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TECH TALK March 2014: The Art of the Strobe Light

Posted on March 3, 2014

It’s time for another TECH TALK featuring Mike Graham, one of the CHAUVET Professional Product Managers.  Mike?MIKE-GRAHAM

Chauvet Professional has recently launched two new LED strobe lights.  The STRIKE 324 and STRIKE 882 are both very powerful strobe lights with some really cool effect possibilities, and with a little planning, can fit into almost any show.

Let me preface this article by saying that I am an epileptic.  Throughout my childhood, I got it under control with the help of medication, but it is still something that is on my mind every time that I work with strobe lights.  This is something to be conscious of when designing shows with strobe lights involved.  Mind your audience.  In all of the shows that we did when I worked on cruise ships, we always made announcements at the start of every show warning our guests of strobe and pyrotechnic effects.  This is something that I do recommend for all shows, but perhaps that is just me.

Using strobe lights in a concert setting is a no brainer.  Strobes go great with drum solos in rock and country.  They make great blinder effects into the audience, and in electronic dance music (EDM) they are often used in that manner.

A few really cool things that set the STRIKE series apart is the ability to control individual zones of LEDs, as well as to use some built-in zone control preset macros that will give you some crazy cool effects.  Using these effects across several fixtures will give your audience something to talk about after the show.  Because of the ring control, it is possible to use the STRIKE fixtures as more than just strobe lights.  They can be audience blinders, eye candy, and matrixed effect lights if you so choose.  The STRIKE 324 lends itself to the matrixed effect really well with its 8 rings of zone control in a par style body.  These rings can be individually programmed or be run in pre-built macros that can be run at variable speeds to create some really interesting patterns.

Beyond the zone control features, these strobes also have the ability to be run all on at full with no duty cycle, also with no fear of burning out the LEDs.  This has been accomplished by making sure that the cooling on these fixtures was designed to be more than just strobe lights, they can also be used as area lights and work lights.  This is especially true with the STRIKE 882.  Its panel design and 882 LEDs lend themselves to area lights, audience blinders, and work lights.  If you are looking for a blinder effect like you would see in a xenon lamped strobe light, check out the 5 channel mode.  Run channels 1-3 to full.  This will give you that old school blinder effect.

So how do use your STRIKE in other venues besides the concert stage?  A few ideas that come to mind include lightning effects on stage performances,  attention grabbers and audience lighting for corporate events, and anywhere else that you need some extra punch.  But how about you try them out and tell us how you used them.  Take videos or photos and send them to us here at CHAUVET!  We will post them on our blog site for the world to see how you are using your STRIKES.

Strike Panel-LEFT

STRIKE 882 — LED Panel Strobe

Strike Par-RIGHT

STRIKE 324 — Round form-factor LED Strobe