The strobe light is one of the most popular devices for special lighting effects. Strobe lights are a staple of nightclubs and dance companies, and are frequently used in musicals and plays.
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When used in a darkened room, a strobe light will bring the number of images you see down to from 1 to 50 per second. By reducing the number of images seen, the strobe light allows us to instead perceive an individual aspect of an object in motion. This has proved valuable in studying all sorts of fast-moving phenomena. Harold "Doc" Edgerton, an engineer, inventor and professor at MIT, used a combination of strobe lights and high-speed cameras to capture images normally too fleeting for us to see. You've probably seen his photographs of water droplets and bullets smashing apples, or similar pictures inspired by his work, in books on science as well as photography journals.
A strobe light works by limiting what our eyes can perceive, so works best in a very dark space. Also bear in mind that strobes have a limited range. Try not to overuse your strobe lights; not only do you risk boring your audience with "yet another strobe scene," but you may find audience members complaining of headaches or sore eyes at the end of the show. Also try not to focus the strobes so that they point out at the audience or use them sparingly and only for a few seconds at a time. No one likes having lights flashed in their eyes, and your audience will quickly lose patience with you if they feel they're enduring too much.
When using strobes in any venue that is open to the general public it's advisable to post a warning at the entrances. There has been some debate over whether theatrical strobe lights will actually bring on seizures in persons with epilepsy. It's just polite to let people know what they're in for, especially if it's something that could cause them discomfort.