Basic knowledge - Stroboscopes

Stroboscopes are highly versatile instruments, which are used to visualise ultra-rapid motion sequences. They are also particularly crucial tools for use in monitoring and inspecting production facilities e.g. in the printing and textile industry. But also for general maintenance and inspection tasks in all industrial sectors. Stroboscopes also allow contactless measurement of speed and oscillation: Provided the flashing frequency of the stroboscope matches the movement frequency, the measurement object appears to be motionless.

Stroboscopes can be classified into stationary and portable versions. Another subdivision may be made according to the principle of the light source used: Xenon or LED.

In the following, we will first look at the stationary stroboscopes.
If you want to go directly to the detailed information of the portable stroboscopes, please click here.

More information about stroboscopes from RHEINTACHO can be found here:


How stroboscopes work

Most of us are familiar with stroboscopes. Either as typical party lighting or for fine adjustment of classic turntable speed. Or we remember the supposedly backwards running wheels when filming something like motorcycles. But how does this interesting phenomenon really work? 

The function of all stroboscopes goes back to a discovery by the Englishman Peter Marc Roget in the 18th century. He watched the wheels of a carriage through a picket fence and was amazed at the surreal image of the spokes. Instead of the picket fence, a device can also be used that emits flashes of light at very regular intervals, which means that in a dark environment, movements appear choppy like a series of stationary images. 

The human eye adjusts to the brightness generated by these flashes of light and only perceives the illuminated images. If the flash frequency (= the number of flashes per minute, abbreviated "FPM" / or as flashes per second, then "FPS" or Hz) is synchronized with the movement frequency, we see a stationary image. If the flash frequency and movement frequency differ slightly from each other, the movement can be slowed down considerably and observed completely. 

These two options also represent the predominant applications in professional use:

1. A non-contact speed measurement. This is made possible by reversing the above: If a movement illuminated with strobe flashes is "frozen", the flash frequency displayed on the strobe corresponds exactly to the movement frequency.

2. To monitor fast processes, they are "flashed" at a slightly different frequency. The movement is now slowed down in front of the eyes of the viewer. 

All stroboscopic applications have one thing in common: the real measuring instrument is the human eye. Stroboscopic flashes "only" create the lighting conditions enabling the human eye to perform its measuring task. This fact is also an important advantage: No automatic inspection system adapts as quickly and without errors to changing environmental conditions and / or tasks.

Stationary stroboscopes

Stationary stroboscopes have become must-have measurement tools to facilitate the surface inspection of high-speed processes. They are also important as a highly efficient light source for use in industrial image processing technologies.
The range of products available today allows bandwidths exceeding three metres to be illuminated.

The ability to set these units up in next to no time and their user-friendly operation make them key parts of flexible and exceptionally cost-effective testing configuration.

All the stroboscopes developed by RHEINTACHO reflect its aim to provide maximum luminous intensity while minimising flash duration for Xenon and LED light sources.

These devices were developed for use in a very wide range of industrial environments, and another stand-out feature is their lack of external cooling. This feature allows for the housing to be fully sealed, which effectively protects the equipment against soiling and decisively boosted its service life


Developed for use in everyday industrial applications and focusing primarily on extended service life, low energy consumption and the widest possible range of use, RHEINTACHO LED stroboscopes are consistently best placed to provide optimal surface inspection solutions.

Ceaselessly targeting further improvement, the solutions developed outperform the rest of the market in offering unrivalled brightness.  


With an unprecedented short flash duration, Xenon stroboscopes represent a viable alternative to their LED counterparts.

The Xenon lamps developed in-house by RHEINTACHO offer equally prominent light intensity and service life.

Portable stroboscopes

Present-day production processes impose very challenging requirements on each form of measurement technology when it comes to maintenance and servicing. Strict quality standards, the more intricate machine structures required for swifter throughput and the 100 % availability target mean nothing less than flexible and meticulous testing methods will do.

In this field, RHEINTACHO hand-held stroboscopes offer an ideal range of tried and tested potential solutions.


RHEINTACHO has been a pioneer in the field of LED stroboscopy since the early days and is all too aware of the potential held by this technology. As well as the extended service life of the lamp filaments, focusing on housing design paved the way for a whole new set of potential applications.

The RT STROBE pocketLED with its IP65 properties was the first of its kind and was developed for measuring inserts exposed to critical environmental conditions. The comprehensive functional scope enables very flexible and accurate measurements as well as on-site configurations.

The new RT STROBE qbLED series also encompasses further key developments and innovations within this product field. As well as intuitive control, the high luminous intensity of this equipment was key to significantly improving the area of measurement distance.
The RT STROBE super qbLEDs stroboscope boasts a world-first laser autosync function, which eliminates the often time-consuming and complex task of searching via synchronic frequency. The measurement result is expressed in fractions of a second.


For over a decade, the Xenon portable stroboscope RT STROBE pocket rolux has been a core component of the product program. As of now, the 2nd generation of this device has been released. It has established itself as a cross-industry standard-setting measurement tool of unrivalled versatility, thanks to the ease of control and handling coupled with the exceptionally high luminous intensity for this light source.