Best Strobe Lights 2020– Buyer’s Guide (February 2022)
Nothing quite sets the tone of a party like the lighting, and getting the best strobe light does just that. Whether it’s a high school prom, a wedding, or a house party getting everyone on the dance floor is key. What better way to do that then by making sure you’ve got the best strobe light for the party.
With so many options out there, it can be hard to make sure you’re picking the best strobe light. We spent the time reviewing some of the best strobe lights out there, so you can just worry about enjoying yourself. And when you consider that there are shocker panels, strobes, and blinders, you’ve got a lot of choices to make.
Check out our guide on the best professional strobe lights below.
|American DJ Dotz Matrix||Best Overall|
|Chauvet Shocker Panel||Best Strobe for DJ|
|American DJ Big Shot LED II||Best Strobe for Party|
|Chauvet Shocker II||Best Blinder for DJ|
|Elation DTW Blinder||Brightest Blinder|
|American DJ Encore Burst 200||Best DMX strobe|
|American DJ Lightning Cob Canon||Best Stage Strobe|
|Atomic Strobe RGB||Best RGB Strobe|
|Blizzard Lighting Snowblind||Best Budget Strobe|
|Chauvet Mini Strobe LED||Best Mini Strobe|
1. American DJ Dotz Matrix (Best Strobe Light Overall)
When it comes to DJ lighting setup, American DJ’s Dotz Matrix is one of the brightest options out there. The Dotz Matrix is a wash or blinder fixture, but it’s advanced LED technology gives it a powerful engine for such a small amount of space. With sixteen 30W TRI COB LEDs, this option will get you a super-charged wash fixture paired with the smoothest color mixing.
The Dotz Matrix is also capable of pixel mapping, so you can add visual effects to blow away the crowd. And with 430 watts, and a 60 degree beam angle, you get a lot of bang for your buck with the American DJ’s Dotz Matrix. And, you’ve got options here as the Dotz Matrix may run in its stand-alone mode from built-in programs, sound actively, or from a DMX Controller.
- 0-100% electronic dimming strobe/pulse effect
- Built-in shows and colors macros
- 5 selectable dim curves for stage lighting
- Each LED barrel is a fixed color
2. Chauvet Shocker Panel (Best Strobe Light for DJ)
The Chauvet Shocker Panel s a high-impact LED strobe light. It comes pre-programed with awesome built-in effects, like pulsing and chasing, and with four zones of control. These pre-programmed effects can be triggered by master/slave, DMX mode, or buy using the IRC-6 remote, which is optional and sold separately if you’re looking for a wireless remote control strobe light.
The Chauvet Shocker Panel also has a sturdy die-cast housing, which paired with it’s size, makes it easy to take on the road. This eye-popping strobe light adds dimension and character to the best DJ light show. And you can combine zone control and special effects for an even greater visual impact. The Chauvet Shocker Panel is also D-Fi USB compatible for wireless Master/Slave or DMX control, and each unit can be power linked in multiples to save time running cables and extension cords.
- Doesn’t require multiple extension cords
- Compact but visually stunning
- Sturdy and good on the road
- IRC – 6 remote is sold separately
3. American DJ Big Shot LED II (best strobe light for party)
The American DJ Big Shot II is a compact and lightweight powerful strobe light. It’s size and weight make it a great option for smaller or mobile events or to make sure your friends know you have the best house party lights. But the Big Shot II is also powerful enough to be permanently installed in clubs, bars, restaurants and in retail locations. The Big Shot also has a strobe speed controls, as well as an easily accessible On/Off switch on the back panel.
This compact LED strobe light has 96 long-life LEDs, clocking in at approximately 50,000 hours each. It’s also got a variable speed potentiometer so that users can control the flash rate and with a power draw of 15W max and weighing only two pounds, there aren’t many places this LED strobe light won’t come in handy.
- Compact and lightweight
- Long lasting LEDs
- No extra effects
- Larger areas may require more than one strobe light
4. Chauvet Shocker II (Best Blinder for DJ)
The Chauvet Shocker 2 is a powerful dual zone blinder. A great little unit with warm white 85-watt COB LEDs, it’s ideal for concerts, performances and dance floors. And, the Shocker 2 comes with an expansion bracket that allows quick attachment of a second unit to create a 4-head blinder, doubling up on the best lighting effects.
The Shocker 2 also has an adjustable pulse width modulation control, which helps eliminate flicker on camera, so even your photos and videos will benefit. And with automated strobing and sound active programs for easy programming, the Shocker 2 is easy to use or to customize for each show. The Shocker 2 has PowerCON®-compatible power input/output connections for power linking and flexible control options thanks to the onboard 3- and 5-pin DMX connectors.
- Can be doubled to make a 4 head unit
- Effects look great on camera
- Flexible control options
- No color options
- No moving head
5. Elation DTW Blinder (Brightest Blinder)
The Elation DTW Blinder is one of the hardest working units out there. If variable light is what you’re looking for on the stage, for a theatrical production, concert, or conventional lighting, the DTW Blinder series are a great choice. Choose between a two-lite or four-lite version, with pixel controlled LEDs, each offering 2-in-2 warm white/amber COB LEDs that are both color and temperature adjustable.
Some of the other effects in the DTW Blinder series stand above, like the independent Dim-to-Warm channel control from 1,800K to 3,200K, it’s smooth dimming, variable dimming curve modes, and high-speed electronic shutter and strobe effects. Both of the Elation DTW Blinders have no fans, working silently, making it useful for theater or music productions. And, it’s flicker-free for broadcast and film.
- Several options for effects
- 9 channel modes
- Clear display screen
- Flicker free for broadcast and film
- More expensive than other units
- Case sold separately
6. American DJ Encore Burst 200 (Best Strobe with DMX)
If you’re setting up for a concert or an outdoor festival, the American DJ Encore Burst 200 will suit you well. With two 110W warm white COB LEDs, dim to warm modes including amber LED and color temperature, it will give you all the effects you want while still being protected from splashes of water with its IPX4 rating. The Encore Burst has four DMX modes, strobe effects, five dimming curves and it’s flicker-free for all those sought after video clips and photos of the event.
The same casing that keeps it safe outside is also fitted with an aluminum rail system that allows multiple units to be housed together for vibrant displays, both vertically and horizontally. You can use a 2×2 or 4×4 system, or design your own configurations for each event, creating unique displays each time.
- Protected from water for festivals
- Easily house several units
- Interchangeable brackets
- Uses a fraction of the power other units use
- Can be pricey if you need several units
7. American DJ Lightning Cob Canon (Best Strobe Light for Stage)
The American DJ Lightning COB Cannon is an LED light fixture that produces a powerful white light. It’s perfect for any audience with effects like wash lighting, LED pulse, and strobe. The Cob Cannon is fully DMX compatible and can operate in sound active and manual. This super bright, high output, white strobe cannon is ideal for performance stages and theatrical productions but can be used by anyone, as it requires almost no maintenance, while offering low heat and low power consumption.
Because the Cob Cannon is built to last, it makes for one of the more affordable and long lasting investment pieces. And it’s easy to use, with a four button display, and 3 DMX operation modes. It’s also flicker-free, so you won’t get any flickers caught on camera, offers five selectable dim curves, and can be hung or placed on the ground.
- Easy to use
- Can be hung or used on ground
- More expensive than other models
8. Atomic Strobe RGB (Best RGB Strobe)
The Atomic strobe is called the “legendary strobe” for a reason. A powerful and rugged high-impact strobe light, it’s capable of pulsing in white, red, green, and blue. This unit is both intense and intelligent, with a controllable variable flash flash rate and adjustable flash intensity. Thanks to its multi-color capability, you can set it your own preferences, to create whatever mood or vibe you want.
The perfect blend of a traditional strobe and cutting-edge LED technology, the Atomic RGB Strobe is a creative tool that enhances any stage. It’s not only a strobe, it also offers backlight illumination thanks to it’s RGB- controlled LEDs. It’s cutting edge LED technology makes it one of the brightest strobe lights on the market, but with substantially lower peak power consumption.
- Flashes in white, red, green, & blue
- Low power consumption
- Powerful, all purpose strobe
- A more expensive model
- Not DMX compatible
9. Blizzard Lighting Snowblind (Best Budget Strobe Light)
The Blizzard Lightning SnowBlind is a high-powered, impressively bright unit. With it’s eighteen, cool white, one watt white LEDs, it offers a dazzling level of light, with a full range of intensity and adjustable strobe speed with it’s variable dimmer and variable strobe speed. The SnowBlind is fully controllable with three channels of DMX, sound active, and you have the option of a four-button LED control panel menu.
The innovative design of the Blizzard Lightning SnowBlind provides power to the system directly from the fixture’s DMX jack, so the user has fewer cords on stage and needs less setup time. You can use the SnowBlind as a stand alone unit or link two or more together in Master/Slave mode, for a sound activated strobe light that adds a personalized array of lightning for each of your events.
- Can link multiple units
- Customizable lighting effects
- No color options
10. Chauvet Mini Strobe LED (Best Mini Strobe Light)
The Chauvet Mini Strobe LED is compact and lightweight, making it a great option for general consumers. It’s ready to use right out of the box, just plug it in and go. No need for complicated directions or set up, you can get right down to the party with it’s 21 white LEDs and a knob controlled adjustable strobe rate.
Since the Chauvet Mini Strobe uses LEDS, it runs coolly all night. This feature makes it great for Halloween parties, school events, or private parties. It comes in it’s own case for storage and travel, and is powerful enough to fill an entire room with a poppy punch of white, pulsing lights to build a night all your guests will remember.
- Great for parties
- Plug-in and play
- Won’t overheat
- Strobing speed can vary
- Smaller sized reach
What is a strobe light?
The easy answer to this one is this: A strobe light is the one thing you never knew your party needed! A strobe light is a unit that, most using LEDs, creates a series of very bright, rapid fire, pulsing light. You can set the lights to match the beat of your music, to dim in and out, and sometimes to change colors.
A lot of night clubs or music venues will use strobe lights to add to the experience of the event. When you see a bunch of people on the dance floor, and there are brilliant lights behind them, flickering quickly to make it look like everyone is moving in slow motion, that’s thanks to a strobe light. They are often times paired with other effects like fog machines to create a rich sensory experience that your guests won’t ever forget.
Ways to use a strobe light.
Anyone can use a strobe light, professional or amateur. Most professional DJ’s have their own strobe light set-up that they travel with. Having a light show component as a DJ sets you apart from others, adding value to your client’s experience. Other places where you’ll see a professional strobe light set-up is music concerts or festivals, live theater performances, and major conventions.
But there are many other ways to use a strobe light. A lot of photographers use strobe lights for different exposures and stills. High school or college theater performances often times use strobe lights to add special effects. A well placed strobe light at a house party can get your guests outside on the dance floor, and no decent haunted house during Halloween can take itself seriously without at least one strobe light going at all times, shining spooky light on all it’s ghouls and goblins.
Difference between a strobe & blinder.
This is an important distinction, and one your should consider for your set-up each time. Strobe lights are LED based and usually set in boxed units. They can pulse or strobe, vary in brightness on a scale, and be set to match your music or sound effects with intermittent burst of light.
Blinders can perform most of those same tasks, but are usually set in a strip fashion. When you go to a rock concert, and the stage has pillars of lights, four to eight lights in a bank, those are blinders.
One important note for strobe lights is this: Don’t overuse them. There are proven cases in which strobes disorient and even cause seizures. So don’t overdo the pulsing motion of a strobe light. Just like everything else in life, use your strobe light in moderation. Consider adding in other effects, maybe use a fog machine and blinders, mixing the strobe effects intermittently to make sure you and your guests stay safe through the whole event.
Strobe light control.
Choosing the right strobe light will partially depend on how you need to control it. Some strobe lights offer a DMX option, which stands for “Digital Multiplex Signal” which means it can operate a particular color channel.
If you opt for a remote control, you can alter the effects of your strobe light from your DJ set-up, using effects like color changing, dimming arcs, and pulsing. Or, you can opt for a sound active system, which matches patterns of strobe to a particular sound or beat.
How to use strobe lights with fog.
If you didn’t notice in our earlier answers, the fog machine and strobe light combo is one of our favorites around here. There’s nothing quite like seeing fog slowly roll through the pulsing white lights of a solid strobe light while feeling the music thump in your chest. Several companies offer fog machines and strobe lights as a set, so if you’re going that route consider asking for a bundled package.
Choose The Best Strobe Light For You
Deciding on the best strobe light will look different for everyone. There are a lot of things to consider when choosing a strobe light.
Event: If this is a large outdoor venue, you need something that is strong enough to reach everyone in the audience, without blinding them! If this is a theatrical performance, you’ll want something that is flicker free for all those great photo ops. If you’re throwing a Halloween party for the neighborhood kids, you’ll want something that wont get hot to the touch. You also want something that can be turned off and on to give them breaks from the strobe light.
Effects: Do you need a number of color options for your event? Will you need one unit or two? Is dimming important to the success of your production?
Cost: Sometimes, it all comes down to budget. Finding a strobe light that meets your needs and doesn’t break the bank is just as important and all the fancy effects and controls.
When it comes to finding the best strobe light, we hope this review has been helpful. There are so many great products on the market, so check out our categories and individual product reviews to locate exactly what you need. Every event is more fun with strobes, so whatever machine you choose, have fun and enjoy!