View Poll Results: Have you ever owned a strobe light?
Yes. 38 45.78%
No. 39 46.99%
No, but someone in the dwelling did. 6 7.23%
Voters: 83. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 09-10-2019, 10:59 AM
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Have you ever owned a strobe light?


I don't mean an automotive strobe light (tool). I mean something you use in your house/in a party, like this one

Have you ever owned one?
  #2  
Old 09-10-2019, 11:02 AM
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Yup. WAY back in the early 70s. Had a couple of blacklights, too.
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Old 09-10-2019, 11:28 AM
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Of course, standard kid equipment in late 70s/early 80s; as was the lava lamp & black lights & year-round Christmas lights. I was totally drug free until my late 40s. Just naturally trippy.
  #4  
Old 09-10-2019, 11:33 AM
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Got one from Target a couple years back for our front yard Halloween decor.
  #5  
Old 09-10-2019, 11:36 AM
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No, too many epileptic friends.
  #6  
Old 09-10-2019, 11:37 AM
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No, but I had a light switch and a really twitchy wrist.
  #7  
Old 09-10-2019, 11:50 AM
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No, but I had a plasma globe!
  #8  
Old 09-10-2019, 11:51 AM
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I have one of those multi-function flash lights that has a strobe function for emergencies. Since that doesn't meet the spirit of the OP, I voted no.
  #9  
Old 09-10-2019, 12:25 PM
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My company bought one for an exhibit prototype about 15 years ago. It's still up on a shelf in the shop.
  #10  
Old 09-10-2019, 01:48 PM
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Yes--a skull one like this.
  #11  
Old 09-10-2019, 02:32 PM
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I still own it too.
I bought it for when I feel like dancing to "Mr Roboto"
  #12  
Old 09-10-2019, 02:41 PM
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Yep. We bring it out every week or two for the wee kids to dance to.
  #13  
Old 09-10-2019, 02:43 PM
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I own several different types of strobe light, including ones from Radio Shack and Spencer gifts that were bought in the 1970s and "professional" ones like the Martin Atomic.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 09-10-2019 at 02:46 PM.
  #14  
Old 09-10-2019, 04:10 PM
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I didn't own one, but I had access to one. When I was stationed on Adak Island, I did airfield maintenance, so I had a spare approach strobe light in my shop. I used to schlep it up to a cabin where we had parties and let it rip. I once got a call from the airport tower asking me WTF was going on up on the hill.

I also had a lava lamp. Hey, it was the 60s/early 70s.
  #15  
Old 09-10-2019, 04:21 PM
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Yes. Did I mention that a college roommate and I were both big fans of the B-52s?
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  #16  
Old 09-10-2019, 04:32 PM
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Yes, back in the 60s and 70s. And I bought one a few years ago that was sold as a "strobe light" but was LEDs that turned on and off, with about equal times spent on and off. This was like a turn signal, and had absolutely no motion-stopping ability. It has since dawned on me how difficult it is to determine whether something sold as a "strobe light" actually has that stroboscopic effect. I think it has to be a xenon flash lamp strobe light -- in spite of the fact that you *could* design an LED based light with stroboscopic effect. LEDs care about average power but tolerate it in brief extreme pulses quite well.
  #17  
Old 09-10-2019, 05:36 PM
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Made a few for myself and others back in the 70s. Neat little thing when you were ------ studying.
  #18  
Old 09-10-2019, 05:40 PM
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I've got a LED light bulb that almost immediately after being installed decided to flaunt that "lasts forever" business by turning itself on and off randomly. The toggles aren't fast enough to be a strobe, but sometimes when it's toggling it can't decide what it wants to do and strobes for a second or two.

It's a shining* testament to my laziness that I haven't gotten rid of it.


*intermittently
  #19  
Old 09-10-2019, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalej42 View Post
Yes. Did I mention that a college roommate and I were both big fans of the B-52s?
Giggling way too hard at that.
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  #20  
Old 09-10-2019, 07:07 PM
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I never owned a strobe, but I have an LED UV flashlight and I consider it probably the best material acquisition of my adult life.
  #21  
Old 09-11-2019, 08:19 PM
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I have one. I got it cheap at a yard sale.
Back when I taught physical science, we had an expensive one and some discs and a spinner. The disc spinner was a single speed unit, but the strobe speed was adjustable. The thick paper discs were about 12" in diameter and had designs that would change appearance at different strobe speeds. One of them was a cutaway diagram of a WWI radial engine. It was our second-best demo, bested only by watching students getting hit with 250 kV from the big Van De Graaf.
  #22  
Old 09-11-2019, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya View Post
Giggling way too hard at that.
I didn't get it.
  #23  
Old 09-11-2019, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny L.A. View Post
I didn't get it.
https://youtu.be/DrYxPH1zH18
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  #24  
Old 09-12-2019, 04:30 AM
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I built a custom-made strobe light when I was 13 years old.

I hammered together a plywood framed cube and glued textured, semi-transparent plastic panes to all but the bottom surface. Inside, I suspended a balled string of blinking Christmas lights.

I had visions of throwing a wild psychedelic party at my pad for all the cool kids in town. We’d groove to Iron Butterfly’s In A Gadda Da Vida (pilfered from my older sister’s record collection), blasted through my Sears & Roebuck portable hi-fi system. I’d serve sophisticated hors d'oeuvres, like liverwurst on Ritz crackers. And surely some of the hip, connected kids would bring ample supplies of Boone’s Farm Strawberry Hill wine and Löwenbräu beer.

The air would be thick with clouds of pot smoke. I’d wear my pucca bead necklace and tie-dye tee-shirt—surely an irresistible sight for the hot chicks in attendance. My custom-built psychedelic strobe light would be center stage, shining orgasmic, multi-colored rays of pulsating light on all surfaces. The town would be talking about this party for years to come! I’d be the Prince of Delaware Valley!

Yeah, that was the vision I had. Unfortunately, the party did not pan out the way I planned. The only party-goers that showed up were my nerd friends and a burn-out kid who smelled like rotten fish. The only “hot chick” to attend was my next door girlfriend, Chrissy. She had epilepsy. Nobody brought beer, wine or pot. My parents made me hold the party in our musty, unfinished basement, next to the sump pump and sawdust on the floor from Dad’s Sears & Roebuck table saw (made shortly after WWII, and still working in my garage to this day). The only beverage served was Boost! Drink Atoast (aka flat cola) and hors d'oeuvres consisted of popcorn and Fritos corn chips. The In A Gadda Da Vida record was scratched and skipped.

But, the biggest disappointment of the evening was my custom-built strobe light. It didn’t bathe the walls, floor and ceiling with orgasmic pulses of multi-colored light. In fact the light didn’t even reach the walls, floor and ceiling. Which is just as well, since a real strobe effect would probably have triggered a grand mal seizure in Chrissy.

My other big failure in 7th grade was my wood-shop shoe-shine box. It just didn’t work and the passive active-aggressive shop teacher ridiculed me unmercifully for it in front of class for weeks. “Here’s how not to make a shoe-shine box...” Asshole.
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  #25  
Old 09-12-2019, 06:41 AM
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No, I never owned a strobe light,but I do have a lava lamp. Does that count?
  #26  
Old 09-12-2019, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo View Post
I own several different types of strobe light
  • There are some in the basement that get dragged out for Halloween display.
  • I used to have an authorized one in my car (first responder).
  • I also have a couple Lightman strobes that I use for riding. They're obnoxiously bright when clipped onto clothing/mounted to the bike but that's their purpose, to get me noticed so that I make it home unscathed.
  #27  
Old 09-12-2019, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Napier View Post
Yes, back in the 60s and 70s. And I bought one a few years ago that was sold as a "strobe light" but was LEDs that turned on and off, with about equal times spent on and off. This was like a turn signal, and had absolutely no motion-stopping ability. It has since dawned on me how difficult it is to determine whether something sold as a "strobe light" actually has that stroboscopic effect. I think it has to be a xenon flash lamp strobe light -- in spite of the fact that you *could* design an LED based light with stroboscopic effect. LEDs care about average power but tolerate it in brief extreme pulses quite well.
Physics Toolbox has a strobe function for the LED flash. (Worked well on my older very cheap ZTE but not at all on my current Samsung for some reason.)
  #28  
Old 09-16-2019, 12:47 AM
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I'm rather surprised that nearly 50% of Dopers have owned a strobe light. I feel like I've missed out on something...
  #29  
Old 09-16-2019, 08:48 AM
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For a few years a friend and I ran a PA (sound system) hire company. When we started doing raves we decided to add lights. Required items:

Strobe lights (synched up to be one great big strobe)
Smoke machine
Black-light UV tubes
Multi coloured light-beamy stuff
Psychedelic slide projectors
(Also a LASER, but we didn't supply that. Occasionally a mirror ball came with the venue.)

FWIW, you need the smoke so you get proper punter pleasing light-beams (including the LASER).
Also if you fill a hall with smoke* you can make the entire venue strobe.

At one point we also had a bubble machine. Turned out to be too messy.


* The effect is more of a "mist" but no-one calls the devices "mist machines".
  #30  
Old 09-16-2019, 08:58 AM
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The proper term is "haze". A different type of fluid (and machine) produces "fog".
  #31  
Old 09-16-2019, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowboarder Bo
The proper term is "haze".
There's a proper term for that? * OK. When you want the LASER to look good do you say "put some more haze in the room"?

I do remember the stuff came (in fluid or canisters) in different "flavours" (fruits? seasons? I don't remember). As long as it didn't actually smell like real smoke (from a fire!) I suppose that was the point.

* This was the 1980s, I don't think we had a proper name for anything (except strobes).
  #32  
Old 09-16-2019, 03:01 PM
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No, strobe lights are irritating to me. I have owned blacklights and lava lamps. I may or may not have a disco ball in my den right now.
  #33  
Old 09-16-2019, 08:48 PM
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‘Party’ strobe, auto strobe, and camera strobe. I’m a 3-time loser.

Also black lights, lava lamp, and color organ.
  #34  
Old 09-16-2019, 10:05 PM
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I find strobe lights incredibly annoying. But I do have one in my emergency kit. There is also one that Celtling made, I think it was one of her "Snap Circuits" projects.
  #35  
Old 09-16-2019, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Small Clanger View Post
There's a proper term for that? * OK. When you want the LASER to look good do you say "put some more haze in the room"?

I do remember the stuff came (in fluid or canisters) in different "flavours" (fruits? seasons? I don't remember). As long as it didn't actually smell like real smoke (from a fire!) I suppose that was the point.

* This was the 1980s, I don't think we had a proper name for anything (except strobes).
Yep. Hazers and foggers are two different things, and they are both distinct from dry ice foggers. Hazers are smaller particles than foggers and so they are less intrusive to the lungs and nasal passages. It also spreads faster since the particles are lighter and can thus be easily moved by air circulatory systems.

Basically, haze is 1 nanometer diameter or less and fog is 1nm and up.

Yes, lighting designers and directors will call for "more haze", unless they are the ones running the console, in which case they'll just do it themselves (provided there's a data line to the hazer and fan, natch).

It's not just for lasers, either. Use lighting folks use haze all the time; that's what allows us to paint pretty colors in the air with our moving lights. After all, if there's nothing solid for the light to bounce off of, you don't see the light.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 09-16-2019 at 10:16 PM.
  #36  
Old 09-17-2019, 12:17 AM
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Yep. In the mid-70's. Got it from the JcPenney catalog. Had a blue plastic housing around it. Cost $17 which was a chunk of change for a 15 year old in 1975. Used to jam to Kiss records while strobing the room.

Then the bulb burned out and it was next to impossible to get a replacement.
  #37  
Old 09-17-2019, 01:26 AM
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Note: just so you know, the vast majority of epileptics are NOT photosensitive. Only about 3% of epileptics have it.

However, if you DO have a friend with epilepsy, make sure you ask them before you expose them to a strobe, just in case.
  #38  
Old 09-17-2019, 08:31 AM
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Early-to-mid 1970s. Far out, man!
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