The difference between these three Atmospsheric Effects seem quite similar but are actually 3 entirely distinct effect. It can be really hard for our wedding clients to decide which they would like, so here is a quick explaination:

Smoke Machine

– Water based fluid that is pumped past a massive heater block and dispersed like a cloud in the air.

– Cheapest to hire as the fluid is relatively inexpensive and can last years
– Great for showing the beams from your dancefloor lighting
– Takes 15 mins to heat up the machine and quick to fill a room

– most likely to set off fire alarms
– evaporates into the air relatively quickly (because its water based)
– Can make a wedding reception look a bit like a nightclub (pro or con depending on teh wedding)
– Can obscure the photo and video footage if used too much

Hazer machine

– Oil based fluid (used to be called “Oil-Crackers”) which is Compressed (not heated) to disperse as fine oil droplets in the air.

– Hang time of the haze is much longer than that of smoke machine fluid. If there is no air conditioning or air movement then it can last for hours after the machine is turned off.
– Lower use of electricity since it doesnt need a huge heating element
– Makes dancefloor lighting and lasers look the best of the 3 as the haze is finer and dispersed more evenly in the room
– Less likely than smoke machine to set off smoke alarms
– Fluid lasts for years

– More expensive than Smoke Machines for both the machine and the fluid
– Some Smoke Machines are labelled as “Hazers”, proper hazers use oil based fluids, stay away from water based hazers!
– The haze is created as soon as you turn the machine on but does take a while to fill a room completely, especially with draughts, making them useless for outdoor events


Dry Ice

– Is a Solid form of Carbon Dioxide which turns straight into a gas instead of going to a liquid. You put the blocks or pellets in hot water and the gas bubbles over and flows onto the dancefloor

– The gas hugs the floor as the carbon dioxide is heavier than air.
– Looks like a “dancing on the cloud” effect that you can’t get with smoke machine or dry ice
– Looks amazing for 2-4 minutes
– Safe with fire alarms as it is a gas and not particles in the air like a smoke machine and to a lesser extent, haze machine.

– Very, very expensive for equipment, staffing and materials compared to smoke machines and hazers
– The Dry Ice needs to be purchased within 8-36 hours of the event as it evaporates very quickly
– Dry ice is -78.5°C, so causes burns if not handled correctly (esky, proper gloves and eye wear)
– Dry ice can only be bought from chemical supply companies or through distributors such as SupaGas or BOC gas
– Needs a special machine to get a good effect, you can use buckets with boiling water but the effect is not as great as with a “pea souper” (3phase power required) or a Chauvet Nimbus (240 volt required for heating)
– Lasts a few minutes
– Dry Ice needs to be handled correctly, can cause loss of consciousness or death if handled incorrectly in an enclosed space as it turns into carbon dioxide gas



Griffin Alliance can supply each of these services if you like, just ask us for a quote with your wedding DJ