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Xenon flash tube light? Answered

Would it be possible for me to pulse a xenon flash tube brightly at over 100hz for prolonged periods without damaging the tube?
Would there be a simple enough circuit for it that ran on 3V?
Lastly, would the tube flash fast enough so I would not now that it is flashing?



Best Answer 8 years ago

If you pulsed it that fast it would have a much shorter life.

100 hz would look continuous to your eye.  Movies project at 60 frames a second and they look seamless.  Your eye/brain has what is called persistance of vision that "bridges" the gap between images.

3 volts would not be enough voltage to flash the tube strobe like.  It would take several seconds in the best case to charge the cap.

If you pulsed it that fast it would have a much shorter life.

On the order of seconds, I'm guessing. Unless xenon tubes have gotten a lot sturdier since the last time I used one.
Wouldn't it be easier to use an HID headlamp or something? That won't run on 3V either, but at least they're intended for continuous duty.

I don't know exactly how long it would take to cook the lamp, just that it wouldn't be a very long time. My totally subjective gut feeling says less than one minute, but maybe I'm being pessimistic.
Turning down the power would just slow down the recharge of the capaciitor, which would slow the strobe rate.

Ok, I hooked it up to a battery powered fluorescent lamp driver, and I managed to get a spark inside it (not very bright though) After 5 minutes, the case was getting really hot. After 15min, the tube was only emitting a blue-violetish glow at one end, and the transformer had shorted out or something....I could see sparks and stuff from it.

You can trade off brightness for life of course.