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October 20, 2010


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Is that deer meat and sorbet? To clean your palate?

Missing you in Hell - Michigan that is. :)

Cliff S

I don't know about the signs for sure, but many battery powered displays - like what we use at autoslaloms - will turn on and off the LED's very quickly (too quick for humans to see) to save on power - it gives them a longer run time before the batteries run out.

Your camera's shutter was likely faster then the frequency the LED's were on, a slower shutter speed should do the trick.


The bulbs do flicker - I seem to recall 10 times a second. If your camera shutter opens for less then 1/10 of a second, then it may not capture any light from the bulbs. When you use telephoto, the aperture is likely smaller, forcing a longer exposure time, and therefore giving you a better chance of seeing the bulbs light up.

K Tran

Regarding the LEDs, I think you're running into two different 'issues' here.

First, LEDs have more directional light beams versus the all around light cast by regular bulbs. If you're off-center, then they fade pretty fast (sort of LCD TVs). That's probably why it was easier to capture them all from farther away.

The second is that most high-power LEDs (like these are) are not really powered 'on' all the time in order to increase their longevity. Rather, they are power cycled on and off (technical term is Pulse Width Modulation) faster than the human eye can see - but of course, cameras can see the difference. You'll notice the same if you've ever tried to capture videos of vehicles with newer LED headlights/tail-lights (e.g. Audis).

hope that helps!


Don't veer for deer?

I have veered for deer many times and saved thousands of dollars in repair costs and possibly lives as a result (just imagine a deer crashing through the front windshield at 130 kph; Yeah, I shouldn't have been going that fast, but at least I lived to learn from my mistake).

Jim Kenzie

Hello Cliff, 'jcf' and 'K Tran':

That's probably it - thanks!

Jim Kenzie

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