Simple Guide to Use Fog Machine without Remote

  • By: Kevin
  • Date: October 8, 2023
  • Time to read: 9 min.
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Using a fog machine without a remote is easy. Most fog machines have a manual control panel on top of the unit. The control panel can either be button-operated or touchscreen. On the panel, you can change the output rate, among other features.

If you’re looking for a way to add some ambiance and atmosphere to your Halloween party or any event, then a fog machine might be just what you’re after.

However, not all of them come with remote controls so how do you turn them on? Check out this simple guide for using a fog machine without a remote.

Simple Guide to Use Fog Machine without Remote

Look for the power source it could be a battery pack, AC adapter, or wall plug.

This is the first thing you should check for when using a fog machine without a remote control. You will have to know whether or not the machine uses batteries or plugins.

Fog machines that use batteries usually have a battery pack attached to the bottom of the machine. The power source is typically connected via a cable, which can be plugged into an extension cord or directly into an outlet if there’s no cable.

If you’re using a fog machine with an AC adapter, then it will most likely come with one, and all you need to do is find where you want to put it within reach so that your guests won’t trip over any cords while walking around during your party event.

Without a remote, you will most likely just press the red button in the picture. This part must be attached for remotes and the fog machine to function. Some also have built in fuses.

When you press the button the fog machine will heat up and then blow fog, keep in mind some machines will shut back off, while others will keep going till it gets to hot or runs out of fog juice.

If your machine turns off after 30 seconds or so, you will want to be close by to press the button again. After the first time the heating element is already warm so you don’t usually have to wait the 3-5 minutes like the first time, but if it’s not a high end fog machine you will have to wait a bit of time between puffs of fog.

If this is not working, make sure you have the other power cord plugged into the wall, fluid is added, and the fog power switch is turned on.

In the case of wall plug type, this means finding close by electrical outlets for both the unit itself as well as other devices being used during the party occasion such as speakers, etc. You should avoid positioning these too far away from each other as this can create a tripping hazard.

Add fog fluid

Open the fog fluid tank and add the right amount of fog fluid. Replace the tank cover and make sure it’s securely fastened to avoid leakage during use.

Fog machines can be used with any type of smoke machine fluid, including glycol-based fluids that are popularly used in Halloween parties for creating special effects such as ghosts, mist, etc.

You should always check whether your unit is compatible with the specific type you intend to use, though some units may not work well when using certain types of fluids (e.g., oil-based).

Plugin any additional accessories

You might want to check whether or not you can add other lighting effects to your fog machine, such as a strobe light. 

Some machines may not allow for this, but if yours does, plugin any additional accessories you wish to use with the fog machine and make sure they are plugged into an electrical outlet or extension cord that’s close by (not too far away) in order to avoid trip hazards – remember where you’ve placed it when setting up your event area earlier on.

Don’t forget haze machines are best to enhance the lighting.

Turn the machine on and let it heat up.

Once you’ve found the power source, turn it on and let the fog machine heat up. The time it takes to warm depends on the model you have, but generally speaking, it shouldn’t take too long around five minutes should do.

Fog machines that run off AC adapters usually have a light indicator that will turn from red to green once they’re ready for use, and those with batteries also indicate when it’s good to go by turning a switch or button into “on” mode.

The “on” button may not always be on the control panel. It may be on the side of the machine, so just check it out to make sure.

Select the desired mode by pressing the corresponding number button(s)

Often, there is a “Mode” button that allows you to change the direction where fog will be released towards the floor or up. There may also be a number of other buttons on some units that control output speed, fan mode (on/off), among others.

The functions are usually indicated by symbols next to each button, so make sure to check it out before using your machine for optimal performance with desired effects.

There may be a “Start/Stop” button on some fog machines that allow you to command the machine to start or stop producing fog. So you may want to check it out if you have one.

Control the fog output/speed accordingly

Once the fog starts to come out of the machine, you can control it with a dial or button to ensure that it’s going at an appropriate speed and volume. 

If using a fog machine for Halloween parties, this is usually done by setting lower levels initially so as not to overwhelm guests who are wearing costumes such as ghosts which may appear more convincing if coming from thin air rather than too much smoke.

You should also keep your guest in mind when trying to achieve certain effects – e.g., if they’re outside on a windy day, then there’s no point creating ghostly figures since these will be blown away immediately so just try something different instead.

Turn off the machine once done or when leaving for a break.

If there’s no “Start/Stop” button, then just turn off the fog machine after use to conserve power and avoid leakage of fluid unless your unit has an automatic shut-off feature that turns it off by itself, in which case just let this function work its magic. 

Otherwise, make sure to always unplug the cord from the electrical outlet when not using or when going on breaks during event day (e.g., lunchtime).

This is extremely important. But again, if you don’t want any accidents happening like spilling smoke fluid all over your flooring etc., then do remember where you’ve placed everything along with the cord.

Benefits of Using a Fog Machine without a Remote

The manual control panel is simpler to operate.

Compared to remote-controlled units, manual control panel fog machines are simpler to operate. So if you need something quick and easy (e.g., for Halloween), then this is probably the best option out there just plug & play.

Direct access to controls on the machine itself rather than via wireless remote means that they’re easier to use without taking your eyes off what’s in front of you or having any distractions while operating them during an event, e.g., adjusting/checking settings, etc.


There is no walking around with a remote trying desperately not to drop it because these buttons can be pretty small sometimes, so accidentally pressing one of them when fumbling about would mean some serious delay before resuming work again, which isn’t ideal at all, especially if time is precious.

It is easier to monitor the machine.

As you are already directly interacting with the machine, it is much easier to monitor whether the fog machine is producing enough smoke or not, how much fluid it has left, etc.

The unit itself is cheaper.

Often, a remote-less fog machine is cheaper than one with one. This is because the manufacturer doesn’t need to invest in parts (e.g., remotes) which also increase production costs, so they can pass on some of these savings onto buyers like you and me.

A win-win situation if there ever was one.

Downsides of Using a Fog Machine Without Remote

It may not be very convenient.

This is especially the case if you have to deal with guests while controlling the machine at the same time.

Remote Fog Machine FAQs

Final Thoughts

It is possible to use a fog machine without a remote as long as it has manual controls. Most fog machines have these functions on the top of the machine where you can select desired modes and speeds to adjust output volume, speed, etc.

If you are interested in seeing the best fog machines please check here.

Please be careful and use at your own risk
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