Traffic Control: Xenon flash

Phoxene, Worldwide supplier

For over 25 years, Phoxene has acquired know-how in the technical design, manufacture and sale of flashes for traffic enforcement. Either for speed enforcement or red-light enforcement, Phoxene has delivered thousands of devices to system integrators worldwide.

Traffic control and flash photography

A flash to freeze the movement

In Traffic control,when producing a photo or video of an enforcement scenario, the resulting image constitutes the proof of the infringement and the use of image correction software is usually very limited. Consequently, the raw image must be readable and interpretable. That’s why the flash must produce a very intense, short and powerful light pulse to provide superior illumination, freeze the movement of the target vehicle, leading to a crystal clear picture.

A flash for all weather conditions

From a photographic point of view, the scenes to be captured in traffic enforcement are challenging: the speed and range of the target vehicle vary greatly, as do the ambient light levels and the equipment has to work in a variety of road configurations. The images must accurately show details such as the licence plate, the driver and the illumination state of any traffic signals. The light power delivered by a xenon strobe surpasses ambient light and its adverse effects.

traffic control flash photography

Flash, a key device for traffic control systems

Smart flash and enforcement system

The intensity of the illumination and its homogeneity over the scene are obviously key factors to producing a readable image. But it is also important for the overall system’s performance – a flash with a fast repetition rate, remote control and dynamic light adjustment is critical to develop a smart and efficient system.

Traffic control systems require reliable flash

Enforcement systems are often required to comply with international standards and it is useful to use components that are compliant too.A high-quality and reliable flash strongly helps to reduce acquisition and system ownership costs by enabling the use of a medium-priced and average sensitivity camera, increasing the MTBF and requiring only limited and straight-forward maintenance.


Traffic enforcement scenes to be captured must show the target vehicle and its license plate, and sometimes the driver and a red light signal. The flash illuminator must produce a very intense, short and powerful light pulse which provides superior illumination with homogeneity of intensity across the beam area, and freezes the movement of the target vehicle, leading to a crystal-clear picture.

Successive cars

On a typical enforcement scenario, the system must be capable of catching fast target vehicles, close together, one after the other; or in a Red Light enforcement scenario, the same vehicle at different positions. To do so, the flash illuminator must be able to produce a burst of shots in a very limited time.

traffic control successive cars


Requirements regarding the flash light color differ from country to country, based on legislation. Xenon tubes are naturally white, because the spectrum covers the range 400nm- 1100nm. That characteristic makes the xenon flash ideal for photography and its use is common in the industry. Either in a photo studio or at the roadside, it helps to get clear pictures with a very good color rendering. In traffic control when colored or sharp monochrome pictures are required, the use of a white flash is ideal. But an orange, red or even infrared color is sometimes required.

Traffic control application notes

Phoxene has acquired know-how in the technical design, manufacture and sale of flash illuminators for traffic enforcement. Phoxene is glad to share its experience on imaging applied to Traffic Control through the edition of dedicate Application Notes. They have been organized for maximum ease of use, for both experts and less experienced readers and they cover the following topics:

  • Why a flash for traffic enforcement
  • Flash to car distance and inverse square law
  • Enforcement scene and guide number
  • Vehicule exposure in an enforcement scene
  • Xenon flash vs LED in traffic enforcement
  • Licence plate and retro-reflective effet
  • Light color and photo enforcement
  • Camera global and rolling shutter
  • Flash and camera synchronization
  • Traffic enforcement advanced smart flash

Traffic Control application notes

Phoxene solutions

When seeking a traffic enforcement flash illuminator, the characteristics required are directly linked to the enforcement scenario. Read on to discover Phoxene industrial expertise and proprietary technologies embedded into the Fx Flash Illuminator product range.

The Phoxene range of xenon strobes dedicated to traffic control consists of 2 base models – Fx and Sx – which are proposed in different versions tailored to specific traffic control scenario.

Traffic Control: Product Guide

Our flash strobe solutions for Traffic Control