View Full Version : Strobe Lights for Lightning

03-16-2010, 06:26 AM
So I been circulating ideas in my head of how to recreate the light of lightning in a non expensive and simple way........first off I'm trying to wash my whole yard and front of house, so LEDs it would just take too many of them to wash yard and halogens are too yellow and respond slowly but I have a 800W and a 750W strobelight one with dmx the other with 1/4 jack and both have dimming capability. I want to know is there a lightning box out there that I can just plug into my strobe and it will sync with a thunder track. I mean one strobe looks like a strike so I can only imagine 2 with different flash patterns and such would look very realistic, I just find it weird no one has created a programed dmx box with lets say it was programed for 2 fixtures (2 strobes) and the cues for the programing would include dimming and different flash patterns so all you have to do is assign your 2 lights to a given dip switch number. Is there anything like this out there, I'm sure others have thought of this.

03-16-2010, 06:49 AM
There really is no off the shelf product that will do what you want, mainly because it would have to not only come with the controller but also would only work with one type of light. Each DMX light has different channels. On your first light, channel 1 may be the dimmer, but on another brand, channel 5 may be the dimmer. However, I would be happy to program something for you so that it is custom. Please check out our website at www.darktecheffects.com (http://www.darktecheffects.com). I would recommend a few different products that can store and replay DMX either on cue, or looping.
Best of Luck!

03-16-2010, 09:54 AM
While using strobes to simulate lightning is quite appealing because of their high output, they simply will not yield realistic results. High quality lightning simulators will create dim light for distant thunder and bright light for close "strikes". Very few strobes have any intensity adjustments at all and those that do are both very limited and quite expensive. In addition, lightning strikes are not an instantaneous burst of light. They may light the sky for up to a few seconds. The flash duration of a typical strobe is measured is thousandths or even tens of thousandths of a second. A strobe's flash is simply too fast to create realistic lightning simulation.

Lights Alive

03-16-2010, 10:06 AM
American dj carries a strobe that is two channel dmx for about 120 dollars...it is 1000 watts I believe. It is insanely bright and pretty cheap for that kind of output. You could easily program up something yourself on your laptop using enttec pro dmx interface and free software readily found online (google search). You could most likely create a lighting effect this way. Although it is a bit more time consuming rather then just using a lights alive controller or similar product.

03-20-2010, 04:02 AM
The easiest way I can think of to achieve your lightning with strobes is to plug them into motion sensors like what you might use outside of your home. We have our Distortions "Shake 'N Bake" electric chair done up that way, now the actor doesn't accidently leave the chair running forever & the prop only runs when patrons walk past it. I would think strobes might/would work the same way.