Last updated: August 26, 2021

Welcome to our big strobe light test 2021. Here we present all the strobe lights we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best strobe light for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should pay attention to if you want to buy a strobe light.




The most important facts

  • Strobe lights are very widespread. They are used for entertainment purposes, as a tool or as a warning.
  • Strobe lights are known for their sequence of light flashes. These can lead to an optical illusion and the so-called stroboscope effect.
  • For private use, mostly ignition light guns and LED strobes are offered.

The Best Strobe Light: Our Picks

Shopping Guide

What is a strobe light?

A strobe light is a flashing device that flashes light in regular time intervals. Depending on the type, it is usually used as a light effect for discotheques or to determine the ignition timing of an engine. When using a stroboscope in the dark, the effect becomes apparent that movements, due to the change between brightness and darkness, look ticked off and these are simulated to the human eye as jumps in movement.

Strobe lights can be used as entertainment lighting. (Image source: unsplash.com / Jesse Echevarria)

Furthermore, strobes are used in medicine, industry, aircraft technology or as warning lights. This covers many areas, such as entertainment or repairs, but stroboscope lights also regulate our everyday life as vital warning signs.

How does a strobe light work?

A strobe light is nothing more than a light. What is special about it is the regular flashing of light. These flashes of light are timed and can cause an optical illusion in which the human eye is presented with a still image as soon as motion sequences are synchronised with the flashes of light.

The optical illusion of a stroboscopic effect fools people into thinking that there are jumps in movement. (Image source: 123rf.com / alphaspirit)

Asynchronous activities look like a sequence of images because the person in question can only see something when the scenery is illuminated. Therefore, jumps occur during momentary darkness. The lifetime of a stroboscope is about108 flashes and the frequency of the flashes ranges up to about 1 kHz. The light source of the strobe lights consists of either light-emitting diodes or xenon flash lights.

What are the alternatives to strobe lights?

The alternatives for stroboscopic lights are very limited. There are instructions on how to build one yourself for ignition light guns, while strobes that are used for entertainment purposes can also be compensated for by other light effects.

Alternatives Description
Self-creation of an ignition light gun Should be built carefully and only with expertise. Can produce the same effect if successfully assembled.
DMX stroboscope Expensive alternative to LEDs. Is more powerful, but produces the same effect.
LED disco ball Produces small, moving beams of light in a wide variety of colours.
Black light Ultraviolet radiation that makes white clothing and products stand out in the dark.

Another, but more expensive alternative to the LED stroboscope is the DMX stroboscope. The mode of operation is the same, but no small LEDs light up, because the DMX stroboscope works with a long xenon light tube that is amplified by interior mirrors.

Decision

Strobe lights are available in a wide variety of versions. Whether as blue lights for ambulances or in pyrotechnics as flares, many areas are covered. However, we specialise in stroboscopic lights, which are most common in private use. The following strobe lights are available:

  • Ignition light gun
  • LED stroboscope

In the following section, we will show you the characteristics of each strobe light and inform you about its advantages and disadvantages.

What are the characteristics of a strobe gun and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An ignition light gun, also known as a strobe gun, is used to determine the ideal ignition timing of a motor vehicle. To do this, it is connected to the ignition so that it flashes at the right time.

Advantages
  • Helps the vehicle find the optimal ignition timing
  • The optimal ignition timing is essential for the longevity of the engine
  • Uncomplicated operation
Disadvantages
  • Not intended for entertainment purposes or as a toy
  • Looking directly into the light can have health consequences
  • Intended only for persons with specialist knowledge

The flickering of the light flashes synchronises with the motor and flickers exactly at one revolution. Therefore, it appears as if a still image is being created. An ignition mark, which is marked in advance, indicates an angle that can be adjusted with the help of the ignition timing gun.

What are the characteristics of an LED stroboscope and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

LED stroboscopes are used for entertainment. They are used in discotheques and clubs as a light effect. In dark rooms, the effect with the ticked-off motion sequences becomes visible. This optical illusion fascinates most people again and again and is therefore very popular at such events.

The light-emitting diode stroboscope can also be used well at private parties and provides great effects. Since LED strobes are the cheapest version of strobe lights, they are ideal for private use.

Advantages
  • Produces a unique light effect that can amaze people
  • optical illusion as an entertainment factor
  • LED stroboscopes can produce faster flash sequences than DMX stroboscopes
Disadvantages
  • No use as an aid
  • Dangerous to epileptic seizures
  • May cause health problems with prolonged use

Buying criteria

Strobe lights can be distinguished from each other by a few criteria. Depending on what kind of strobe light you are looking for, you should take a closer look at the following buying criteria. You can distinguish between stroboscopes based on the following criteria:

  • Reliability
  • Workmanship
  • Compatibility
  • Digital function
  • Light effect

For a rough classification between the stroboscopes, we will now explain the individual criteria in detail.

Reliability

The reliability of a strobe light is a very important factor if the light is to be used as an aid.

Whether used as an ignition light gun or as a warning light, strobe lights should function reliably, otherwise damage or dangerous situations may occur.

Reliability cannot be determined on the basis of a value, but user experience with the respective products can help. These experiences can be passed on in the form of recommendations or criticism. For example, whether the light always works without problems or whether it flickers evenly.

Strobes are often used as light effects in discotheques. (Image source: unsplash.com / Banter Snaps)

Therefore, it is very beneficial that you read through some product reviews before deciding on a product. Low reliability of the stroboscope indicates poor quality and should not be purchased.

Workmanship

The workmanship of a strobe light is another important factor. Ignition light guns are usually made of plastic, while LED strobes are usually made of aluminium. The material of a stroboscope should not necessarily be of high quality, because it does not play a major role in its usefulness.

It should only be resistant. Therefore, the workmanship does not specialise in the material used, but in the assembly of the stroboscopes. Does something rattle inside the lamp or does it almost fall apart? This also indicates poor quality and should be avoided.

To distinguish the workmanship from each other, you can on the one hand look at the products in reality and test them if necessary.

Compatibility

In and of themselves, ignition light guns are compatible with almost every car. However, there are differences in the electrical voltage. Strobe guns are available with 6 volts or 12 volts. Furthermore, most ignition light guns specify a maximum number of revolutions. If the revolutions of your own vehicle are higher, the light is not suitable for determining the ideal ignition timing.

Digital function

Digital ignition light guns are not absolutely necessary, as analogue strobe lights produce the same end result, but digital solutions can be very helpful. They can reveal more information and make operation easier.

Since digital stroboscopes are more expensive, they are recommended for people who would use them regularly. For example, in industry or as a car mechanic, people resort to this professional version.

LED stroboscopes usually do not have digital functions, but there are a few suppliers that allow operation via mobile phone, for example.

Light effect

Some LED stroboscopes can score with a wide range of light effects. While xenon stroboscopes usually have only one function, light-emitting diodes are versatile. For example, many LED strobes can change their light colour and provide a colourful colour spectacle.

In addition, some stroboscopes have a sound function. This ensures that the flashes of light adapt to the music playing. Furthermore, many stroboscopes can also be used as normal lights as soon as the stroboscope effect is switched off. Therefore, you can use these lights multifunctionally.

Facts worth knowing about strobe lights

How do I set the ignition correctly using a strobe light?

First, the strobe light should be connected to the correct power source. If the motor vehicle offers a different power voltage, the ignition light gun must be supplied with power externally. So that the ignition can now be set, the light is connected to the battery and connected to the ignition cable with the help of the trigger pliers.

The correct orientation is important, as the pliers should point towards the spark plug. The ignition light gun is ready for use and can now provide information about the ignition setting. If necessary, this can now be revised.

Is a strobe light harmful to health?

Under no circumstances should you look into a strobe light for too long. On the one hand, it can be harmful to your eyes in the long term due to the very bright flashes of light. On the other hand, the flickering lights can cause epileptic seizures.

In an epileptic seizure, the person loses consciousness due to a sequence of electrical discharges of his nerve cells. Such a seizure lasts for several minutes and can lead to behavioural disturbances.

Such a risk of epilepsy is also present when not looking directly into a strobe light. As soon as a stroboscope creates a stroboscopic effect in a dark room and people stay in this room for too long, it can lead to similar incidents. Therefore, stroboscopes should be handled with care. Likewise, people who already suffer from epilepsy should stay away from such stroboscopic lights.

Image source: 123rf.com / 91820184

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