Which disco ball is best?
You might normally find them spinning above a dance floor, but with their iconic retro appeal, disco balls can make great home decor, too. The kitsch look of classic mirror balls lends itself well to rooms with a vintage style or they can be exciting additions to kids or teenagers bedrooms. If you’re looking for a large mirror ball, the NuLink Disco Mirror Ball is a perfect choice.
What to know before you buy a disco ball
Types of disco balls
You’ll find two main types of disco balls available: classic mirror balls and electronic disco light balls.
- Mirror balls: These are what most people picture when they think of disco balls. They are spheres totally covered in tiny mirrors. They reflect light, causing it to dart around the room, creating interesting effects. While they can reflect ambient light in a room (such as daylight through a window), they really shine when they have colored lights aimed at them.
- Disco light balls: Disco light balls are self-contained lighting units that feature LED lights inside a faceted half-sphere. The sphere rotates, causing light to bounce around the room as it would hitting a classic mirror ball.
Consider what kind of size you’re looking for when choosing a disco ball. There are all kinds of options.
- Mini: Measuring less than 6 inches across, mini disco balls are usually used as ornaments or decorative pieces. You can even find tiny keychain-sized balls.
- Small: Measuring 6 to 7 inches across, these are great for small rooms where they won’t overwhelm the space.
- Medium: Measuring 8 to 10 inches across, mid-size mirror balls are a good choice for many buyers, since they’re neither too small nor too large.
- Large: Measuring 11 to 13 inches across, large disco balls are mostly found in clubs or bars, but you can use them at home if you have a suitable space.
You’ll want to think about the materials the mirrors are made from and those used for the inner ball.
- Mirror materials: The mirrors can either be made from glass or plastic. Plastic mirrors are safer since they won’t break or have excessively sharp edges. However, some purists believe that glass mirrors reflect light significantly better.
- Ball materials: The inner ball is usually either made from styrofoam or plastic. There’s not a huge difference between them, but plastic is marginally more durable.
What to look for in a quality disco ball
If you choose a disco-light ball, it will have an integrated motor to cause the lights to rotate. If you choose a mirror disco ball, it usually won’t come with a motor, so it only spins if agitated. However, some come with separate motor units that fit on the ceiling.
Motorized mirror balls often come with remote controls so you can switch between settings from afar in a more convenient manner.
Mirror balls usually come with a hook to hang them from, but they may not include the other hardware you need to hang them from the ceiling.
How much you can expect to spend on a disco ball
Small mirror balls start at around $15-$25, while large ones cost as much as $40-$80. Disco light balls cost anywhere from $20-$100, depending on how elaborate they are.
Disco ball FAQ
What’s the purpose of a disco ball?
A. The sole purpose of a disco ball is to produce an interesting lighting effect. With traditional mirror balls, lights hit the ball as it rotates, reflecting off the mirrors and beaming fine rays all around the room. Electric disco light balls aim to reproduce this effect but with built-in lights. They’re usually used in nightclubs and music venues.
Are disco balls from the ’70s?
A. Many people think of mirror balls as coming from the 1970s because they’re synonymous with the ’70s disco era. However, disco balls were used in clubs as far back as the 1920s, and they were also extremely popular in the ’60s and ’80s.
What were disco balls originally called?
A. Disco balls predate the disco genre. Back before disco was king, they were known as mirror balls or glitter balls, which they’re still sometimes called today.
What’s the best disco ball to buy?
Top disco ball
What you need to know: Measuring 12 inches across, this large mirror ball is perfect for clubs, venues or home use.
What you’ll love: It comes with the hanging ring securely installed, so you don’t need to worry about it falling out. The inner ball is made from sturdy polyvinyl chloride, or PVC. It has excellent mirror coverage and is at least 95% gap-free.
What you should consider: A handful of buyers have received balls with excessive gaps.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top disco ball for the money
What you need to know: With an 8-inch diameter, this is a more practical choice for home decor than larger models.
What you’ll love: It comes on a secure hanging hook. The inner ball is made from sturdy solid styrofoam. It reflects light well and has minimal gaps.
What you should consider: Some of the mirror pieces may fall off in transit, so you’ll have to glue them back on or put up with gaps.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: If you’re looking for a disco ball that emits its own light, this is an excellent choice.
What you’ll love: It has six lighting modes, three blasting flash modes, three voice control modes and three rotation speeds. You can switch among six solid colors or choose the multicolor mode. It comes with a remote control.
What you should consider: It’s fairly loud, so you may need to turn your music up to compensate.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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