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Strobe Lights In Display


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Ok. I've seen several videos which include Strobe incorporated either inside of Mega Trees or on the actual house. Nice effect to say the least. My question is "How is it done?" What are the best lights to use? How is it sequenced? How many channels do I use and how many lights can I use on one channel? Thanks in advance for the help and Merry Christmas

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Ron,

The strobes you are seeing screw into a standard C9 light socket and are called "curtain strobes". There are basically two types of these strobes, Xeon and LED.

see these links:

http://www.creativedisplays.com/product/890/C-9-Incandescent-Strobe-Clear/

http://www.christmaslightshow.com/strobe-lights.html

There are not any set rules for running the strobes, other than they don't stay on all the time. Espcially the Xeon ones due to the heat that they generate over a long period.

I can't speak for what their wattage is which would equate to how many on a circuit,

Yes, they definately do add sparkle and punch to the shows.

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I don't use strobes (yet), but I had the exact same questions as you. I didn't understand how they work, or anything about them. I questioned some pretty knowledgeable people, and here is the basic information I took away from that conversation:

1. As Dave mentioned, you can buy strobe lights which screw into C9 sockets.

2. Typically, you place several strobe lights/bulbs on 1 channel for each "element" you want to have strobes (i.e. 25 strobe lights inside your mega-tree is 1 channel, all the strobe lights on your house are 1 channel, etc.).

3. When you turn on the channel controller multiple strobe lights (i.e. 25 inside of your mega-tree), they typically all fire off the first time/flash at the same time, but after that, they are random, and just as you see in the videos. Also, it is very hard to tell that they all flashed at the same time on the first flash.

Those are the basic items. So, you can place as many strobe lights on 1 channel as you like (assuming you don't overload the channel or controller of what it is capable of). Typically, each element which has strobes is 1 channel since all the bulbs flash randomly and you do not control when they flash like you do with all your other channels/circuits.

Hopefully this helps, and if I got anything wrong, hopefully a seasoned strobe light user will step in and correct me.

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Roughly speaking, Zeon's are 6 watts, LED 1 watt. Some a little more, little less. Z's tend to be more of a flash, LED's- a wink.

Creative Designs has some good pricing but do some checking around. Probably higher pricing now vs after season and pre-order sales events.

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If I understand, I build or buy the C9 string and strobes, add them to a channel in sequencing, and at the time I want them to come on, just sequence a 100% intensity for a few seconds and they will flash random except for the first fire, is that correct? Sounds simple enough. Thanks for all the replies and Merry Christmas.

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Mike,

I do have the strobes "sparking" while the sequence is running the mega tree. When the blue led verticals are on along with the pure white led spirals, it adds that unexpected extra punch.

Next year I will add strobes along the ridge and hips of the roof and in my 5ft high "z" trees.

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One thing I would add to this is have the strobes come on when nothing around them is on. I have them in my mega tree this year & programmed them to come on when the tree is lite & it takes away from the effect.

Mike

In one sequence, I have the strobes and a lot of lights on, I fade out the lights leaving only the strobes twinkling. I hear a lot of Ooooohs when I do this.

Another thing to remember is to avoid too much strobe use. People get strobe fatigue after too much strobing. I limit it to no more than 10 seconds at a time. And don't put the xenon strobes up close to the audience, they are bright.

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In one sequence, I have the strobes and a lot of lights on, I fade out the lights leaving only the strobes twinkling. I hear a lot of Ooooohs when I do this.

Another thing to remember is to avoid too much strobe use. People get strobe fatigue after too much strobing. I limit it to no more than 10 seconds at a time. And don't put the xenon strobes up close to the audience, they are bright.

I use this effect too. looks great.

Even the Xenons start off all blinking all at once, but randomize by the third fire. I've heard LEDs fire together for much longer before randomizing. There is a charging technique discussed at length in the forums to randomize the LEDs faster.

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It is important to mention that there are strobes that flash 2-3 times a second and ones that flash 3-4 times a second.

The 3-4 times a second ones are the best kind IMO.They give out that wow factor when they come on.I was originally going to go with them but I read somewhere that you ave to drill holes in them to combat moisture issues.

I use the 2-3 flash/sec type and the problem with those is that when you first turn them on, they seem to all flash together, then there's a pause and takes a few seconds to randomize.To fix this, I use 4 channels for my strobes and put them on with about 1/2 a second of each other.

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  • 1 month later...

Hey folks,

My company sells both Xenon and LED strobes. I have used both in commercial and residential displays so I'll share with you some of my insights:

LEDs are nice because they don't break the bank with regard to power usage.

However, no matter how much you try to "pre-charge" or get them to randomize instantly, they will ALWAYS flash together for about the first 5-10 seconds. This is not useful unless you have a static display.

Xenon are FANTASTIC because they strobe like a "wave," they randomize within the first two flashes and ours (which are about 1.25 seconds between flashes) give a wonderful sparkle effect. The problem? They take up a lot of power. I had to run 200 strobes on two separate channels (on two separate banks) because they pulled so many amps. But frankly, they look better. It was the #1 thing people commented on.

Watch the beginning of this video to see them in action:

lightsmusicmagic.com/portfolio.html

(or click here)

Now for my shameless pitch:

Try out some strobes (and don't forget cord-set) from my store :)

Great, commercial quality, and you won't find a better price anywhere!

All our strobes are available here:

store.lightsmusicmagic.com/Strobes_c_966.html

Or just Click Here!

Edited by JHolmes
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The more flashes per minute, the better. Choose wisely.

Bill

Bill hit it on the head. The faster flashing strobes will randomize way faster. Although the quality of construction could be a little better, I prefer Darryl's over the others.

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Or get on on this pre-sale while it lasts.

great prices!

http://www.diyledexp...e=index&cPath=6

Has anyone else been in on this group buy before they went online or is anyone participating this year? Awesome price for strobes, just want to make sure it is a decent product and service. I do have 40 strobes from CDI and had no failures this year, but this is price is too good to pass up.

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Has anyone else been in on this group buy before they went online or is anyone participating this year? Awesome price for strobes, just want to make sure it is a decent product and service. I do have 40 strobes from CDI and had no failures this year, but this is price is too good to pass up.

Don't know, but I did buy another 50 Xenon strobes from them this morning to check them out. Can you say Sun glasses Please!

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Has anyone else been in on this group buy before they went online or is anyone participating this year? Awesome price for strobes, just want to make sure it is a decent product and service. I do have 40 strobes from CDI and had no failures this year, but this is price is too good to pass up.

I purchased from them during the last group buy in sept. No problems, good communication. I think I'll be getting more this time around as well.

Edited by buddhawood
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I purchased from them during the last group buy in sept. No problems, good communication. I think I'll be getting more this time around as well.

Thanks buddhawood. Went ahead and put an order through. Now I can cross strobe lights off the list for 2012.

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This was my first year with strobes and the WOW factor is definitely there! I turned them on sparingly and typically only at the end of a song. The effect of the prolonged twinkling while the rest of the display goes dark got a lot of compliments from the visitors.

I have an all LED display and went with LED strobes that flash 2-3 times a second. I used about 10 seconds of 10% power to randomize them. My disappointment was that even at 10% power, the strobe flash was noticeable.

My strobes are C9 screw in and I made my own cords so the strobes were all at different lengths. I then ran the cords up the middle of my mega-tree to hooks on the underside of the mount. The strobe strings were just inside the other light strings, about 2/3rds the distance.

The "load" time bugged me, but only because I knew the effect I was going for. I mentioned my complaint to a few other regular display attendees who didn't even notice and thought it was intention and looked good. I guess with all the other things going on, it is hard to notice a building pulse of white light.

I do agree, that the more strobes you have the more you want. I have some cone trees and I am thinking I might try a few strobes inside each of them.

One little word of advice... If you do buy your own C9 clip on sockets like I did, plan for some damage and get more than what you need. With my 100 strobes, I could only use 96 because 4 of the clamp on C9 sockets shattered during install.

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