Author Topic: Strobe Failures  (Read 464 times)

Offline Gary

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2015
  • Location: Chilliwack, BC Canada
  • Posts: 377
  • Kudos: 3
    • Diamond Crescent Musical Christmas Lights
Strobe Failures
« on: January 09, 2018, 02:18:46 PM »
I bought xenon strobe lights in 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2017. The ones I bought in 2012 from www.winterlandinc.com are still going strong with a low percentage of failures. The ones in 2014 (from www.creativedisplays.com?... can't remember for sure) were okay for a few years, but are few are starting to fail. The ones bought in 2015 and 2017 (from DIY LED Express) have been dropping like flies, but their warranty/replacement/refund policy has been good at least.
 They all look pretty well the same with the usual white base and screw into a C9 socket. The ones I bought in 2012 were supposed to flash about 100-120 times per minute and held up to their rating, and the ones in 2014 and 2015 were supposed to be 180 flashes per minute and were about that range, but the 2017 ones were supposed to be 180 times per minute but were closer to 120 flashes per minute in reality. I'm kind of frustrated with the quality of strobes the past few years. How have others fared with their strobe purchases over the last few years and where did you get them from?

Offline jnealand

  • Developer
  • ******
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Location: Kennesaw, GA
  • Posts: 2,511
  • Kudos: 50
Re: Strobe Failures
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 03:33:00 PM »
I got tired of strobe failures and just quit using them.  Don't miss them either except at Halloween with some thunder sounds.  I bought a big batch (way more than I needed) many years (6?) ago and just kept replacing them as they failed.  Still have some brand new ones left.  Two years ago I forgot to hang them on my megatree as I put the pole up so I just skipped it and then decided I did not really need them.  With pixels you can also turn on sparkles and maybe use the strobe effect.  YMMV  Just some feedback.
Jim Nealand
Kennesaw, GA Falcon and Lynx, all 12v Multisync with Pi and BBB P10 and P5

Offline tbone321

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Join Date: Oct 2014
  • Location:
  • Posts: 1,518
  • Kudos: 46
Re: Strobe Failures
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 03:51:48 PM »
How are you powering them?  If you have them connected to an AC dimmer, that could be the cause of some of your issues.  Even at full on, you really don't get a clean AC signal and some of these flasher circuits depend on that, especially the lower cost ones.  If you are using an AC dimmer, I would have the dimmer controlling a relay and have the relay supply power to the strobes.  Then you will both be able to control them in your sequence and still give them the clean power most of them require.

Offline rstehle

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Join Date: Aug 2015
  • Location: Colorado Springs
  • Posts: 216
  • Kudos: 0
Re: Strobe Failures
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2018, 03:57:41 PM »
I have used the Xenon Strobes from CDI for years and had only 1 or 2 failures out of 75 or so in my show. 

Offline Gary

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2015
  • Location: Chilliwack, BC Canada
  • Posts: 377
  • Kudos: 3
    • Diamond Crescent Musical Christmas Lights
Re: Strobe Failures
« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2018, 12:18:36 AM »
I got tired of strobe failures and just quit using them.  Don't miss them either except at Halloween with some thunder sounds.  I bought a big batch (way more than I needed) many years (6?) ago and just kept replacing them as they failed.  Still have some brand new ones left.  Two years ago I forgot to hang them on my megatree as I put the pole up so I just skipped it and then decided I did not really need them.  With pixels you can also turn on sparkles and maybe use the strobe effect.  YMMV  Just some feedback.


I use the sparkles effect on my pixels which is okay, but I have my strobes staked upright randomly on my lawn to add some nice sparkle at the right times in my show... and I'm certainly not going to cover my lawn in pixels!

Offline Gary

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2015
  • Location: Chilliwack, BC Canada
  • Posts: 377
  • Kudos: 3
    • Diamond Crescent Musical Christmas Lights
Re: Strobe Failures
« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2018, 12:23:05 AM »
How are you powering them?  If you have them connected to an AC dimmer, that could be the cause of some of your issues.  Even at full on, you really don't get a clean AC signal and some of these flasher circuits depend on that, especially the lower cost ones.  If you are using an AC dimmer, I would have the dimmer controlling a relay and have the relay supply power to the strobes.  Then you will both be able to control them in your sequence and still give them the clean power most of them require.


I'm using Lynx Express controllers. The channels are set for strobes, so there is no chance of accidental "dimming" of my strobes. "Dirty" AC power could be part of the problem, but I think that it's mostly related to build quality. I remember that when first testing some of my new strobes in 2015, some "limped" in their flashing pattern right out of the box and plugged directly into the wall when I was testing them out.

Offline Gary

  • Supporting Member
  • ******
  • Join Date: Jan 2015
  • Location: Chilliwack, BC Canada
  • Posts: 377
  • Kudos: 3
    • Diamond Crescent Musical Christmas Lights
Re: Strobe Failures
« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2018, 12:38:48 AM »
I have used the Xenon Strobes from CDI for years and had only 1 or 2 failures out of 75 or so in my show.


You mean www.creativedisplays.com? Do you remember what year you bought them? I do wonder if there was once a bygone "golden era" of strobe manufacturing where the quality led to a long-lasting bulb.


The strobes at Creative Displays flash on the slow side, and I have a lot already that have served me well. I was hoping to get something faster to randomize the overall flashing effect from the get-go, rather than after a few seconds.

 

Back to top