Nightclub Advice

Disco balls for nightclubs

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A disco ball (also known as a mirror ball or glitter ball) is a roughly spherical object filled with tiny mirrors. Light hitting it is reflected in different directions. For nightclubs light will be surrounding the people when they dance.

Many disco balls slowly spin which makes the lights move around the people dancing.

If you want a disco ball for your nightclub buy a 12 inch disco ball at Amazon. You can hook it up to a motor (not included) and it comes with a bracket hanging bracket.

Another suggested by the manufacturer is putting it on a stand on the floor.

History of disco balls

Disco ball pictured in 1919

Pictured above is the Louisiana Five jazz band in 1919 with a disco ball near the top of the picture.

Disco balls became popular in the 1920s. Their popularity hit a peak in the 1970s and 1980s. If your nightclub primarily plays this type of music I would suggest getting one.

A company located in Louisville, Kentucky now known as Omega National Products claims that it supplied 90% of disco balls during the peak of disco's popularity. The company once had 25 employees but there was only one manufacturing them in 2016.

Popular culture

Some examples in popular culture include:

A very early example exists in the German silent film Berlin: Die Sinfonie der Großstadt.

A disco ball can be found in a flashback sequence of the 1942 movie Casablanca.

In modern reality TV: Dancing with the Stars or Strictly Come Dancing (UK specific) there's a Glitter Ball Trophy for the winner. These are shows that celebrities learn to dance and compete against each other.

Usage on tours

An English rock band called Yes featured a disco ball type object on its Close to the Edge tour. The item was a slowly spinning vertical mirror disk mounted atop a tall ladder, with a single spotlight aimed at it. This was utilized for the opening and closing birds/waterfall-sounds sequences of the title song Close to the Edge.

One can be seen on the The Grateful Dead Movie released in 1977. This movie contained performances from the Grateful Dead's 1974 concerts in San Francisco's Winterland Ballroom.

Pink Floyd featured a disco ball on their 1987 and 1994 world tours during the song Comfortably Numb. The one for the Pulse tour in 1992 was 4.9 metres in diameter, it rose to a height of 21.3 metres before opening to a width of 7.3 metres and had a 12 kilowatt Phoebus HMI lamp inside. The one for the Delicate Sound of Thunder tour in 1987 was not as large.

U2 had a disco ball for their PopMart tour in 1998-1999. The band entered it after their main set and came back out of it for their encore.

To promote their album Pop which included the single Discothéque the band released promotional disco balls. They also released promotional disco balls when lead singer Bono assumed the alter-ego "Mirror Ball Man". He did this for their Zoo TV Tour in 1992.

Madonna had a ball on her 2006 Confessions tour. It was made with 2 million dollars worth of Swarovski crystals.

Paramore had dozens of spinning disco balls on its Monumentour tour, a joint tour with Fall Out Boy. The same disco ball backdrop was used at their appearance in Reading for the 2014 UK Reading and Leeds Festival.

Other disco ball facts

The fast-food restaurant chain Rising Cane's has featured them since they started in 1996.

Disco balls are sometimes utilized to reflect infrared signals.

Biggest disco ball

The biggest disco ball to date is 10.33 metres (33 ft 11 in) in diameter. It was construed for the 2014 Bestival event in England.

A large one can be found on the promenade in Blackpool, United Kingdom.


Their iconic status has lead to novelty items such as, earings and in form of decorations dangling from a christmas tree or a car's rear view mirror.

Get a disco ball for your nightclub

Buy a 12 inch disco ball at Amazon.