Emergency strobe question

Does anyone know if you can replace just the strobe portion of the emergency strobe lights or is it just as cheap to buy a whole new one?

I checked the battery and that is working fine.

thanks in advance,


If you are running the cheap d cell

– Last Updated: Jan-22-05 8:54 PM EST –

strobe they are ususally available at sportsmans guide cheap.

If you have a princeton tec or other high quality strobe they should be waranteed.

don’t know about the strobe but
I just bought a rescue laser from Greatland Laser for 109.00 bucks and it seems to be a better rescue tool than anything that I have seen in a long time.

I have my Pilots lic and have see aircraft strobes. At around 4 to 5 miles out it is hard to see the strobe and this know small light. Color seems to play a big role in the night sky as well. Red light seems to be the one color that stands out as one to be seen at a distants. Oh and if you can replace the bulb in the strobe touching the bulb cuts it’s life in half.


touching the bulb
not an expert on strobe lights, but I’ve done my share of stage lighting for drama performances. ANY halogen bulb (and I’m sure it’s the same for strobes) can NOT have any oil whatsoever on it when it’s installed. And no matter how much you wash your hands, there will always be a minute quantity of oil on them. If you touch a halogen/xenon/other high intensity bulb with your bare hands, be it headlights in your car, or lamps in your house, or in this case, strobes, the oil from your hands will transfer to the bulb. These bulbs burn EXTREMELY hot–several thousand degrees (filament temp) in some cases. This heat will boil the oil and crack the glass, and as soon as oxygen gets inside the bulb, kiss it goodbye. If it doesn’t blow out within a few minutes of turning it on, it’s anybody’s guess when it will actually go, but you’ll be lucky to get even close to half it’s usual servicable life out of it.

If you do happen to accidentally touch one of these bulbs bare handed, wash/scrub the surfaces with rubbing alcohol and a few layers of paper towl, and make sure to let it dry before turning it on. Incidentally, a few layers of paper towl is the best method (outside of latex gloves) I’ve found to use while handling these types of bulbs.

If it’s a “real” strobe light, …
… I don’t think normal use will ever make them burn out. I’m thinking of xenon camera strobes that are used thousands and thousands of times and still seem to last forever. A lot of modern so-called “strobes” are really just white L.E.D.s, but I couldn’t tell you if those are replacable. Anyway, one of the selling points of L.E.D.s is that they are supposed to last an extremely long time. So, unless it’s some other kind of light, I’d suspect a circuitry problem, in which case it would be cheaper to replace the whole unit than try to fix. Obviously, this is all guesswork based on straightforward assumtions. Can you get any info from the maker?

I am sure it is a circuitry problem
Since even without the battery there is a very faint flashing.

I thought I was seeing things, until I showed my wife. The two of us were amazed.

The only thing I can figure is there is some kind of short causing some capacitance.

Kind of hard to fathom when there is no battery, but yet still a faint flash.

Any way thanks to Peter K above for sending me a web site which has the cost. They are only ten bucks, so I’ll just get a new one.

Thanks all



How a strobe works
the capacitance stores power until it reaches a critical level then lets the current through for a flash.

The the capacitors (or theri equivalent) are discharged, recharge, reach the critical level and…

Why do we use strobes?
I hear so many contradictory things here about using strobes. Why do we use them again?

Many say no one pays attention to them in an emergency. Some say they are illegal to use except in emergenices. Some people say screw it I use them as a running light.


So SAR techs can see us.
They won’t ignore it.

Why ?
mine is for an emergency only and fortunately I have never had to use it.

I would hope that if I ever have to that someone would see it and send help.

If I ever saw a strobe flashing, I would check it out.

Anyone that is using it as a night warning light is making a big mistake and ultimately will screw it up for the rest of us that keep them for emergencies.

We keep the battery out of ours when we are not heading out and prior to each trip make sure there is a fresh battery in it and it is working properly

Naturally I don’t take it on small lakes or river trips, but in the ocean, esturaries or extnded wilderness trips I don’t leave home without it.



A requirement for anybody
who is going out to do someting big. With a strobe you might be found on an island or in the water if you had radioed the Coast gaurd.

without one much harder.

Now it makes sense
OK, now it makes sense, part of the distress collection, not the only thing as some the folks I know use it as.


only for distress
I knew a fellow who used it as a standby “white light to show in case of collision” but i don’t think that’s the appropriate use. He should have had a bright white flashlight. Although we were in a sheltered cove it would have been visible from the air which is the reason for it’s use.