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Smoke machine vs. haze machine comparison
Smoke machines and haze machines are mainly used for the same purpose - to enhance lighting effects. Whilst this is the only use of haze machines, a smoke machine might also be used as an effect itself, such as a spooky halloween effect. Haze machines are meant to be a subtle effect, whereas smoke machines are very noticeable when used.
The smoke from a smoke machine is forced directly out of the heater element nozzle, which quickly throws the smoke out in front of the machine, with an impressively loud whoosh from bigger machines. Haze machines have a fan permanently running and the haze is released into the fan chamber and smoothly blown out from the machine. This is a much quieter and less noticeable effect.
Another reason to use a haze machine can be to reduce the risk of setting off fire alarms. The reason a haze machine is less likely to set of a fire alarm than a smoke machine is to do with particle size. The particles that a haze machine produces are smaller than the particles that a smoke machine produces. This is why haze is less visible in the air and is less visible to smoke detectors.
It's worth pointing out that there are no guarantees that a haze machine is safe to use with fire alarms. You should always discuss with the venue what their policy is on using haze or smoke.
Smoke and haze fluid
Smoke machines and haze machines use different fluid and it is important to make sure that the correct fluid is used. Using the wrong fluid can be compared to using the wrong fuel in a car. Just like putting petrol in a diesel engine - putting smoke fluid in a haze machine is a bad idea. It won't work properly, it will damage the machine and it can even release dangerous gases.
Smoke and haze fluids both come in low density and high density versions. The lower density fluids aren't as thick in the air and disperse quickly. High density fluids produce a thicker mist and stay in the air for longer. As a general rule, you would need to use more low density fluid, more frequently to produce a similar effect to high density fluid.
The table below explains the difference between the smoke machines (also known as fog machines) and the haze machines that we have for hire.
|Standard smoke machine||High output smoke machine||Haze machine|
|Smoke alarm sensitivity||Can set off some alarms||Can set off some alarms||Less likely to set off alarms|
|Mist visibility||More visible||More visible||Less visible|
|Lighting enhancement||Very good||Very good||Very good|
|Venue suitability||Small to medium size||Medium to large size||Medium to large size|
|Output rate||8,000 cubic feet per minute||20,000 cubic feet per minute||10,000 cubic feet per minute|
|Fluid included||1.3 litres||3.3 litres||1.3 litres|
|Fluid type||Low density smoke fluid||High density smoke fluid||High density haze fluid|
|Controller type||Manual control only||Manual or timer||Manual or timer|
Please note: Haze machines can leave an oily residue on surfaces if used excessively.