The 9 Best Indoor Fog Machines For Concerts, Theatres, Or Venues

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Have an upcoming DJ gig? Or a theatre performance that needs some effects? An indoor fog machine will add that touch of magic and intensify any atmosphere! When looking at fog machines it can be very overwhelming. There are so many different models and features, how do you know which one is the best fog machine? In this review, we look at common questions and break down key features to look for when using a fog machine indoors. Then we will give you the 9 best fog machines for indoor use!

Indoor vs Outdoor Fog Machine – What’s the Difference?

When searching specifically for an “indoor” fog machine, your results will honestly be pretty similar to that of an “outdoor” fog machine. The reason behind that is that most fog machines are not characterized by those exact parameters. You could use a fog machine in any setting, but it might not produce the effect you were hoping to achieve. Therefore, YOU have to decide, based on unit specifications if that will accomplish your sought-after effect when placed indoors. This can make it quite challenging, but that is why we will elaborate on the key fundamentals for ensuring quality indoor fog production.

Different Types Of Fog Machines

First, we need to go over the four types of fog machines, heated, chilled, faze, and haze.

  1. A heated fog machine works by heating both the fog liquid and a water solution to produce a dense vapor that gives the fog effect. A heated fog machine is sometimes referred to as a smoke machine and will give you a cloud-like fog effect.
  2. A chilled fog machine works by either cooling fog liquid with the addition of ice, or with dry ice and heated water. When the unit begins production, dense fog is the result.
    • This can give you that low-lying effect, making the fog appear to hug the ground. This is what people will typically use for a Halloween graveyard display.
  3. A faze fog machine works similarly to a heated fog machine. The fog liquid is heated and vaporized for the fog effect, but it also uses a fan to disperse the fog-like haze. The fog effect is more subtle when compared to a heated or chilled fog machine.
    • If you have ever been to a concert and noticed the rays of lights being shown in the air, that was with the help of a faze or haze machine.
  4. A haze fog machine is either water-based or oil-based. The solution is not heated, instead, it is forced through the unit’s nozzle by a high-pressure compressor. This allows the fog to appear as mist since it is comprised of much smaller particles.
    • Similar to the faze machine, there is not a large cloud formed, and this allows lighting effects to be displayed.

You need to understand that each fog machine will create a different effect. This is important when selecting your fog machine for specific needs. You do not want to get stuck with the wrong fog machine that will not accomplish your goal.

Will Fog Machines Trigger Fire Alarms?

If you are worried that a fog machine is producing “hot fog” and this will set the fire alarm off, that is not the case. The concern is the thickness of fog that is produced and the ability of the effect to spread. This will be different for each of the fog machines we mentioned. We first need to go over the three main types of fire alarms and how they are triggered.

  1. Ionization Smoke Detectors: There are two electrically charged plates and a current flows between the plates. When smoke enters the clamber, it will disrupt the electric flow. This will activate the alarm.
  2. Photoelectric Smoke Alarms: There is a beam of light in the sensing chamber. When smoke or particles interrupt this beam of light, the alarm is triggered.
  3. Heat Smoke Detector: When there is a rapid increase in temperature, they will be triggered. They are not triggered by particles.

Best Indoor Fog Machines

1. Chauvet DJ Hurricane Haze 1DX – (Best For Beginners)

CHAUVET DJ Hurricane Haze 1DX (HHAZE

The Hurricane Haze 1DX creates a light water-based haze to enhance any light show. This is a 303-watt unit and produces a fog output of 800 cubic feet per minute. The unit contains a 1.5-liter tank and only consumes 4 ml/min. There is a built-in sensor that will automatically stop the pump when fluid levels are low. The warm-up time is only 2 minutes, so you will be on your way to producing fog in no time. The built-in volume knob offers smooth, stand-alone operation. The digital display makes it easy to set DMX functions! This fog machine is small and only weighs 7 pounds making it easily portable. Also remember, this is a haze machine so the fog produced will be misty. This is ideal for showing off light effects like at a concert, church, sporting event, etc.

Key Specs

  • Haze Fog Machine
  • 303-Watt, Fog Output of 800 CFM
  • Manual Control
  • DMX Controller Capabilities
  • Warm-Up Time of 2 Minutes
  • 1.5-liter Tank with Low Fluid Level Sensor
  • Water-Based Haze Fluid Intake

2. Rockville Rockhaze – (Best Budget)

Rockville ROCKHAZE 700 CFM DMX Haze Machine Water Based DJ/Club

If you are new to fog machines and looking for an affordable unit to get started with, then this is for you! The Rockville Rockhaze will give you a great haze effect, without breaking the bank. This 400-watt unit is capable of producing a fog effect of 700 cubic feet per minute. That is enough power to fill large venues. The unit contains a 1.2-liter tank that will last you for 2 hours of production. The warm-up time takes approximately 2-3 minutes. The fog machine comes with a wired and wireless remote, so you can operate it from anywhere! The wired remote allows you to control time intervals, manual hazing, fan speed, and thickness of the haze. There are many modes to choose from manual, auto, timer, and DMX. This unit is equipped with so many features that will make your hazing experience spectacular!

Key Specs

  • Haze Fog Machine
  • 400-Watt, Fog Output of 700 CFM
  • Wired, Wireless, and DMX Control Capabilities
  • Customize Fog Effect
  • Warm-Up Time of 2-3 Minutes
  • 1.2-Liter Tank
  • Water-Based Haze Fluid Intake

3. CHAUVET DJ Hurricane Haze 4D – (Best Overall)

CHAUVET DJ Hurricane Haze 4D, Black (HHAZE4D)

If you are looking to haze a large area, this unit will do the job! The Chauvet DJ Hurricane Haze 4D is a 1,120-watt unit capable of producing a fog output of 4,300 cubic feet per minute. The unit contains a 3.75-liter tank and only consumes 10 ml/min. The warm-up time is 2 minutes to begin production. The manual controls on the machine let you customize fan speed and haze output. Also, the unit is equipped with a wired timer controller. With this controller, you are provided with 3 modes of operation: timer, continuous, and manual. You can control the desired fog output as well which gives you a more precise result and even helps preserve fog liquid. With the timer mode, you can also set the interval of how long between each fog burst, and the duration which sets the length of time the fog machine will burst. The Hurricane Haze also works with a DMX controller! This unit is a big step up in customization and production.

Key Specs

  • Haze Fog Machine
  • 1,120-Watt, Fog Output of 4,300 CFM
  • Wired Timer Remote Included
  • DMX Control Capabilities
  • 3 Modes of Operation (Timer, Continuous, and Manual)
  • Customize Fog Interval, Duration, and Output
  • Warm-Up Time of 2 Minutes
  • Large 3.75-Liter Tank
  • Water-Based Haze Fluid Intake

4. ADJ Products Entour Haze Pro – (Best Professional Hazer)

ADJ Products, Entour Haze Pro, Professional Grade Haze Machine with

This fog machine contains a built-in flight case making it perfect for traveling! The Entour Haze Pro is a 420-watt unit that produces an impressive output of 3,000 cubic feet per minute. You will have no trouble filling large stages or venues with this unit. The tank has a fluid capacity of 2.5 liters and is very efficient in fluid consumption. The Haze Pro is capable of continuous output for 15 hours on one liter of fluid and 37.5 hours on a full tank! The fog machine uses oil-based haze liquid will have a longer hang time when compared to water-based haze liquid. There is no warm-up time, so you can begin producing your effect on command! The unit features an easy-to-read LED function display, with an in-built timer, which allows continuous, intermittent, or manually-triggered hazing. You can easily integrate the Haze Pro with DMX control. The tough and durable case will make this fog machine easy to transport for all of your events!

Key Specs

  • Haze Fog Machine
  • 420-Watt, Fog Output of 3,000 CFM
  • LED Function Display
  • DMX Control Capabilities
  • 37.5 Hours of Fog With a Full Tank!
  • No Warm-Up Time
  • 2.5 Liter Tank
  • Built-In Flight Case
  • Oil-Based Haze Fluid Intake

5. ADJ Products Entour Faze – (Best For Smaller Venues)

ADJ Products, Entour Faze, 450W Water-Based Thin Mist Fog Machine

Add those final touches to your light show with a thin foggy haze! The Entour Faze is a 450-watt unit capable of producing fog output of 1,000 cubic feet per minute. This is a compact and portable design, so you can optimize your lighting effect without taking up much space. The tank can hold 3 liters of fog fluid and only consumes 10ml/min. You can operate the Entour Faze with the faze trigger switch, or with the included wired remote. The warm-up time only takes 40 seconds to create a thin mist in the air. The versatile mounting options will make it easy to mount on trusses. The unit features DMX controls and an automatic circuit cut-off to protect the pump when fluid is out. This is a great fog machine for filling smaller venues!

Key Specs

  • Faze Fog Machine
  • 450-Watt, 1,000 CFM
  • Included Wired Remote
  • DMX Control Capabilities
  • 3 Liter Tank
  • 40-Second Warm-Up Time
  • Great For Mobile Performers
  • Water-Based Fog Fluid Intake

6. ADJ Products Entourage Faze Machine – (Best Water-Based Fog Machine)

ADJ Products, Entourage Faze Machine, Powerful 1400w Foggy haze generator

A water-based fog machine is best if you are worried about oil-based fluid leaving residue on equipment or devices. The ADJ Products Entourage Faze Machine is the top water-based fog machine for any large venue! This 1,400-watt unit is capable of producing a fog output of 15,000 cubic feet per minute. Your lighting elements will stand out in no time and you will not have to worry about any residue being left behind. Equipped with the unit is an LCD Function Display with a built-in remote with a fog timer, continuous fogging, and manual fogging. The external fog fluid tank is massive holding 5.6 liters and consumes 9ml/min on max output. The built-in durable flight case will make a trip with this unit simple and ensure protection. The Entourage Faze features a 45-second warm-up time and also has DMX control accessibility. For those worried about oil-based residue from other foggers, this is the best alternative!

Key Specs

  • Faze Fog Machine
  • 1,400-Watt, Fog Output of 15,000 CFM
  • LED Function Display
  • DMX Control Capabilities
  • 45-Second Warm-Up Time
  • 6.6 Liter Tank
  • Built-In Flight Case
  • Water-Based Fog Fluid Intake

7. Chauvet DJ Nimbus – (Best Low-Lying Fog Effect)

Chauvet DJ Nimbus Professional Dry Ice Low Lying Fog Machine

The Chauvet DJ Nimbus sets the bar for fog production. This is a 1,500-watt unit with a single element and 3,000 watts with a dual element. The user manual does not state the fog output, but when looking at the wattage we can justify that this will perform just fine. This is a chilled fog machine, and the unit is capable of holding 4.5 gallons of water and 10 pounds of dry ice. If you are using one source of power then the warm-up time is 50 minutes, but with two power sources, the warm-up time is only 30 minutes. You can easily control the fog output with the adjustable, multi-level control handle attached to the unit. There is even a low water sensor that will help regulate tank capacity, ensuring the safety of your product. The unit can weigh up to 75 pounds when fully loaded with water and dry ice, but there is a cart included that will make transporting your unit a swift process throughout the event. If you want your fog to stay low to the ground, then this fogger is for you! This unit is loaded with high-caliber features making it the ultimate fog machine for you!

Key Specs

  • Chilled Fog Machine
  • Low-Lying Fog Effect
  • Professional Quality and Features
  • Dry Ice Capacity of 10lbs, Water Capacity of 4.5 Gallons
  • Maximum Output Production Lasts 6 Minutes
  • Low Water Sensor for Regulating Tank Capacity
  • Warm-Up Time of 50 Minutes (1 Power Input) 30 Minutes (2 Power Inputs)
  • Manual Output Control with Adjustable, Multi-Level Control Handle (No Remote)
  • Includes a Cart for Ease of Transportation

8. ADJ Entour Ice – (Best Performing)

ADJ Entour Ice Professional Low Lying High Density Fog Machine,

The ADJ Entour Ice is a high-tech unit loaded with features to give you complete control. This unit is well suited for travel with attached wheels and even comes with a road case to store the fog machine. This tour-grade flight case cover will leave you with no worries when traveling on the road or even flying with your unit. There is an onboard LED display with 6-button controls giving you access to water temperature, fog volume, fog output duration, fog output interval, and much more. There are 3 modes of operation: built-in timer, manual, or DMX control. This allows you to be versatile in production, with multiple ways to control. The unit requires dry ice and water, capable of holding 26.5 lbs of dry ice and 8.5 gallons of water. The unit is also equipped with a water level sensor that will automatically turn off the pump when the water is too low. Another great feature is that the cooler box within the unit can keep the dry ice cold for up to 10 hours. The product also includes a 5ft fog conduction hose to improve fog accuracy. This unit is filled with features that will enhance your fog experience, but the additional case solidifies it as the best low-lying fog machine for travel!

Key Features

  • Chilled Fog Machine
  • Low-Lying Fog Effect
  • Road Case Making Travel a Breeze
  • Dry Ice Capacity of 26.5lbs, Water Capacity of 8.5 Gallons
  • Warm Up Time of 90 Minutes with 1 Power Input, 45 Minutes with 2 Power Inputs
  • On-board LED Display with 6 Button Control
  • Water Level Sensor 
  • DMX Controller Accessibility
  • Includes Fog Conduction Hose
  • 10-Hour Holding Time of Cooler Box

9.  CHAUVET DJ Cumulus – (Best for Events)

CHAUVET DJ Fog Machine (Cumulus)

The Chauvet DJ Fog Machine (Cumulus) is a top-of-the-line product designed by a reputable company of Chauvet. This unit comes with an impeccable design giving you trust and certainty that your needs will be satisfied. The case is sturdy and provides wheels for transportation that can be locked to prevent accidental roll-away. The most amazing feature is that this unit does not require dry ice! The unit requires fog fluid, capable of holding 9 gallons, and distilled water, with a capacity of 2 gallons. Attached to the unit is a digital control panel that gives you access to fog output interval, fog output duration, fog volume, fan speed, fluid sensor, and much more! The unit can also work with a DMX controller, giving you access from a remote location. The warm-up time is remarkably fast, only taking 3 minutes to begin fog production. This unit is loaded with customizable features making it one of the best low-lying fog machines on the market! If you want quality production and maximum control, look no further than the Chauvet DJ Fog Machine (Cumulus).

Key Features

  • Chilled Fog Machine
  • Low-Lying Fog Effect
  • Professional Quality and Customizable Features
  • No Need for Dry Ice! 
  • Fog Fluid Capacity of 9 Gallons, Distilled Water Capacity of 2 Gallons
  • Long Lasting Fog Production
  • Warm-Up Time of Only 3 Minutes
  • Wheels Attached to Case with Locking Capability
  • DMX Controller Accessibility
  • Digital Control Panel with Access to Customization

Will My Fog Machine Set Off A Fire Alarm?

Now that we have a better understanding of how these fire alarms are triggered, we need to consider that with the fog machine we are using. You will not have to worry about triggering a Heat Smoke Detector with any of the fog machines, because it will not raise the temperature required to set off the alarm.

  • Heated Fog Machine: The fog effect is cloud-like, and tends to rise. They are likely to trigger Ionization Smoke Detectors and Photoelectric Smoke Alarms.
  • Chilled Fog Machines: Similar to Heated Fog Machines, they are likely to trigger Ionization Smoke Detectors and Photoelectric Smoke Alarms. But if you are using a low-lying fog machine, your fog is less likely to rise and trigger the alarm.
  • Faze & Haze Fog Machine: The fog effect is like mist, with much smaller particles. They are less likely to trigger Ionization Smoke Detectors and Photoelectric Smoke Alarms.

Where Should I Place My Fog Machine?

As you can see, there is always a possibility of the fog machine triggering the fog machine, but there are some exceptions. An important issue to address is, how far away is the fire alarm from the fog effect. If you are far away from the fire alarm, or the indoor area is large, you might not have to worry about triggering a fire alarm. Remember, the alarm will only be triggered if the fog reaches the alarm. A good rule of thumb is to test your fog effect before your event. You need to find out where the fire alarms are, so you can set the fog machine up as far away as possible, and be prepared to turn the fire alarm off if you do trigger it.

How Do I Use My Fog Machine?

When you are trying to improve your indoor event, it is important to understand the different uses of each fog machine. A heated and chilled fog machine will give you that instant cloud-like effect. This is great for stage performances or even enhancing a sports team’s walkout appearance. If you are at a wedding and want to give the dance floor a magical touch, then a chilled fog machine that creates low-lying fog will be in your best interest. That will keep the fog at a low level and not affect people’s vision.

Then we look at the faze and haze machines. These foggers are not going to give you that big smoke effect, instead, they are used to enhance your lighting. If you have ever been to a concert or church and noticed how all of the lights seem to be visible beams, that is with a faze or haze machine. Now that you understand what each fog machine can be used for, you can take that information and apply it to your desired indoor effect.

With all of this information in mind, you will be well-prepared for your indoor event. Now let’s take a look at the best indoor fog machines!

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