strobe light


A lamp that produces very short, intense flashes of light by means of an electric discharge in a gas. The ability of strobe lights to “freeze” the motion of rapidly moving objects by making them visible for only a fraction of a second makes them very useful in photography and in measuring vibration and other types of high-speed motion.

QUIZZES

LEARN THE SPANISH WORDS FOR THESE COMMON ANIMALS!

Are you learning Spanish? Or do you just have an interest in foreign languages? Either way, this quiz on Spanish words for animals is for you.
Question 1 of 13
How do you say “cat” 🐈 in Spanish?
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

VOCAB BUILDER

What is a strobe light?

A strobe light is a type of specialized lamp that produces a continuous series of short, bright flashes of light.

Strobe lights are also called strobes, stroboscopes, or stroboscopic lamps.

The kind of rapid flashing produced by a strobe light (called strobe lighting) has the effect of seeming to freeze the movement of things in motion. This happens because the thing that’s moving—such as a person dancing—is only lit up for a fraction of a second.

Strobe lights are associated with their use at concerts, raves, and dance clubs, but they also have technical uses in photography. Because strobe lights produce very short, extremely bright bursts of light, they can be used in conjunction with a camera to photograph a rapidly moving object, such as a bullet, for such a short duration that it will appear to be standing still in the resulting photo. Strobe lights also have other scientific uses involving the measurement of vibration and other types of high-speed motion.

Strobe lights look like they’re just flashing on and off, but this effect is usually produced by an electric discharge in a gas or a disc that rotates in front of a light source.

Example: I hate going to concerts that use strobe lights—I end up having to close my eyes most of the time to shield them from the bright flashes.

Where does strobe light come from?

Strobe light is a relatively recent term. The first records of it come from around the 1960s. The word strobe is also relatively recent, first recorded around the 1940s. It’s a shortening of the word stroboscopic, the first part of which comes from the Greek strobos, meaning “a twisting” or “a whirling.” (The term stroboscopic is used in terms like stroboscopic lamp and stroboscopic microscope.)

Strobe lights might look cool, but they can cause seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy. They can also cause discomfort in people with sensitivity to light. Some TV shows and movies show a warning before they start informing viewers that strobe light effects will be used.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for strobe light?

What are some words that share a root or word element with strobe light

 

What are some words that often get used in discussing strobe light?

How is strobe light used in real life?

Strobe lights are closely associated with their use in lighting effects for concerts and raves, but they also have technical and scientific uses.

 

 

Try using strobe light!

Which of the following words is LEAST likely to be used to describe the lighting effect produced by a strobe light?

A. flashing
B. pulsing
C. uninterrupted
D. intermittent

Example sentences from the Web for strobe light

  • I'm thinking—suppose I made the field with a strobe-light power-pack—or maybe a spot-welding unit.

    Operation: Outer Space|William Fitzgerald Jenkins