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What is the difference between a beacon with flashing signals and a beacon with a flash discharge tube?

The light perception of a beacon with Flash discharge tube is different from a beacon with blinking signals.

The difference between these two technologies is connected with the light intensity that is delivered.

  • Dazzling light intensity for the Flash beacon
  • Softer light intensity (non-dazzle) for the blinking beacon

Choice of the most appropriate technology

The choice between these technologies should be made according to the principle of "the more dazzling, the more urgent it is". Thus:

  • The beacon with Flash discharge tube is intended to indicate imminent danger requiring immediate intervention on a machine
  • The beacon with blinking signals indicates to a machine operator that an intervention is required
  • For information: a beacon with steady (non-blinking) signal indicates that the machine is operating.
Light intensity
  • The 5 Joule Flash element provides a light intensity of 13 Candela (Dazzle) and the 10 Joule beacon doubles this light intensity.
  • The blinking element produces a softer light, from 5.5 to 15 Lux depending on the bulb colour and type (LED or incandescent).
  • Standard 60204-1 clause 10.3.2  concerning safety of machinery defines the colours and operating modes of the indicator lights.
  • Standard 60204-1 clause 10.3.3  concerning safety of machinery defines the purposes of flashing lights and displays.
Definition of units
  • The candela is an SI (International System) unit of light intensity, i.e. of the brightness of a light source perceived by the human eye.
  • The lux is a unit of measurement of illumination (symbol: lx). It characterises the luminous flux received per surface unit.
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