Opinions on LED Strobes

What is your opinion on LED strobes? I think they’re a neat idea and I’m assuming they save decent amount of power consumption when they’re running. I’m not really a fan of Cooper Wheelock’s newer fire alarm designs. What do you think? Are they the future of visual notification?

Yes. LEDs are more durable, smaller, more efficient, and easier to control than xenon strobes.

I agree with Prog, although, LED strobes don’t produce flashes as fast as xenon strobes, so they are less likely (barely at all) to get people’s attention.



For that fact, I prefer xenon strobes. The other reasons listed by Prog I don’t really care about, except for the current draw. With less current draw, there can be more devices on a circuit, without having to install a NAC expander.



I cam see myself changing my opinion in the future…

They are the future of visual notification. At the moment, I don’t think they’re cost effective enough to reach critical mass, and Wheelock has the market monopolized. However, as soon as the cost is reduced and other manufacturers come out with their own lines of LED strobes, xenon strobes will go the way of the electromechanical horn. The big milestone will be when Simplex adopts it and starts convincing all their customers to spend the extra cash.



I also imagine that multi-color LED strobes will replace the dual fire/alert strobes on the market, since two colors of LED’s can be packed into the same strobe lens. I’ll bet System Sensor will be the first to introduce some sort of multi-color strobe with a built-in LED display that changes text depending on the emergency.

I hope the price goes down! Please don’t take this the wrong way but simples alarms are always high.


There can be multiple LED’s (all different colors) in one lens, AND LED’s can change colors, so both of those are bonuses.

Simplex is to fire alarms as Apple, Inc. is to computing devices! Possibly higher quality, but you have to pay the hefty price.

I never thought of that! But multiple colored LED’s in an alarm would be a brilliant idea!


That would also mean that the panels would have to get an upgrade so it knows what color to change the strobe and how to change it.


Well, if there were multiple colored LED’s, only one LED would be used for fire signaling, and the others would be used for other types of signaling, like weather and general emergencies.

I know but the panel would have to tell the alarm ok turn blue so for a panel to do that it needs to have an update on its software.


Oh, yes, I see what you are saying, you are talking about the LED’s that change color. LED’s can change color by reversing polarity, so that can be tricky on a NAC. So, maybe using addressable technology, the panel can tell each device to reverse the polarity for the LED, instead of the panel doing it for the whole circuit, which could cause some undesired operation, or damage. That might get too expensive, though. It is not practical, but possible.


It’s not necessarily a higher quality (please no PC vs. Mac debates), but they’re a recognized and trusted name, especially among wealthier people.


Anything is possible :wink:

Simplex sells and installs their systems for lower than almost anyone else in the business, but their service rates are higher than almost anyone else in the business. This is why Simplex wins the bid so often for large buildings and institutions, but why so many Simplex systems are ripped out or taken over by another service company.



Simplex is also a master of upsell tactics and brand creation. They take every opportunity in getting customers to upgrade their equipment as soon as it becomes obsolete. They make it seem easy and seamless by offering smooth retrofit kits and great backwards compatibility. Yet, I believe the reason that MAPNET devices aren’t compatible on newer panels is to push customers into adopting the newest TrueAlarm series, which they can charge an arm and a leg for once bundled along with the new panel. But they don’t advertise it like “we’ve got these new smoke detectors and we think you should replace every single one of them in your building” - that objectifies the product and immediately makes it seem expensive. Instead, they market it as patented TrueAlarm “technology” like it’s some incomprehensible magical force that will guard your building and is vague as to what that entails. This way, it seems less like a giant costly fire alarm overhaul and more like some sort of add-on technology that you just have to have while you’re at it. The same technique was used for addressable TrueAlerts, LifeAlarm voice evac, SmartSync, TrueSite graphic workstations, and anything else with a slick brand name. Smart business tactics.



This is why I mentioned that if Simplex introduces a line of LED strobes, they will market it like it’s the best thing since sliced bread and have the power to single-handedly make LED strobes a standard.

Including a four-sided triangle?

That’s a tetrahedron. 8)




Try stapling water to jelly.

If you went back in time to the prehistoric times, and told people about a device that detects smoke and sounds an alarm, they’d tell that such was impossible.

I believe there some things that still aren’t possible. Like stapling water (in it’s liquid form) to jelly (in it’s “store bought” form).

Getting back on topic, One problem some of the LED Exceders are having is that the LED portion/circuitry is tending to fail rather quickly. User “FireAlarmsOnline” had it happen to him (it filled his warehouse with the smell if burnt electronics). Several others have had it happen to them as well. I imagine it’s just “teething pains” and Wheelock is working on a fix, if not already fixed it.