RE: blinking, flashing, pulsating, fading

Subject: RE: blinking, flashing, pulsating, fading
From: "McLauchlan, Kevin" <Kevin -dot- McLauchlan -at- safenet-inc -dot- com>
To: Peter Neilson <neilson -at- windstream -dot- net>, Charlotte Branth Claussen <charlotteclaussen -at- gmail -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2014 09:40:01 -0500

I'm tucking away this dashes-and-Xs description of blinky lights for possible future use.
Thanks!

I hope, when the time comes, I can remember which shoebox...

-----Original Message-----
From: Peter Neilson
Sent: March-05-14 5:52 AM
To: Charlotte Branth Claussen
Cc: TECHWR-L
Subject: Re: blinking, flashing, pulsating, fading

On Wed, 05 Mar 2014 04:57:40 -0500, Charlotte Branth Claussen <charlotteclaussen -at- gmail -dot- com> wrote:

> In our company, we have several different ways of describing LED
> indication.
> We seem to be using blinking and flashing for the same - a pattern
> where the LED repeatedly turns on and off.
> We seem to use pulsating or a loooong sentence with fading in it for
> any pattern where the LED varies in intensity but does not turn
> entirely off at any point.
>
> In cases where we can't add a drawing, how would you best describe
> these two patterns?

If the distinction is important, you have to describe it, either in words mentioning the time intervals, or perhaps better by drawing a picture in text like this:

Flash A: -----x-----x-----x-----x-----x-----
Flash B: --xx--xx-------xx--xx-------xx--xx-------xx--xx
Flash C: ------xxxxxxxxxxxxx------xxxxxxxxxxxxx------

Attempting to make a distinction between "blinking" and "flashing" is not helpful. Neither word carries a meaning sufficiently different from the other. The word blinking does suggest, in my mind at least, that the appearance of the light is somewhat annoying. Additionally, I use "blinking" as a euphemistic cuss word--"the whole blinking mess." Fading, on the other hand, sounds like a good term.

You might be well advised to be ready for the sudden mid-production ECO (engineering change order) that changes the appearance of some of the flashes.

A well-designed product should describe the flashes by itself. The battery charger for my 18-volt electric drill has several different LED flashes to indicate status of charging (too cold to charge, charging, fully charged) and condition of battery (battery is good, or battery is toast and cannot charge). These are all illustrated--with short and long lines as I showed above--on the side of the charging unit. Perhaps they also appear on a sheet of paper that came with the charger, but who keeps that paper anywhere that it can be found? I think mine is in the bottom of a shoe box in a closet, somewhere.

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References:
blinking, flashing, pulsating, fading: From: Charlotte Branth Claussen
Re: blinking, flashing, pulsating, fading: From: Peter Neilson

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