Burglar Alarm Strobes Guide

By: Ari Erenthal, Published on Mar 31, 2017

Strobes provide visual notification of alarm incidents, as sirens are used to give audible notification. Using a strobe gives alarm users and alarm responders another way confirm alarms when they cannot hear the sirens. In this note, we examine how to specify and use strobes, including:

  • Conical strobes
  • Add on strobes
  • Siren strobes
  • Flash intensity
  • Strobe colors
  • Flash rate
  • Strobe power
  • Common applications
  • Mounting height
  • Synchronization

******* ******* ****** ************ ** ***** incidents, ** ****** *** **** ** give ******* ************. ***** * ****** gives alarm ***** *** ***** responders ******* *** ******* alarms **** **** ****** hear *** ******. ** this ****, ** ******* how ** ******* *** use *******, *********:

  • ******* *******
  • *** ** *******
  • ***** *******
  • ***** *********
  • ****** ******
  • ***** ****
  • ****** *****
  • ****** ************
  • ******** ******
  • ***************

[***************]

Strobe **** *******

***** *** ***** **** categories ** ******: ******* strobes, *** ** *******, and ***** *******.

  • ******* ******* *** **** to *** ** ***** strobe **** * ***** is *** *********.
  • *** ** ******* ****** an ********* ** ****** whether * ***** ******* needs * ****** ** not
  • ***** ******* *** ***** units **** **** **** the ****** ******* ********* and ***** **, ** the ********** **** ***** to ******* * ****** pair ** *****. 

******* ******* *** **** where * ***** ** not ********* *** ********. For *******, * ******** might ******* ***** ************ in * ***** *********** such ** * ******* floor ** ********. ******* impaired ********* *** **** strobes ********* ******* ** they *** *** **** an alarm *** **** *********.

***** ******* **** *** is ****** ****** ************, as ******* ** ****** which **** ******** ************. In ***** *****, ***** a ***** *** ** heard *** **** *** mounting ********, * ****** can **** ** **** in *** ******** ** which ** ** *******. Therefore, ** ********* ****** work ******* **** *** customer ** ********** **** where *** ****** ***** to ** **** ** order ** **** ****** coverage. 

*** ** ******* ***** installers ** **** ***** by ********** ******* **** when *********. **** ***** multiple ****** ** * job, ********** *** **** and ****** ***** ****** need ******* *** ***** do ***, *** **** order ******* *** ***** that **** **. *** example, *** *** ***** require *** ***** ** the ***** ** *** building *** *** ** a **** ****. ** installer ***** ****** ** add * ****** ** *** front *****, ** **** emergency ********** *** ******** identify *** ******** **** before **** *** ***** enough ** **** *** house *******, *** ***** the **** ****** *** as ***** ***********. **** way, *** ********** **** *** to ***** *** ***** to ******* * ****** model ** *****, *** the ********* **** ***** to *** *** ******* **** are ******** ******** ** the ***********.

**** ********** ****** ** use ******* *** ***** siren ** * ***. Siren *******, ***** *** sirens **** **** *****-** strobes ******* ******** *** wired, *** **** ** specify *** *******. *** installer **** *** **** to **** *** **** to ****** ***** ****** require ******* *** ***** do ***, *** * ****** device ** ****** ****** to **** ** **** two. 

***** ******* **** **** current **** ****** *****. One ** *** ****** will ** **** ****** the ****** ***** **** panels *** ******* **. However, **** ***** ******** sirens ** * ****** job, *** ******* **** will ******* *** **. Therefore, ********** *** ********** use **** ***** ******* should **** **** **** they *** ******* ****** their ******' ***** *******. 

Strobe *******

***** ** *** **** important ****** ** ******** when ******** * ******. While ******* *** ********* in **** ******, *** most ****** *** *****, red, ****, *** ***** (yellow). **** ************* ******* or ******** ******** ****** to ******** ************. *** example, ** *** ****** States, **** ****** *** other ***** ********** ***** to ******* ********** ** a ******** **** ** white ** ***** (***** gives * ***** **********). Some ***** ************* ******** **** or ***** ******. ********** should ****** ** ***** of *** ***** ** their *************. 

**** ********* *** ******** strobes ** ********* ****** in ***** ** ******** different **********.

*** ****** *** *** most easily **** ***** ****** the ***, ***** **** lights *** *** **** easily **** ** ***** or ** ****** *** areas. ***** ****** *** be **** **** **** in ***. **** ********* use ********* ****** ** indicate ********* ***** **********.

******* *** *****, *** most ********* ******* *** strobes ***

  • ***** *********
  • *******
  • *******
  • ***** ****

***** ********* ** * ******* of **********. ** ** measured ** *******, *** symbol *** ***** ** cd. **** ** ********** at * ******** ** 50 ****; ***** ** bright ****** ** **** a ******** ******. 

******* ** *** **** ** which *** *********** *****. Current ** ***** ********* ** ****, ***** **** *** symbol *. **** *** split **** ***********, ***** uses *** ****** **, or *********. **** ******* ******* a quarters ** ** *** or **** ** ***- that **, ***** ** so. 

**** ***** *******, ** is **** ********* *** the ***** ***** ** supply *** ****** ******* at *** ***** ****** of ***** *******. **** is ******* * ****** *** circuitry ****** **** ******* the ******** ****, ******* to * *****. **** installing ******** ***** ** siren ******* *** ******* independently, *** ******* ****** be ***** ******** ** the **** *******, *** the ***** ******.

******* ** *** ******** at ***** *** *********** flows. ** ** ***** in*****, ***** **** *** symbol *. **** ******* are ***** ******* ** to ***.

***** **** ** *** many ***** *** ****** the ****** *****. ******* alarm ******* ***** ***** ** a **** ** **** per ******. **** ***** require * ****** ***** rate *** ********** **** alarms; *** ** ***** times *** ****** ** common. 

Strobe ************

*** **** ****** *********** for ******* ***** ******* is ******* ***** *** businesses, ** ***** ********** to ******** *** ******** from * ********.

*******, * ******** ********* can **** **** ************* to *** *******. 

********* ***** ****** ********* not ******* **** *** street, **** ** ********* and **** *********. ******** * strobe, ** **** **** one, *** ********* ********* and **** ** ********* for **** ** ****. This *** ***** **** to ***** ****** **** they ********, *** *** limit **** ********'* ****** in **** ** * break-in. 

********* **** **** ********* are * ************ ********* location *** ****** *** strobes, ** **** *** ***** and ***** ****** *** the ***** *****, ******* amplifying ***** ******. *** loud ***** ***** **** cause ****** ****** ****** to **** *** ****** repeatedly, ***** ****** **** more ********* **** ** unverified ******* ******* ****** alone. *** ***** *** light *** ***** ********* **** ******* without ****** ********. **** install * ****** ***** in ** ********; ******** more ** ********. *******, multiple ******* ******* *** be ***** **** * single **** ****, ******** an ********* ** **** one ***** *** ******* unsynchronized strobes. 

********** ******** **** **** in *********** **** ******* ***** buttons ******, ******** ****** ******* inside ** **** *** help. ******** * ****** directly ******* *** ******* can **** ********** ** identify ***** ******* ** is. **** ******** * strobe ******* * ****-**, do *** ******* * siren, ** *** ****** trapped *** ** *** of ****** **** **** the ***** *** *** have ***** ******* *******. 

***** **** ***** ***** should **** ******** ******* and ****** ******* ********** the ****, ***** **** help disoriented *** ******* *********. Panic ***** ****** **** two ***** *******, *** with *** ******* ** trigger ******* *** ****** and *** **** ***** a ****** ******. * good *** ** *********** the *** ** ** tape * *** ** foam ******** ** *** panic ****** **** ******** audible *** ******* ************. Multiple **** ** **** earplugs ****** ** **** in *** ***** ****, at ***** *** *** every ****** *** ***** room ** ******** ** accommodate.

Mounting ******

**** ***** * ****** indoors, ***** **** *" (15cm) **** *** ******* or **" (*****) **** the *****, ********* ** lower, *** ******* **********. When ***** ******* ********, ***** them ** ****** **** 30' (~**).

***************

**** ******** ******* *** used ** *** **** area, **** **** ** synchronized. *********, **** ***** trigger * ******* ** people **** ************** ********. ******* not ****** ****** ***** of **** ***** ** not **** ** ** synced. **** ********** **** alarm ****** **** *** ability ** **** *******, but **** ******* ***** panels ** ***. *********, if ******** ******* ** the **** ****** **** is ********, ********** ****** use * *********** ********** fire *** ******* ***** panel, *** ** **** that ** ** ******* of ****** ***************.

Comments (4)

In areas with a shortage of law enforcement response to commercial intrusion alarms the use of indoor high candela, rapid cyclic rate strobes coupled with very loud sirens can create a disorienting & disabling impact on intruders. Installed in otherwise darkened facilities to combat afterhours smash & grab burglaries I've watched video of fleeing intruders colliding with display fixtures and even floor support columns while attempting to escape the building after the system activated.

The very real hazard lies in the impact such defensive configurations have on persons responding to the intrusion alarm. The alarm keypad must be located close to the entry door to disarm the system prior to law enforcement's entry.

Good points, Jack. In fact, you'll notice I mentioned the disabling affects of strobes, especially unsynced strobes.

As for timeouts, UL recommends the following minimums:

  • Residential Burglary: 4 minutes
  • Residential Fire: Until manual reset
  • Commercial Burglary: 15 minutes if panel automatically resets, 30 minutes otherwise
  • Commercial Fire: until manual reset unless otherwise allowed by AHJ

Of course, some jurisdictions have noise ordinances that address sirens, so always follow those.

Good piece.

You (and commenters) spoke about coupling sirens with strobes for burglar alarms.... I'm curious how often recorded audio voice commands are coupled with strobes vs sirens coupled with strobes.

Do you use recorded audio voice commands in specific environments vs sirens when using strobes?

Do you ever use all three? (strobes, sirens and recorded audio voice commands)

Which combinations can be more effective when deployed in certain environments and why?

thanks for a great article. For security strobes we use the same strobes that are found on the top of school buses - they are 1.2 million candela. Bright even on the sunniest day!!! We use different lens for different alarms... seems to work well for us.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

ZK Teco Atlas Access Control Tested on Aug 20, 2019
Who needs access specialists? China-based ZKTeco claims its newest access panel 'makes it very easy for anyone to learn and install access control...
Suprema Biometric Mass Leak Examined on Aug 19, 2019
While Suprema is rarely discussed even within the physical security market, the South Korean biometrics manufacturer made global news this past...
Installation Course - Register Now on Aug 15, 2019
Register Now for the September 2019 Video Surveillance Install Course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
Biometrics Usage Statistics 2019 on Aug 13, 2019
Biometrics are commonly used in phones, but how frequently are they used for access? 150+ integrators told us how often they use biometrics,...
Milestone "GDPR-ready" Certification Claim Critiqued on Aug 12, 2019
Milestone is touting that its latest XProtect VMS is "GDPR-ready" with a 'European Privacy Seal'. However, our investigation raises significant...
Dahua Analytics+ Tested on Aug 07, 2019
Dahua's analytics have performed poorly in past shootouts. But now, they claim their new Analytics+ "algorithms significantly improve accuracy and...
Avigilon Blue VSaaS Tested on Aug 05, 2019
Avigilon says Blue is a "powerful integrator cloud service platform", easy to set up and configure, quickly scale business, by leveraging cloud...
Hikvision 4K Camera Shootout on Aug 02, 2019
With their latest Smart Series 5 cameras, Hikvision is claiming cameras "fully loaded" with "state-of-the-art technology for high performance and...
Responsibility Split Selecting Locks - Statistics on Jul 22, 2019
A heated access debate surrounds who should pick and install the locks. While responsible for selecting the control systems, integrators often...
History of Video Surveillance on Jul 19, 2019
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going from VCRs to ab emerging AI cloud era.  The goal of this history is to...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Uniview Beats Intel In Trademark Lawsuit on Aug 19, 2019
Uniview has won a long-running trademark lawsuit brought by Intel, with Beijing's highest court reversing an earlier Intel win, centered on...
Suprema Biometric Mass Leak Examined on Aug 19, 2019
While Suprema is rarely discussed even within the physical security market, the South Korean biometrics manufacturer made global news this past...
Verkada People And Face Analytics Tested on Aug 16, 2019
This week, Verkada released "People Analytics", including face analytics that they describe is a "game-changing feature" that "pushes the...
Dahua OEM Directory 2019 on Aug 16, 2019
US Government banned Dahua OEMs for dozens of companies. The following directory includes 40+ of those companies with a graphic and links to...
Installation Course - Register Now on Aug 15, 2019
Register Now for the September 2019 Video Surveillance Install Course. This is a unique installation course in a market where little practical...
Axis Suffers Outage, Provides Postmortem on Aug 15, 2019
This week, Axis suffered an outage impacting their website and cloud services. Inside this note, we examined what happened, what was impacted...
Hikvision Scrutinized In The Netherlands on Aug 15, 2019
Hikvision is facing unprecedented scrutiny in the Netherlands, at the same time the US government ban has taken effect. This week, a Dutch...
Axis 4K Camera Shootout 2019 on Aug 14, 2019
Axis' 4K Q3518-LVE claims the "best video quality possible", with Lightfinder super low light performance, Axis' high end Forensic WDR, and...
CheckMySystems Company Profile on Aug 14, 2019
CheckMySystems says that too many users respond, "I get an email when something is wrong" when talking about their video system maintenance plan,...
Hikvision OEM Directory on Aug 13, 2019
The Chinese government-owned and US-government banned Hikvision has become the world's largest video surveillance manufacturer and generally hidden...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact