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Gas strobe beacons consist of a gas-filled tube engulfed by a lens on a rotating base. When subjected to electricity the tube flashes and is magnified by the lens producing 360 degree light. Light intensity is determined by the amount of electricity provided.
Light-emitting diode (LED) strobe beacons consist of a base, a LED or group of LEDs, and a cover. A solid state flash controller is located within the base that allows a LED beacon to perform a variety of flash patterns with comparatively less power consumption than Gas Strobe Beacons. LED strobe lights allow the vehicle's engine to be turned off while the beacon stays on.
Strobe beacons are similar to rotating beacons but are more energy efficient because they have no moving parts. They are also generally considered more reliable because they are less likely to break when subjected to extreme vibration.