressor and out of the unit. The compressor doesn’t have to heat up, it is ready to go from the instant you turn it on. The oil also hangs in the air much better – nearly forever in a motionless room!

On the downside, the compressor sounds like a small air compressor – it’s not always the quietest thing, so this isn’t your choice for a quiet theatrical show!

Some oil hazers, like the popular DF-50, are a bit on the loud side for small venues, but the American DJ Haze Generator and others are much quieter and still have great output. I’ve personally used the American DJ Haze Generator, and find it to be the best affordable hazer on the market. I’ve yet to have a problem.

Oil-based hazers also are better on fluid consumption than water-based hazers. You’ll find that most oil hazers will go weeks before needing to be refilled with a new bottle of fluid, offering a huge savings!

I can think back to a conference I did recently where the hazer ran 12+ hours a day for a weekend. I only refilled the hazer once!

Like I said above, oil-based hazers will leave an oily residue on anything that is left close by.

So keep moving lights, amp racks, and anything with cooling fans a good distance away from your oil-based hazer, and you’ll be great!

If you use oil-based haze without going overboard in thickness, you’ll find that it will take a very long time before you notice any residue on your gear – especially with newer hazers that are getting better and better! While there are upsides and downsides to both types of hazers, I usually recommend oil-based to anyone who is searching for a hazer, unless they frequent venues that don’t allow them.

My favorite oil-based hazer is the American DJ Haze Generator. It has the output of the classic DF-50, with a very small price.

Hazer Direction and Control

When it comes to sizing your hazer, you generally have a few choices. Water based hazers tend to come in small or large sizes, and oil-based hazers are typically just big.

Sizing a hazer can be really tough, especially if you play different venues.

Your first concern is the size of the room. A small hazer, like this unit by Chauvet is perfect for rooms up to 400 people. I’ve used it a bunch, and I highly recommend it!

However, there’s not a golden rule to follow. Even in a small room, the HVAC can suck away all of your haze in an instant when it turns on. Every venue is different.

Experiment with the placement of your hazer and see how the AC system moves your haze around. Usually, you can find a great spot to place your hazer that works with your AC system to distribute the atmosphere evenly. 🙂

This magic spot is usually straight across the stage from the main return vent for your AC system. This is what we’re going for, and will give you a great, haze-filled show or service! Not every venue will have this issue…and in some venues you’ll be able to stick your small hazer just about anywhere and get a good, thoroughly-hazed look without a lot of effort!

Every hazer setup needs a proper fan to guide the haze. Any old box fan or similar will work, as long as it moves the air. You’ll want to set it next to the hazer and guide the haze out of the unit and up into the air towards the beams of light.

Make sure you don’t place the fan in front of the hazer – while it will spread the haze, you’ll end up with a fan that is dripping in haze fluid – and that’s just not fun to take home at the end of the night!

If a small hazer doesn’t cut it, you’ve got a couple of options. The first is that, if you have the problem of a “hazeless spot” on one side of the stage or another that you can’t get rid of, you can go ahead and get a second small hazer.

But if the small hazer is just too small for the room, it’s time to upgrade to a bigger hazer. Check the links above in this post for exact product recommendations.

Are you looking for a place to get the very best in lighting training, and a community where you can share your lighting success and ask questions? Learn Stage Lighting Labs may be for you!

Is Haze Safe to Breathe?

One of the top concerns I hear from folks about hazers is the safety of the air that is hazed up. This is totally understandable, as it looks like smoke, and we all need to be careful about what we let into our bodies.

But I’ve got to leave this one to the professionals. The Broadway Actors Equity report is the full scientific and medical study that the actors union did to check the safety of theatrical haze.

If you have the time to read it, it’s very deep and complex. If not, here’s a quick summary: Haze is safe to use for theatrical performances. Some folks may seem to have a reaction to haze, but that is purely psychological. While you can technically get haze thick enough to cause a physical reaction, you have to practically be drinking the fluid for that to happen – way thicker than you’d ever want your haze to be!

Oil or water-based, is does not matter. Both are safe to use and enjoy. And if you have problems with folks complaining, print out a copy of the report for them to read and see what conclusion they come up with. 🙂

Fire Alarms

The last concept I want to touch on is the world of fire alarms.

While water based hazers are more likely to set off fire alarms, every fire alarm system is different. If you have beam type detectors, for example, most hazers will set off the alarm system.

Other types of alarms will be set off by different levels of haze. The only real way to be safe is to work with your alarm company and local fire department to figure out what is the best practice for using haze.

Many localities will help you to work with you alarm company to turn your alarms to silent, allowing a staff member to monitor the alarms, and make sure there are no real fires. Some venues will allow you to use haze without shutting off the alarms because they know it won’t cause problems.

Never, ever disable your fire alarms or turn them to silent without the blessing of your fire department. This is how people die every year and tragedies happen.

If you are playing a venue where concerts are a regular part of their lineup, it’s likely that haze is acceptable – but always ask before you turn on your hazer.

And of course, if you’re outdoors, haze is all A-Ok! You just might need an extra hazer or 2 to keep up with the wind, so it may not be practical for you.

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Hazers – Oil or Water Based? – The Ultimate Guide Let’s just start off by acknowledging the elephant in the room. Haze is cool. Hazers are really cool . If you want one way to really