How does a strobe work?

Fast LT1

New Member
May 24, 2010
2,017
Sedgwick County, KS
Energy is stored in an electrical component called a capacitor, then dumped into a lamp bulb that's filled with xenon gas. The gas that's in the bulb conducts electricity and produces very intense, sudden flashes of light.
 

Solvarex

Member
Jun 2, 2010
561
Canada
Fast LT1 said:
Energy is stored in an electrical component called a capacitor, then dumped into a lamp bulb that's filled with xenon gas. The gas that's in the bulb conducts electricity and produces very intense, sudden flashes of light.
Xenon is not a conductive gas until it is energized. A better explanation would be as follows.


The flash tube in a strobe has three wires - anode, cathode, trigger. The trigger is the coil wrapped around the exterior of the flash tube while the anode and cathode enter the tube at either end and make contact with the xenon gas. High voltage is applied to the anode and cathode but does not flow until current is also applied to the trigger. The trigger ionizes the xenon gas in the tube which then allows the current to flow from anode to cathode (or vice versa depending on which school of thought you subscribe to), producing an arc which we see as a strobe flash.
 

UndercoverVLS

Member
Jun 1, 2010
337
NY
Solvarex said:
Xenon is not a conductive gas until it is energized. A better explanation would be as follows.


The flash tube in a strobe has three wires - anode, cathode, trigger. The trigger is the coil wrapped around the exterior of the flash tube while the anode and cathode enter the tube at either end and make contact with the xenon gas. High voltage is applied to the anode and cathode but does not flow until current is also applied to the trigger. The trigger ionizes the xenon gas in the tube which then allows the current to flow from anode to cathode (or vice versa depending on which school of thought you subscribe to), producing an arc which we see as a strobe flash.


:shock: thats the super scientific way :shock: nice explanation though!
 

Forum Statistics

Threads
53,198
Messages
446,515
Members
18,757
Latest member
FoxHole

About Us

  • Since 1997, eLightbars has been the premier venue for all things emergency warning equipment. Discussions, classified listings, pictures, videos, chat, & more! Our staff members strive to keep the forums organized and clutter-free. All of our offerings are free-of-charge with all costs offset by banner advertising. Premium offerings are available to improve your experience.

User Menu

Secure Browsing & Transactions

eLightbars.org uses SSL to secure all traffic between our server and your browsing device. All browsing and transactions within are secured by an SSL Certificate with high-strength encryption.