How to Use Fog Machine without Remote

If you attend live concerts and nightclub performances often, you would have come across a fog machine. It is a machine often used at parties and public events to create a harmless and colorful smoke that adds an eerie ambiance to events. A smoke or fog machine produces a thick fog that excites performers and party guests with a spooky atmosphere – and it comes in various sizes and designs.

Fog machines come with and without remote controllers – and given that the remote control can get lost or broken, it’s best to know how to use them without remote devices.

Interestingly, all fog machines with remote controls can also be operated manually, and that’s why it’s important to learn how to use a fog machine without remote controls. But before demonstrating how to use a fog machine without a remote, let’s consider some situations where it can be used.

how to use a fog machine without remote

How to Use a Fog Machine without Remote

You already know that using a remote control to operate your fog machine provides the convenience of use from across the room or stage.

The problem, however, is that if the batteries of the remote fail, people will see you stretching your hand forcefully toward the machine to get it to work remotely or even standing up awkwardly across the room to operate it with the controller – spoiling the fun of a surprise and eerie atmosphere.

But you can avoid this awkwardness by operating your smoke machine without its remote – supposing it’s even available and not lost or damaged already.

1. Access the manual controls

Most fog machines have touch-screen or button-operated manual controls set under a panel on top of the appliance. You can easily use the buttons or touchscreen to control the amount of fog expelled, the interval for releasing the fog, the colors for the fog to take, and the pattern for the mist to assume upon release into the room.

2. Heat up the machine sufficiently

It should be noted that your fog machine should have been plugged into a power outlet and allowed to heat up sufficiently before operating it. It should be fully heated in 5-10 minutes – so the heating element can vaporize the fog fluid in seconds when release. In many cases, the LED indicator on AC-powered machines will turn from red to green to indicate it’s fully heated and ready for use.

For battery-operated machines, a switched put in the “on” position will indicate if the battery is charged enough to operate the machine in an instant.

3. Use the function modes

The mode button on your smoke machine enables you to determine the amount of mist that should be released into the room and the direction – up the ceiling or down on the floor.

You can stop the fog production when you’re done or want to take a break using the right button, and you can also resume with the right button on the control panel. It is best to set the fog at lower level and the increase it exponentially – depending on whether you are at a birthday party or at a live concert.

Where can a fog machine be used?

  • A live concert
  • A nightclub
  • Halloween events
  • Photoshoot studios
  • Birthday parties
  • Wedding events
  • House parties
  • Social gigs

How to set up your fog machine for use

Since our focus is “how to use a fog machine without a remote,” it makes sense to also consider setting up the machine for use.

Setting up and operating a fog machine is very simple – and it is advisable to have it set up long before a party commences. The technical team of a live concert will be at the venue hours or even days before the gig to set up everything, including the fog machine.

Battery-operated or AC-operated

The first thing to determine during the setup is whether the fog machine is battery-operated or powered with electricity. If it is battery-operated, you may be able to recharge it between uses and it could be put in a corner where people will not stumble on it. But if it is electricity-powered, you must place it where the power cable can easily be connected to a power outlet.

You don’t want people tripping over the wires of your fog machine and disrupting its operation. And more so, putting it far away from where people can reach but close enough to where it will serve the best use helps to prevent accidental hazards. Apart from people tripping on cables, fog machines tend to leak fogging liquid on the floor and it wouldn’t be a good experience for anyone to slide on the spills.

Use the right fogging liquid

The way a fog machine produces thick fog or mist is determined by how it is designed to consume fog fluid or liquid. For one thing, fog is produced in two ways – one is through a heating element that heats up a fogging liquid, and the other uses an aerator.

The one that uses a heating element turns the fog fluid into a thick vapor after heating up and then pushes out the vapor, causing it to condense into mist when it makes contact with outside air.

The one that uses an aerator produces a fog that may remain suspended on the ceiling to look like a cloud, but the mist from the aerator type remains dispersed in a haze throughout the room or stage.


Having known how to use a fog machine without a remote with this guide, it is advisable that you turn off the fog machine when you are fully done at any public event. If the machine does not have a “start/stop” button, then you must simply unplug the power cable from the AC outlet before leaving the scene. This is to prevent trip hazards and oil or liquid spills on the floor.

All in all, operating the manual fog machine without a remote control is safer to use, cheaper to purchase, easy to mount, and fairly worry-free in most areas. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead – let the party begin – and set the right mood with your fog machine!