Strobes

When using any sort of strobe lighting or effect, the risk of triggering seizures in photosensitive epileptics is present. Statistics for the UK suggest between 1 in 4000 and 1 in 7000 members of the general population is affected in this way. Many more people report discomfort during prolonged exposure to intense strobe effects. Most people suffering from epilepsy (around 1 in 200 members of the general population) do not experience any more adverse effects due to strobes than members of the general population, only epileptics who are specifically photosensitive are affected.

While the only sure prevention is to avoid using any sort of strobe (or strobing effect) altogether, the risk can be reduced by limiting the duration of strobe effects - UK guidelines suggest no more than 30 seconds at any one time. The same guidelines also suggest displaying notices at the entrance to the venue, warning of the use of strobe effects. Following both suggestions is strongly advised! The risk of seizures is also believed to be lower when the flash rate is below 5 Hz (5 flashes per second).

There is no legislation specifically covering the use of strobe lighting. However, in places of public entertainment the licensing authority may choose to set conditions on the use of strobe lighting effects as part of the license.
  • There is no law covering strobe lighting specifically.
  • HSE guidance is published but is not legally binding.
  • Requirements for operation may be set by the licensing authority.
For more information (and the source of this guidance) - please visit this link.
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