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adding flicker to lights without losing exposure


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#1 Joshua Dannais

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 05:43 AM

I've been searching about dimmers and inducing flickering... please correct if i've misunderstood: from what i've gathered you can make lights flicker by hooking them up to a dimmer and turning it down... but how would you induce the flicker without reducing the amount of light emitted? I would like to make a porch light on a house flicker as if it were broken...


thanks
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#2 Mike Lary

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 07:06 AM

For the kind of effect you want, you might be able to have someone who isn't prone to electrocuting himself hold the plug very loosely into the wall so it barely makes a connection, then jiggle it around. Dimmers are only going to fight what you're trying to do because you need to interrupt the flow. I found a DIY solution for a flickerbox online a while back but I can't find the link. You might be able to find it in a search. I've heard it's really dangerous building that kind of unit yourself, though, because they build up a lot of heat. The safest way would be to get your hands on a flickerbox like the Shadowmaker (by Magic Gadgets). You can set the flicker so there's no ramping, change the duration of the strobe, and randomize the duration. I think they make a single circuit flickerbox as well. The Shadowmaker has three circuits.
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#3 Walter Graff

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 08:40 AM

Yes a dimmer would be the wrong thing here. You could hold the switch just to the point where it makes contact and make the light flicker by slightly moving the switch. I sell simple flicker boxes on my web site but in a house circuit like this it would not work.
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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 12:33 PM

A simple trick I've used in the past is to wire a ordinary Fluorescent starter into the live cable. Instant flicker, cheap and easy.
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#5 John Sprung

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Posted 18 June 2008 - 12:46 PM

Plain old dimmer with a momentary contact push button switch across it. Run the dimmer up and down to vary the depth of flicker, make like an old time telegraph operator with the button switch. Used that years ago to simulate a candle flame using a bare 200 Watt FEV from an inky.




-- J.S.
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