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ShowProKevin

WHERE should I buy my strobes?

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I know most people talk about getting their strobes from christmaslightshow.com and creative displays but has anyone had experience with action lighting's strobes?

This is the pricing I came up with from action lighting...

500 ft SPT-1 - $75
24 - C7 Strobes - $120
100 - SPT-1 C7 Sockets - $7
12 - SPT-1 Female Plugs - $9
12 - SPT-1 Male Plugs - $9

Total: $220

ACTION LIGHTING STROBES vs. CDI STROBES vs. VS CHRISTMASLIGHTSHOW STROBES vs. OTHER STROBES.... HELP!! Which are brighter? Which are better? Help!!

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ShowProKevin wrote:

I know most people talk about getting their strobes from christmaslightshow.com and creative displays but has anyone had experience with action lighting's strobes?

This is the pricing I came up with from action lighting...

500 ft SPT-1 - $75
24 - C7 Strobes - $120
100 - SPT-1 C7 Sockets - $7
12 - SPT-1 Female Plugs - $9
12 - SPT-1 Male Plugs - $9

Total: $220

ACTION LIGHTING STROBES vs. CDI STROBES vs. VS CHRISTMASLIGHTSHOW STROBES vs. OTHER STROBES.... HELP!! Which are brighter? Which are better? Help!!


Better is a matter of opinion, LOL.

When viewed from the end, CDI is the brightest. When viewed from the side, Christmas Light Show's are the brightest. CDI has the fastest flash rate follwed by a close second with Christmas light show. Action's are a little slower and plenty bright. I prefer action's myself.

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I only have strobes from two vendors. CDI and Christmas Light Show. In my testing, I generally agree with Michael.

I used some of both in my 4th July show. Depending on how I mounted them, (viewing direction) was one deterimination of which brand I used. The flash rate desired for a particular prop was another consideration. I also mixed some of both on the same string for another prop.

The question you asked (which is better?) is almost impossible to answer. How are you mounting them? What flash rate do you need? How many of the xeon strobes will fail in your climate during a season, and are you planning on spares to replace them? (I have about a 30% failure rate with the xeon strobes each season, even after drilling [or not] the recommended vent holes)

Asking the questions you are, you possibly need to purchase some of each and try them in your particular props, in your display and then you will know which is better or best for you in your application. That's what many of do. Buy and try.

The stobes that I consider to "be better or best" may not be worth a darn in Jim's or Joe's or Susie's display. The strobes that work great for George may be horrible for me (all names made up and not meant to reflect actual real persons)

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John is correct and being nice which is in and keeping with his character. I am upset with Darryl's (Christmas Light Show) failure rate to which includes brand new units. The LED strobes that John demoed at our Charlotte mini clearly showed the LED strobe has an equal footing next to the xenon. The off angle viewing of the LED is a concern but when oriented properly it is not a concern.

In my opinion, I like the full effect of the xenon. I don't like the failure rate nor the fact that the xenon collects moisture. If you can control the viewing angle get LED strobes. If you cannot get the xenon and expect failures.

I don't plan on buying any more xenon if my tainted opinion is helpful.
Al

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Just wanted to clarify. Action's strobes do not have condensation problems. I have only had 1 failure out of the 150 strobes I've used for three years. No holes to drill. Action's latest batches (2008 + 2009) I noticed do have some weep holes already built into the base. I used those last year with no problems. So if the flash rate works for you, Action has a solid product.

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Al,

You have reached the same conclusion I have, as my xeon strobes fail, I will NOT replace them with more of the CLS xeon.

I just received another shipment from CDI of the LED strobes this week to replace the xeon's that failed in my 4th July display this year.

This of course is my opinion and what I have found to be the better/best for me.



Michael,

Al and I are both in humid climates even during December. Much more rain then snow, temps in mid 30's / low 40's during the day and condensation in our climates is a real concern


This past July, I observed condensation in the xeon strobes with or without weep holes, but none in the CDI LEDs. NO rain while the display was up.

My biggest problem with weep holes is it limits which strobes can be used in which prop. If the lens is up, I had to use strobes with the weep holes in the bottom. If lens is down, then the weep holes needed to be at the bottom of the lens, and for horizontal mounting the weep holes were in the sides of the lens.

That's why I advised the OP above to also consider his climate in making his decision, and also since it sounds like from his name that he is a lighting professional that he should try the different strobes himself so that he can properly advise his clients with sound tested advice.

I have not used the Action Strobes, glad they work well for you in your climate and application. The results can/will be different for each of us.

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Thanks everybody for your input! I ended up purchasing 30 LED strobes from CDI. Im pretty sure I will like them. My only concern is that the flash rate will be too fast. 1 fps is too slow and 4 fps would be too fast. Ideally, they would be 2-3 fps. Does anyone know exactly what the flash rate of the CDI strobes is?

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ShowProKevin wrote:

Does anyone know exactly what the flash rate of the CDI strobes is?


Kevin, in my experience, no 2 strobes will flash at the same rate, due to the difference in tolerences of the electronic components.

Looking at strobes going off, I can't tell if its 2, 3 or 4 times a second. My eyeballs can't tell the difference. Your audience can't tell either.

With all strobes, there is delay as the capacitor charges, each strobe possibly at a different rate, then they start fireing.

Somebody on one of the 12 or so Displayrelated forums I frequent, complained that the CDI strobes all fired at the same time on the first flash. I haven't seen that with mine. But if you are only talking 1/3 third of a second difference, who can tell without lab quality measuring equipment, in my opinion.

Don't be hung up with numbers of fractions of a second. Just enjoy them.

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JBullard wrote:

ShowProKevin wrote:
Does anyone know exactly what the flash rate of the CDI strobes is?



Don't be hung up with numbers of fractions of a second. Just enjoy them.



Good point. Thanks!

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ShowProKevin wrote:

Thanks everybody for your input! I ended up purchasing 30 LED strobes from CDI. Im pretty sure I will like them. My only concern is that the flash rate will be too fast. 1 fps is too slow and 4 fps would be too fast. Ideally, they would be 2-3 fps. Does anyone know exactly what the flash rate of the CDI strobes is?

Our (CDI) strobes are rated at 150 - 180 flashes per minute (2 -3 times per second).

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I am getting my strobes tomorrow from CDI they are led. i look forward to testing them and i will post a video when i get it done. i cant wait this will be my first year using strobes. :):P:P:P:P

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This was my first year using strobes that I got from Christmas Light Show. I liked them. I was happy with the flash rates and appearance. I intend to add more next year.

But as I'm tearing down my show (just finished today!) I've been putting together my inventory. My DOA rate was 10% and my failure rate during the season was 21%. I drilled vents. I'm not complaining, but hmmm, at $6 a bulb I'm going to experiment with another source.

I do a lot of other purchasing with Action Lighting and think they are a great supplier. If the flash rates aren't high enough, just buy more, right? :D

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I like the Action Lighting Strobe lights. I have 50 of them. But if you got the money the best strobe out there is: SS-15 15Joule Superstar Strobe it is made by diversitronics. I just got 16, can't wait to use them next year. Here is the link.

http://www.diversitronics.com/catalog/006.html



Steve

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Steve Constantino wrote:

I like the Action Lighting Strobe lights. I have 50 of them. But if you got the money the best strobe out there is: SS-15 15Joule Superstar Strobe it is made by diversitronics. I just got 16, can't wait to use them next year. Here is the link.

http://www.diversitronics.com/catalog/006.html



Steve

They appear to be very good quality but seem more appropriate for a theater? You can only put 6 of them on a 15 amp circuit and the maximum flash rate is less than 2 per second. Each strobe has its own 6' line cord. That's a very different configuration than screwing in to a string of C-9 sockets.

The url you list is for indoor strobes, the outdoor versions are here:
http://www.diversitronics.com/catalog/009.html

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My 2009 experience, for what it is worth...

I used 12 strobes from ChristmasLightShow that I ordered in October 2009. These were their "new" ones that came out in October that have a "water resistant (treated with special coating) circuit board." I put them up Thanksgiving and took them down today. They were hanging down on the inside of a mega-tree. I melted 2 weep holes in the lens cover. Experienced heavy rains, misting rains, sleet, 50mph winds, and heavy snow, with temps ranging from 50 to 5 degrees. Quick inspection today and I think I didn't lose any. Granted only 12 to begin with so I may have just got lucky. I am pleased.


I did buy some 25' SPT wire socket kits from there too for the stobes. First time I ever worked with SPT wire. Assembling the first one worked well. A month later I finished the other ones--couldn't figure out why I was having such a hard time getting the sockets to attach properly. Even broke the tabs off of several of the sockets in the process. I then looked further and realized that some of the cord sent to me was SPT2 and some SPT1. I think all the sockets were SPT1, so they didn't snap on well. I contacted Darryl, and initially got no reply. So I emailed again, and he responded clarifying what I had happen. I confirmed. And now another month has gone by and he hasn't responded any further or fixed the order. I like his product and had always heard his customer service was great. Kinda worried at this point though.

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pdowns wrote:

Steve Constantino wrote:
I like the Action Lighting Strobe lights. I have 50 of them. But if you got the money the best strobe out there is: SS-15 15Joule Superstar Strobe it is made by diversitronics. I just got 16, can't wait to use them next year. Here is the link.

http://www.diversitronics.com/catalog/006.html



Steve

They appear to be very good quality but seem more appropriate for a theater? You can only put 6 of them on a 15 amp circuit and the maximum flash rate is less than 2 per second. Each strobe has its own 6' line cord. That's a very different configuration than screwing in to a string of C-9 sockets.

The url you list is for indoor strobes, the outdoor versions are here:
http://www.diversitronics.com/catalog/009.html





I got the outdoor version. I just put up the wrong link. Yes the are used for the entertainment industry. The last show I worked on had used 600 of them. They do pull a good amount of current, hints the "only 6 on a 15 amp circuit. BUT they are so bright (15 joules)it's Very Very impressive. I had to put a plug on the end of each. I am planning to use 3 20amp circuits to power them .

Here is a link of them used on that show Enjoy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJBMs-MdVvo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szSwBvcZstM

Steve

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Steve do you any idea how much the outdoor rated version costs? I called around today and never did get a price which was frustrating. A good ball park number would be nice. 15 Joules is a healthy amount of flash.
Thanks,
Al

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A single bulb is $479!

Here's a 250 joule strobe for only $4,800. This would be more cost effective since you'd get almost 17 times the intensity for a mere 10 times the price.

http://www.unilux.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=49&products_id=421&osCsid=dc312173b6ae52d02b5049f9f32ae75a

FAA Flashing Runway End Identification lights might be another consideration but it would be a bummer if a plane landed in my yard.

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It seems CDI is now offering a c9 xenon strobe that is similar to Darryl's that is sealed. I'm ordering some and hope they work out better than Darryl's. I believe the pre-order price on the strobes are $3.95 each. Since these are xenon strobes the flash randomness should be better than the LEDs. Again, I hope so.

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