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  1. #1
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    Default LED Emergency Lighting

    We are in the midst of finalizing a new engine and the discussion has come up as to what type of lighting to go with. Some reference the increased visibility of LED's others have said it causes blindness to drivers. Does anybody know of some quality data I can access and forward to our committee to aid them in making an educated decision?

    Stay Safe!


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    Make no bones about it... the newest LED's are bright as hell, we took that into consideration when we began the big strobe/LED debate. We, like you had A lot of questions. Our main concern was the amount of flash from an angle.... We decided to go LED for a few reasons. Brighter wich gives more "warning power"....most of the LED's in the begining only really had warning power when viewing them staight on, wich to us was a problem... we run a few very busy roads in our town and becasue of it wanted as much visable warning out of the light heads as possible.
    Everyone knows LEDs use less power....a LOT less power... so it's easier on the rigs electrical system. The second plus was no strobe packs. We all know they burn out and need replaced from time to time, plus they're very rarely in a spot thats easy to get to. We eventualy had Whelen, Code 3, and Fed Sig bring their demo units to the station so we could see what was on the market. We schedualed it just before dusk so we could see them in daylight and at night, looked at them from all angles and from different distances, for *****s and giggles we even borrowed the PD's light meter (used for tinted windows)
    When it came down to making the decision we went with Federal Signal...their LED's were far better than the others. We went with their "Quadraflare" light heads. THey were bright as hell.... but becsue of how the relectors worked, they didn't blind you when you went to get somethign out of a compartment....but the further away you got, the brighter they got... i don't get it either, but thats how they work. The light bars were the "Escape" series, wich were designed with the same technology as the quadraflares. The amount of "Warning" power far exceeded our expectations and other departments have also commented on it. Right now our TIller is the only one with them, our engine just had 2 strobe packs go, so we are going to make the switch and have them installed on the engine as well.
    I would highly recommend LED's your guys will not be dissapointed.... warning power makes you more visible....greater visability means more saftey for you and your crew.... its a no brainer.
    Best of luck.
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    Agree with what RoofTop said.

    A word of caution. There are a lot of lower end LED's flooding the market. You can even buy a loaded LED 48-inch light bar for under $1,000 now from the Internet. Many of these are throwaway units, as a source for replacement parts is nonexistent.

    Another problem with the high voltage of strobe lights is they can interfere with the your 2-way radio.

    My preference in LED's is order is: Whelen, Federal, and Code 3. All Whelen products are made in the USA. Their dealer support network in my area is phenomenal. Federal has done a lot of R&D in the "off angle" brightness that is a drawback of some LED modules. Have limited experience with Code 3 other than from law enforcement side.

    Our department uses a total LED warning light system. The verbage in the specs reads something like" waning lights utilizing rotating motors, halogen, or strobe lights will not be accepted."

    Good luck with your project.

    C6
    Last edited by Command6; 03-19-2010 at 06:29 AM.

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    We've got the full Whelen LED light package on all of our newer equipment. Good stuff.

  5. #5
    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k9ffmike View Post
    We are in the midst of finalizing a new engine and the discussion has come up as to what type of lighting to go with. Some reference the increased visibility of LED's others have said it causes blindness to drivers. Does anybody know of some quality data I can access and forward to our committee to aid them in making an educated decision?

    Stay Safe!
    Why don't you just put LED's in your spec and make the naysayers produce THEIR information.......Sounds suspiciously like a bunch of old men trying to grasp at the past and not tolerant of anything new.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    ....Sounds suspiciously like a bunch of old men trying to grasp at the past and not tolerant of anything new.
    That sounds very familiar! We went thru this for years in trying to get anything new or different (e.g., automatic transmissions, crew cabs, HRTs, LDH, aluminum wheels, LED lights) on our trucks. It's not so bad now since all of the old "live in the past" boys are long gone.

  7. #7
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    Don't forget about Weldon's new Diamondback LED lights either. I think they're certainly worth a look.

    http://www.weldoninc.com/pages/whats...ml#Diamondback

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    When we did our interface engines we spec'd LED's except for two rotators on the back one red one blue. The thought was that the two different lights would make drivers notice the lights. No scientific data just personal preference. Sometimes it seems like it doesn't matter how many lights you have going there are some drivers who just can't see you. We have a 5 ton 6x6 with LED intersection lights and a standard lightbar. The LED's show up good during the day vs the lightbar.

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    They still make halogen warning lights?? We haven't gotten anything with halogen lights since 1999. By 2004 we were 50/50 LED and strobes and now everything we get is 100% LED.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    We haven't had any halogens since 1998, except for the Mars lights. I know they have LED lights now available for the Roto-Rays and probably for the Mars lights as well but we haven't bought any of these yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeadOff View Post
    Roto-Rays
    Another device that boggles my mind.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nmfire View Post
    Another device that boggles my mind.
    There are a lot of Roto-Rays down this way. I think they're stupid looking but some companies love them. I recently saw a new engine down in VA that had TWO (2) Roto-Rays and two Mars lights. Talk about overkill!

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeadOff View Post
    There are a lot of Roto-Rays down this way. I think they're stupid looking but some companies love them. I recently saw a new engine down in VA that had TWO (2) Roto-Rays and two Mars lights. Talk about overkill!
    While admittedly traditional, I'm also very practical; so not a big fan of Roto-Rays. Just another motor that robs electrical current, and additional components subject to failure.

    C6

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    Exactly. We've had Mars lights on our trucks since the late 60's. In the past few years, we've noticed that they aren't built like they used to be. Cheaper, foreign made components have caused the reliability of the Mars lights to not be as good as it formerly was. We've had a lot more problems with the newer Mars lights than we ever did with the older ones.

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    I will contend that the Roto Rays and Mars lights do a great job of sending an off axis "flash" to help get a driver's attention. With the random motion of the Mars light and the Roto Ray's spinning action, they just seem to trip a driver's attention better (in MY opinion). You can make fun of me all you want...

    It is quantifiable? Measurable? Probably not.
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    Talking Roto-Rays

    Gheez, I was told that trucks equipped with Roto-Rays were 10 mph. faster with the Spinning light acting like an airplane propeller!

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    I really annoys me when we take taxpayer dollars and use them to buy useless toys like rotorays. They are completely pointless and functionless lights that accomplish nothing but give someone something to look at and fantasize over.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Hmmn. I think there are people and places on the East coast that MAY disagree on your definition of "useless". I LIKE Roto rays but the OLD version that tiurned slower. The NEW ones turn too fast for my liking. That being said,they are a LONG life warning device that often go thru three chassis before needing an overhaul. With the idiots we have to contend with on the road, I don't think you can have TOO much frontal assault with lights. T.C.

  19. #19
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    I'm on the east coast and I still think they're pointless. They don't flash. They don't oscillate. They don't rotate. The light faces forward goes around in a circle in the grill.

    The flashing appearance of a light source is what grasps people's attention, whether the flashing appearance is because it turns on and off, rotates away and comes back, or oscillates away and comes back. A constant lights source spinning in a circle at 100mph is not doing anything but look fancy. Its a bright steady burning light source. If I wanted that, I would put one there without the moving parts to do the same pointless thing.

    Its 2010 people. Toys like this have been far surpassed in technology and usefulness. These things are akin to using tax dollars to put an antique type bell on the front of the truck. This is a fire apparatus. Not someone's private parade float.
    Last edited by nmfire; 03-22-2010 at 05:00 PM.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  20. #20
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    I have seen a new Roto-Ray recently that has LED lights which do flash as they rotate. However, I'm not really sure if the flashing was actually a feature of the Roto-Ray itself or as it was installed on the truck.

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