What is a Strobe light?
Strobe lighting creates a brief flash of light. The light created is much brighter and more powerful and the burst much shorter than the kind found when using speedlight.
Strobes have a quick recycle time and a full power output ranging from 100 to 1,000 watts. You can adjust the output to suit your needs, whether they are close-ups or long-distance shots.
Light sources for strobe kits include LED lights, halogen lights, and xenon flash lamps.
Types of Strobe Lights
The two most common types of studio strobes include:
- Pack and Head systems
Monolights are strobe lights that have all of their components, including the power supply, cooling system, modelling light, and flash bulb, housed inside the housing of the flash head.
Pack and Head System
In a pack & head system, the power source (commonly referred to as a generator or power pack) is a separate component from the flash head.
Advantages of Using Strobe Light
Strobe lighting is extremely powerful, allowing the photographer to position the light further away from the subject. They typically have higher guide numbers than speedlights. This also allows the photographer to send the light through diffusers to achieve a soft lighting or feathered lighting effect without worrying about whether the light output is powerful enough to achieve the desired results.
A strobe's studio flash produces a lot of light in a brief amount of time. This is crucial for high-speed photography, where the shutter speed effectively becomes the flash duration.
Strobes typically include a modelling light (or modelling lamp), a steady light that allows the photographer to see how the flashlight will appear without the need for a test shot or extensive metering.
Faster Recycle Times
Studio strobes typically have fast recycle times—the amount of time it takes for the flash to recharge after use.
Constant Colour Temperature
Strobe lights have an advantage over other types of artificial lights because their light has a consistent colour temperature. Their image is very appealing due to the accuracy of the temperature and quality of light.
Disadvantages of Using Strobe Light
Strobe light kits are frequently bulky and heavy, which makes them challenging to transport. Strobe lights have very high power requirements to power up in addition to the actual lighting kit.
One drawback of strobe lighting is the high cost of acquisition, especially for beginning photographers.