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General information about flashbulbs

A flashbulb is a device which produces a lot of light as a result of the combustion of material in an oxygen rich atmosphere contained within a glass envelope or bulb. The combustible material can be magnesium, aluminium or zirconium.

A flashbulb can only be flashed once!

A small voltage from a dry cell battery (6v) will fire any electrically activated flashbulb!

Flashbulbs were once the most popular source of light for photographers until electronic flash units were perfected and mass-produced.

Flashbulbs still have certain advantages over other light sources:

1) They produce a "softer" light output with longer duration due to the combustion characteristics. As the material ignites, the "fire" starts slowly at first, producing low light output, increasing rapidly to a peak, then, declining as rapidly as it rose, to low and zero light output. The duration of the light produced can be from 4 milliseconds to 2 seconds, depending on the type and design of flash bulb. This can help to produce photos with more definition with the use of smaller grain film with smaller aperture settings.

2) Larger flashbulbs can produce more light than any portable electronic flashgun and this can be useful if mains or grid electric power is not available to supply electrically powered strobe lights or other types of lighting. Larger format architectural photography or cave photography are typical applications for flashbulbs.

3) Flashbulbs can be very useful in destructive environments where more expensive lighting systems might not be used due to the potential damage to these systems during the event to be illuminated or "loads of light" is required in difficult to light areas. A vehicle crash test or materials testing are examples of these situations.

4) Flashbulbs provide a lot of light output which can be useful to high speed photography applications where high frame per second speeds require high light output to capture images of high speed events on film or electronic storage media. Aircraft engine component testing or materials performance testing during explosions are some of the applications for high light output flashbulbs.

If you need huge light output without the hassle of transporting and setting up a lot of electronic flashguns and providing electric power, then flashbulbs could be the answer to your light requirements......... have a look at our flashbulbs photo gallery to see a few........