03-01-2001, 12:41 PM #1Firefighter2197Firehouse.com Guest
roteaters vs strobes which do you like best and why
I would rather have a rotertre then a strobe because with a roteatre you can have 360degrees of warning where as with a strobe you cant
this is just my personal opion
over and out
stay safe and have fun
03-01-2001, 01:28 PM #2N2DFireFirehouse.com Guest
O.K. - first I'd like to clarify one thing. It is possible to get 360 Degrees of light from a strobe as well as from a rotator, the only difference (in my opinion) is that a rotator is brighter than a strobe in a 360 application because the light source (bulb) is focused and then directed in a beam with a rotator whereas the strobe light source is trying to disperse all it's light in all directions at one time.
Now on to the question at hand. Which one I prefer - it depends on the position/application of the light.
Grill Lights, Intersection Lights, (Supplemental) Side / Rear warning lights I'd prefer a strobe or halogen flasher (or even some of these new L.E.D. lights.)
For my main front/rear/side warning device(s) - some high speed rotators are sure hard to beat in my book.
One thing I have noticed (and maybe it's just me), but it seems that on an "All Strobe" vehicle that when your apparatus is being silhouetted by the sun (e.g. truck is between the sun & the viewer) that the strobes tend to disappear into the sunlight faster/easier than a halogen light (be it a flasher or rotator). That's why I am a big fan of combination lighting. Sure load all the strobes you want - but put at least 1 rotator/flasher visible from all 4 sides for me please.
Anyway - these are my opinions not fact or law so take them for what there worth.
Take Care - Stay Safe
03-01-2001, 02:06 PM #3USAR29Firehouse.com Guest
Strobes SUCK! I'd much rather use Halogen flashers or LED lights as supplemental lighting, with rotators as the primary lightbar, and rear upper deck lighting.
Strobes are miserable in rain, snow and fog, due to flashback....
Also, it has been reported that drunk drivers are attracted to strobe lights, so it is a bit of a safety concern.
Strobe tubes are also succeptable to pre-mature failure from vibration. The two pumpers at my station have strobes over the wheel wells and I bet we replace one or two of them every 3 months or so... And, they are more expensive to replace...
03-01-2001, 02:14 PM #4Engine69Firehouse.com Guest
Both strobes and rotators have their place. I don't agree with rotators being brighter, just look at the strobes on microwave towers that you can see for miles! It is more a mater of light frequency and duration. I strobe may be brighter, but it is only a momentary flash where a rotator projects a beam if light for a longer period of time.
Flashback is a bad thing for strobes, but at the same time, they are less distracting to the driver in heavy fog. Ideally, you should have a combination of the two in your vehicle and be able to disable one or the other independently.
I miss sealed beams... I think they did the best job, but used alot of power to operate them.
03-01-2001, 03:12 PM #5res7cueFirehouse.com Guest
I would have to say that the more efficient and visible light is the strobe.
Our units have mostly all strobes with some halogen bulb type lights.
True the strobes are a pain in the snow or heavy rain, but to eliminate the problem with strobes and the snow, we have the strobes switched seprate and turn them off during snow storms.
We have also seen a reduced strain on the units electrical system using the strobe system.
Also, too many working parts to fail with rotators and the like.
To each their own!!
[This message has been edited by res7cue (edited 03-01-2001).]
03-01-2001, 03:27 PM #6mike021Firehouse.com Guest
Man my best friend would love this topic hehe. Anyway I was put in charge of making the lightbar's for our new engine. I went with the Code 3 MX7000. Let me tell you boys, it has strobe's, rotators, oscilators, intersection sweeps and flashers hehe. red and clear colors. never EVER put a stroker/whacker in charge of the lightbar design. in my POV i have the viper strobe along with 4 hideaways. i like strobes and would say that they are better then rotators in the right conditions.
This is your brain... Pierce
This is your Brain on drugs..... E-One
03-01-2001, 05:32 PM #7391HDFirehouse.com Guest
Strobes are definitely more energy efficient than halogen rotator counterparts, and are not subject to the wear caused by use over time, which in turn causes an ever increased electrical demand of the vehicle's system. I can guarantee that your halogen rotator bar will be drawing more amps after several year's service than it was rated when brand new.
Since the introduction of technology such as Tomar's Neobe about 10 years ago, strobe lighting has come along way. Before that, vehicle strobes only operated with a double flash, and were "dark" for more time than they flashed, which was most confusing at night. Today, most strobe manufacturer's have copied that technology, and all sorts of flash patterns are available, making strobe warning far superior to halogen rotators.
As for sunlight, any warning light is going to pale, and red is the worst color filter in any warning light as far as brightness is concerned.
I have driven emergency vehicles in snow, rain, and fog. Strobe flash back has never bothered me, but I've had to turn clear halogen rotators off because of flash back.
Strobes are like tools, "good ones ain't cheap, and cheap ones ain't good."
03-01-2001, 07:46 PM #8tlfd600Firehouse.com Guest
Well what I personally like best is a mixture, I know some people see strobes or Halogens better. So for the front light bar I would say fast rotators and put rear rotators on the back. For all the lower level, ex. grill, intersection, side and back I would say strobe it out. From the front I have noticed the most visible thing is wig wags. In my POV I have 6 strobes and wig-wags, it works pretty well. Oh also if you can put a Signal Master or some sort of Halogen directional device on the back, those are the most visible.
[This message has been edited by tlfd600 (edited 03-01-2001).]
03-01-2001, 09:05 PM #9fire69dawgFirehouse.com Guest
I would have to agree with the majority here. If you use strobes, you better have a whole lot going. Personally, use rotators for your main lighting and LEDS and strobes for secondary lighting. But it all boils down to personal opinions.
03-02-2001, 12:25 AM #10BFD847Firehouse.com Guest
Comes down to a major personal preferance I think. I like strobes. Set up right with enough of them they are awesome. The problems I have seen is strobes are more expensive to replace the bulbs. But they are easier on your electrical system.
I have driven in many different conditions with them. They can flash back in rainy or foggy conditions. Just about as bad as those sweeping alley lights and front oscilators. The EMS system I work with opted to use box mounted strobes all the way around eliminating the light bar all togather. This made it easier to clean and was a very effective light package.
Good luck BFD847
03-02-2001, 12:49 AM #11RichardFirehouse.com Guest
I like the various strobe packages that kill the clear strobes when the vehicle is put in Park or the air brakes are set. Clear is great for getting driver's attention when en route, but are bit dazzling as drivers approach a scene and any decrease in night vision could cause a driver to not see firefighters.
Alternating headlight flashers (where legal) are one of the best long range warning devices but al
03-02-2001, 09:30 AM #12MFFJoeFirehouse.com Guest
My vote is for strobes: 1. Less electrical draw than motorized, 2. less maintenance, 3. in turn, less lifetime cost, 4. high visibility.
03-02-2001, 10:21 AM #13WFDTruck1Firehouse.com Guest
a combination of both is ideal i think. an amber direction arrow in the rear are great. they can be used at any time and having a little amber to break up the red is a good idea. try to stay away from clear lights, the seem to blind many people at night. does anyone if the NFPA standard for appartus has changed that an amber light must in the rear of the rig. our new rig has 1 red rear rotator and 1 amber rear rotator. i think i can remember someone telling me that all appartus must have one now. ?????
03-02-2001, 11:06 AM #14mike021Firehouse.com Guest
I know with our new truck we are buying that ther has to be something amber on the back according to NFPA. We have 2 red rotators but we have 2 amber strobes in the back. We also added amber strobes to the rear of the engine that is being replaced also a few years back. Buy all the newer trucks I see have a amber light. Looks silly I think, were not construction vehicle's are we?
03-02-2001, 02:55 PM #15USAR29Firehouse.com Guest
I'll go along with wig wags (or alternating headlight flashers as being one of the most effective forward warning lights...
03-02-2001, 03:02 PM #16cfr3504Firehouse.com Guest
Everyone is going to have a different opinion on this one, but here is mine. I think a combination of both looks and works best. Both have their advantages. I like a rotator light bar, and rear rotators on top, with strobes for auxillary lighting. I do like the Edge strobe bars, but I think they look best on response vehicles (cars, suv, pickups etc). On ambulances I like the lightbars that mount flush to the box and have both strobes and rotators. I think that an all strobe truck is distracting at a scene, especially if there's a lot of white strobes. On my POV I have dual strobes under the rear view mirror, and halogen flashers in the grill. So I can't really say which I like best, cause I like both.
03-02-2001, 03:04 PM #17Lewiston2CaptFirehouse.com Guest
No Mike021 we arent construction vehicles, but as Ron Moore points out in his lecture on roadway incident response, people are more familiar with construction zones and seeing the amber lights. This big directional arrows that direct people into the proper lane, amber lights and the basis for an arrow stick.
Amber also shows up better than red and a study showed that intoxicated drivers are drawn to red flashing lights, and by putting amber on the back of the truck incidents of drunk drivers running into vehicles was reduced. If anyone has specific numbers it would be great. Perhaps someone can get ron to come on here and post some of his ideas on the subject.
03-02-2001, 03:12 PM #18RS225Firehouse.com Guest
alright here's how i veiw it............
being a volunteer dept. we have limited funds and a strobe package for the body is great with roteaters on the top, as for P.O.V. i go rotate all the way
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