Did you know there are different types of beacons..?

Did you know there are different types of beacons..?

There are different types of beacon lights – a static beacon, a strobe beacon, a rotating beacon and a pulsing beacon. The mode you select for your application will not only aid increased awareness, but it will also help people to know how to react.

Looking a little further into each type of these beacons:

⚡ Static Beacon Lights.

A static beacon light is a light that is constantly lit, also called steady lights by many. It draws awareness to its application and is most commonly seen as a sign that something is safe. For example, static lights are mostly used in the colour green, a colour people recognise as safe. The calming green colour and continuously lit light symbolize to most that it is safe to continue with your task.

⚡ Strobe Beacon Lights.

Flashing strobe beacon lights feature a high signalling effect through bursting white light and are widely used in warehouses and industrial facilities. This device is composed of a glass tube filled with xenon gas that helps to produce a bright flashing sequence and are ideal to use when a wide area needs covering.

⚡ Rotating Beacon Lights.

A rotating beacon light is specially designed to provide an effective warning signal and are most commonly used on moving vehicles because of its high efficiency. This device consists of a motorised mirror which works as a reflector giving a focused light that attracts attention. You will often see these types of beacon lights on emergency vehicles.

⚡ Pulsing Beacon Lights.

Pulsing beacon lights are often used in hazardous areas where due course and attention is required. The flashing light often signals caution is required. An LED pulsing light is an ideal choice for these areas as they can withstand vibrations and shocks and continue working normally. 

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Xenon Strobe vs LED

Xenon Strobe vs LED

What is a Xenon Strobe?

A xenon strobe is a lamp that produces a very short burst of high intensity light. This happens by discharging the energy stored in a capacitor through the xenon flash tube that is filled with xenon gas, at a low pressure.

What is an LED?

An LED is a Light Emitting Diode, it’s a special type of semiconductor diode which emits light when electric current flows through it.

Which is better?

– Energy efficiency.

Xenon strobes use 60% less power consumption than the typical incandescent lamp.

LED’s use 75% less power consumption than the typical incandescent lamp.

– Life span/maintenance.

Xenon strobes life expectancy is typically 10,000 hours.

LED’s life expectancy is typically 50,000 hours.

– Instant lighting.

Xenon strobes have a slight delay in lighting fully when powered.

LED’s reach maximum brightness output in an instant when powered.

– Controllability.

Xenon strobes only flash. Although they can be controlled to flash at different speeds.

LED’s can be controlled to flash, stay on, revolve, amongst other modes.

– Safety and convenience.

Xenon flashtubes need a high voltage to be able to ionize the gas and must be handled with caution.

LED’s operate at a lower voltage making them safer and more convenient to operate.

Overall, it appears that LED’s have more advantages than a xenon strobe, combined with the use of modern technology and their low power consumption, it is undeniably the ‘go-to’ lamp of today.

Did you know there are different types of beacons..?

Different Type of Beacons

There are many different types of beacon lamps with varying modes, however the most common modes are Static, Strobe, Rotating and Pulsing. Here we will take a look into each of these modes, as the mode you select for your application will not only aid increased awareness but it will also help people to know how to react.

Static Lights.

A static light is a light that is constantly lit, also called steady lights by many. It draws awareness to its application and is most commonly seen as a sign that something is safe. For example; static lights are mostly shown in the colour green, a colour people recognise as safe. The calming green colour and continuously lit light symbolize to most that it is safe to continue with your task.

Strobe Lights.

Flashing strobe lights feature a high signalling effect through bursting white light and are widely used in warehouses and industrial facilities. This device is composed of a glass tube filled with xenon gas that helps to produce a bright flashing sequence and are ideal to use when a wide area needs covering.

Rotating Lights.

A rotating light is specially designed to provide an effective warning signal and are most commonly used on moving vehicles because of its high efficiency. This device consists of a motorised mirror which works as a reflector giving a focused light that attracts attention. As always, these can be used on many different applications but you will often see them on emergency vehicles and lorries.

– Pulsing Lights.

Pulsing lights are often used in hazardous areas where due course and attention is required. The flashing light often signals caution is required. An LED pulsing light is often an ideal choice for these areas as they can withstand vibrations and shocks and continue working normally.

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How Xenon Strobes Work

Xenon strobes work by discharging the energy stored in a capacitor through a special flash tube filled with xenon gas at a low pressure to produce a very short burst of high intensity white light.

It produces it flash in 5 steps:

  1. The energy storage capacitor connected across the flash tube is charged from the power supply to a voltage around 300vdc.
  2. Normally, the flash tube remains non-conductive even when the capacitor is fully charged and therefore does not flash.
  3. A separate small capacitor (e.g. 100 nF) is charged from the same power supply to generate a trigger pulse.
  4. The pulse generated by this trigger (typically 5 to 10 kV) is enough to ionize the xenon gas inside the flash tube.
  5. The ionized xenon gas suddenly becomes a low resistance and allows the energy stored on the capacitor to discharge through the flash tube resulting in a short duration brilliant white light.

A typical flash duration is from a few milliseconds down to a fraction of a millisecond. For a typical xenon strobe beacon, the trigger circuit includes timing components to generate a repetitive pulse at say, once every second, such that the beacon produces a string of flashes 60 times a minute.

Strobes can flash at slower rates than this with no issues but there is a limit if they are required to flash faster – the typical maximum flash rate is 4 flashes per second plus it takes a finite amount of time to charge up the flash capacitor to its maximum voltage. Therefore, most xenon strobe beacons have a maximum flash rate of 2 or 3 flashes per second.

The flash tube on a xenon strobe beacon is made of hard glass or quartz glass with sealed-in electrodes at each end. Various shapes are available such as U or linear. Flashtubes are light sources with high power density so can only be made of high temperature materials. Most flash tubes are equipped with a capacitive trigger electrode (a wire wrapped around the tube or a silver conductive coating on the outside of the glass).

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Flash Tubes for Xenon Beacons

What are Xenon Flash Tubes?

Ordinarily, xenon lamps are known for being much brighter than incandescent lamps, and they function very differently from other types of lamps. Flash tubes are similar to arc lamps that generate a full-spectrum of white light in an extremely short duration, yet require a high voltage power supply.

Hundreds of industries are using xenon flash tubes in various applications, including photography, signal timing, and other heavy industrial signalling applications. Some industries used xenon flash tubes on production control and even as a fire alarm.

How Xenon Flash Tubes Work?

Xenon flash tubes are made up of xenon gas within thin glass tubes. Once the power supply is turned on, the broken atoms will form an electric current that gives off a flash of light. The heat level reaches over 3000-degrees Celsius resulting in more visible light.

They operate through the ionization of xenon gas that produces high current toward the electrodes. Then, there is a light output in various spectral lines – this is also known as a Xenon Flash.

Advantages of Flash Tubes for Xenon Beacons

The use of LED lighting technology is increasing dramatically, meaning that the use of xenon flash tubes is becoming less. That being said, there are still many people who prefer the use of flash tubes as warning signals. There are several advantages in using xenon flash tubes over LED signals:

Inexpensive

Xenon flash tubes are less costly than LEDs. However, they consume higher power consumption in the long-run compared to LED signals.

Availability

Flash tubes are highly accessible in the market today and can be found almost anywhere.

Visibility

Due to technology development, LEDs generate brighter light but flash tubes are brighter than LEDs. The produced light of flash tubes is nearly similar to natural sunlight which LEDs could not render.

Energy-Efficient

Both LEDs and xenon flash tubes are extremely energy-efficient, using a low power consumption.

Xenon Flash Tubes Series

Flash Tubes are available in different shapes and sizes, and our xenon strobe ranges include the following tubes:

FTX-1

FTX-1 is a xenon flash U-tube used in some of our smaller beacons. It requires 6-watts of power and produces a 2.5-joule or 5-joule output.

FTX-2

This is a 16W xenon flash U-tube which demands higher energy than FTX-1. As well as being available as a spare flash tube, this is used in a wide variety of our xenon beacon range, with a light output of 11-joule.

FTX-3

The FTX-3 is the brightest flash tube in the range, and is used in our 24 joule products.

FTX-4

FTX-4 is different from the other xenon flash tube series in terms of appearance. This is a linear flash tube that requires less power energy about 2-watts.

Final Words

To sum it all up, xenon flash tubes remain in the market despite the growing application of LED warning signals. Each of the lighting options offers various strengths and weaknesses that benefit many industries today. Most businesses prefer to install both LED warning signals and xenon strobe beacons to ensure a safer workplace.

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