Strobe lights add the WOW factor to your show!

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Of all the lighting effects at PlanetChristmas, the most dramatic… and the most talked about is when the strobe lights kick in. It’s like being at a rock concert when the entertainer first walks out on stage and everyone with a camera takes a picture… lights flash, almost all at once from many different directions.

strobe3.jpg (8350 bytes)I use a variety of strobe lights, most are cheap “curtain strobes” which range between $7-15 a piece. Each typically flashes at the rate of once a second. (a source for these is Visual Effects, Inc. or Christmas Light Show whose strobes are already modified) I change out one resistor to make it flash about twice a second. See the yellow pictures. I then wire 20 of these in parallel, spaced three to five feet apart on lamp cord and then drape the “strobe light string” all over a tree. When you turn on the string, it’s very dramatic.

The resistor (where the red arrow is pointing) is replaced with a 2.2M 1/4 watt version which doubles the frequency of the strobe to about twice a second. Playing with the value of this resistor changes how fast the light blinks.

Don’t get too creative and make the strobe housing absolutely waterproof. No matter what you do, water will get inside the unit and then you have a bigger problem because the water can’t escape and will short out the circuitry. Just assume water will get in so provide a way for the water to drain out naturally at the bottom of the fixture.

The picture to the right shows a tree with a bunch of strobe lights in it (the blue-white dots). Put 10-20 strobes, spaced five feet apart on one length of wire and drape the strobes in a tree. When they turn on, everyone will go WOW!

Another trick is to put a lot of strobes in your yard. I use electrical tape and attach a couple of long nails to the base of each strobe so it can be punched into the ground, yet keep it above the grass and moisture. I have several strings of 20 spaced across the yard. The computer will sequentially turn each group on for a few seconds so it looks like the lights are moving as a wave across the yard.

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