Cool Things to Do With a Strobe Light

Written by gina ragusa | 13/05/2017
Cool Things to Do With a Strobe Light
Create funky designs using a strobe light. (plasma_6 image by think jesters from Fotolia.com)

A strobe light is often used to set a room's mood or tone, typically during a party. The strobe's pulsating light plays tricks on the eyes, delivering a pulse of light every 1/5 of a second. You see objects for a few times per second, creating a distorted, slow motion effect. Although traditional uses in the modern world lie primarily inside night clubs, you can find plenty of cool things to do with a strobe light. Always exercise caution when using a strobe light because the pulsating light causes epileptic events in some people.

Strobe Light Sports

Playing a game of ping pong or miniature golf is tricky enough. You need hand-eye coordination to deliver the tiny ball to the right place. However, if you turn off the lights and use only a strobe light to guide your hand, it's an entirely different game.

Keep the room completely dark or add a black light for added effect. Use glow-in-the-dark paint to paint your ping pong table or to draw lines or arrows on your miniature indoor golf game. Paint or use day-glow balls so everyone can see what they are hitting. Make the game even crazier by asking players to use day-glow body paint and have their hands and faces glow in the black light.

Photo Session

Create wild photos by adding a strobe light to the photo session. Photograph your friends while they wave their arms up and down in a dark room, lit only with a strobe light. Because the strobe provides light every few seconds, the resulting photo will appear as if your friend has several extra appendages. The photo's overall appearance will be smoky and exude a ghostly look.

Shoot stationary items in the dark with the strobe light to create a blurred effect. Have a long shutter speed of 15 seconds or more and photograph your stationary item in three different positions. You'll need to move fast to give this photo an action appearance. After you've snapped the first photo, move the stationary item over slightly then snap again. Repeat the same step again.

Dancing Water

Strobe lights aimed at a stream of water creates the effect that the water is dancing. The idea to use a strobe light aimed at water droplets originated with MIT professor, Dr. Harold E. Edgerton in 1984. Dr. Edgerton aimed a green strobe light at a small fountain where droplets of water streamed downwards into a small drain pool. With the strobe light pulsating in the background, an optical illusion is created where it appears that the water is dancing and creating shapes and designs.

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