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Strobe light control panel
Strobe Light

A strobe light for parties!




A strobe light using just your computer monitor.  Constructed using mostly Internet software technology (Javascript).  This easy to use strobe light software is intended for fun and parties, not scientific endeavors.  The strobe program can be used in a limited way to demonstrate the basic concepts of a stroboscope.  To use this strobe light you must be in a completely darkened room, no light leaking in from anywhere.  Any daylight at all will probably ruin the strobe effect; so night time with doors and blinds closed is best.  Your monitor's brightness will vary with its size and your brightness setting.  For the best stroboscopic effect, have friends moving near the strobing monitor and you observe from a few feet away.  You really have to have at least two people to enjoy this strobe light effect.


Strobe Light update!

See below

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I wouldn't have been admitted to Drexel Univ. had I not made this mistake; now it is a tip!

free screensaver Free wallpaper

Check out PC Color Spectrum II after the strobe.

What's a strobe light?

Start Strobe Now!!!

A strobe light is very much like the flash on a camera; it freezes the action.  A strobe light just repeats the flash fairly rapidly, a good rate is 4 or 5 flashes per second.  The flash of light itself must be very brief to freeze any motion.  If you have a friend dance around in front of this strobe in a fully darkened room and you watch from a short distance, you will see your friend frozen in each flash of light; It can be a lot of fun at a party!.

Getting Started

Convert your TV into a massive strobe!  Don't pay ridiculous prices!  Buy three or four of these cables for less than one at the discount stores!


If you are using Internet Explorer, the button below will open another "Full Screen" browser window with the stroboscope ready to "Start" at about 5 flashes per second.  This is truly "full screen" there will be no toolbars and even the taskbar will disappear.  This is necessary to have the full stroboscopic effect.  Your entire monitor will be able to go "blank" or black and in a well darkened room this will heighten the effect of the strobe flashes of light when they occur.

If you are using other browsers you may have to manually resize the window to full screen or even larger to get the best effect.

LCD and Laptop users

I cannot begin to tell you how well this software stroboscope will work on your particular machine!

Have a PC Projector, WOW

You could certainly fill a room with lots of flashing light!  I have not tried it, but it could be fun!

Web TV users

This strobe light might work very well on a Web TV setup, I really do not know, please write me if it works out for you.  Please remember all the safety admonishments and watch your television carefully for over heating, since this is an unusual usage of a television.

Health Risk:

Warning some individuals are sensitive to flashing lights and may have difficulties.  Please be prepared for this possibility.  Ask, and warn, visitors if they are sensitive to rapidly flashing lights.

Equipment risk:

It is possible this stroboscopic action will put an unusual workload on your monitor or television.  Conceivably your monitor could overheat from this type of usage, since it is somewhat unusual.  Make sure the top of your monitor and all its ventilation openings are completely clear of any obstruction.  Supervise your monitor or television at all times while using the strobe light software.

Best Configuration

These configuration settings are just suggestions and are not required to utilize the stroboscope.  However if you try these suggestions you may get a better stroboscopic effect.

Using Internet Explorer as the web browser is probably the best choice for flash consistency.  Internet Explorer has a "non standard" full screen mode of operation.  Using a full screen mode achieves the maximum strobe flash intensity and even more importantly an interval where the entire monitor screen can go black or dark.  Without full screen mode you will always have some residual light from your monitor lessening the stroboscopic effect.  (As of 9/28/2008 it could be Firefox and Opera have a better fullscreen, but YOU must invoke it with the F11 key.)

Setting your monitor to 60 Hertz, or Frames per second, may help the effect, but the improvement may not be worth the trouble!  For Netscape 100 Hz may work better.

Please remember "Alt-F4" will close the strobe light window.  Should you stop the stroboscope light, "F5" for "refresh" will also restart the strobe.  If you are not using Internet Explorer "F11" may still give you a "full screen" strobe, maximizing the effect.  This is a Javascript program and you may have to "authorize" the execution.  Please see "Using the Stroboscope" below for usage instructions.

IE 7 users!:  A very small browser will start.  Hit your "F11" key for full screen mode to see the strobe light software and control panel.

 Click the button to start the strobe.


  Amazon If you like the strobe please support Bobs How To, at no additional cost to you, by dragging the small Amazon  icon to your "Links" bar or "Favorites" and using it for your shopping at Amazon, Thanks!  Amazon now carries a ton of "stuff".


Wow, See the blacklight strobe at the bottom of the page!

Health Risk:

Warning some individuals are sensitive to flashing lights and may have difficulties.  Please be prepared for this possibility.  Ask, and warn, visitors if they are sensitive to rapidly flashing lights.  Try not to exceed 14 flashes per second.

Here is an article from www.epilepsy.org regarding the risk: Photosensitivity.  

Please remember this is copyrighted software with all rights reserved.  Please do not copy this web page or the strobe light web page itself.

Please return to this web page to use the strobe light!  Webmasters, please link to this page, but please do not use redirects, they seem to cause problems with Google.  Thanks.

Using the Stroboscope

Party lighting, a stroboscopeWhen you start the strobe light you will see several buttons, a "Start" button.  This is a toggle button which will "Start" and "Stop" the strobe action.  Below the "Start" button is a "Dark" "Bright" toggle button.  With the strobe started you may use this to stop the flashing and either make your monitor bright or dark.  This will also let you set the "Flashes/sec" rate without the flashing blasting you in the face!  To resume flashing just hit the "Flash" button.  The strobe light software calculates a time interval that is different for each web browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Netscape).  This interval time is displayed as a diagnostic to the right of the reset button.  The "Reset" button will stop the strobe and recalculate this time interval value.  If the strobe does not appear to work as expected try the "Reset" button.  The "Exit" button will exit the Strobe Light page altogether.

With a new version the Control Panel will disappear and reappear when your mouse hovers over the upper left hand corner of the browser window where the Control Panel is located.  This should enhance the strobe effect.

The "Frames/Sec" statistic is only approximate and is not working well in Netscape with version 1.0.0 of the stroboscope software.

Update:  Strobe Light Version 1.2.0 11/22/2008

Well it was not very easy but I have added "hot keys" or "shortcut keys" and "color hotkeys".

1. Numeric Keys "1" through "9" are now speed presets.

2. Color is now supported!

Color is a little strange.  There are 4 keys to support color, they are:

"w" Force White
"r" Toggle Red
"g" Toggle Green
"b" Toggle Blue

It is a little weird, but if you first hit the "r" key you will turn the color red OFF!  Leaving what color, CYAN!  Hit "r" again and you will have white back.  If you get lost hit the "w" key to restore white!  This was the only easy way to provide you with all the "saturated" colors providing the best strobe effect.

When you start out, to make it easy, just hit all 3 keys "r","g","b" simultaneously and you will go to black, then each key will give you a primary color.

Have FUN!  Bob.

Amazon If you like the strobe, please support Bobs How To, at no additional cost to you, by dragging the small Amazon  icon to your "Links" bar or "Favorites" and using it for all your shopping at Amazon, Thanks!  Amazon now carries a ton of "stuff".
Color Contol Table
Color "r" "g" "b"
Black Off Off Off
White On On On
Cyan Off On On
Blue Off Off On
Green Off On Off
Red On Off Off
Yellow On On Off
Magenta On Off On

Future versions

Please stop back occasionally to check for new versions and capabilities.

  • A color randomizer for various color strobe light flashes.  Sweeping spectral colors.
  • Synchronization to music.  This may be extremely difficult so it may never happen.

Other fun software


I have not tried the strobe lights below, but they are a very basic piece of electronics and should work well.  And man are the prices good!  There's even a cheaper model! And even better, a LED blacklight strobe!









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BHT Created: 26 Jan 2006

BHT Revised: 22 Oct 2016


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Copyright 2003-2016 Robert Matheson.  All rights reserved.  Email Bob at BobsHowTo.com - . 

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