1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default Warning Lights

    Do you prefer strobe or halogen, what colors...i figure this could spiral into a huge debate...so lets hear it!

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Well I prefer a mix of halogen and strobe. Strobes alone just are not enough for daytime responses. Red is my color ( and required by MI state PA 300)with a little bit of white to break things up a little.

    ED C.
    <a href="http://members.aol.com/PT10FD/info.htm"> Pittsfield Twp. F.D. </a>

  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I too prefeer a mixture of both strobes and hallogens, as far as teh color of lights. It has been proven that Red draws the attention of other drivers towards your car, and Yellow allerts them, and thus on all new fire trucks the tail lights have to have one red light and one yellow, and i would sudjest using this for your own car as well

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Feb 1999
    Roswell, GA, USA


    I agree with the mix of halogen and strobe. My personal preference is at least 1/3 to 1/2 white TO THE FRONT, avoid white to the rear, avoid amber to the front. White gets people's attention, the colors identify you (per your state's laws). I think tests have proven that a red halogen is more visible, whereas blue strobe is more visible. If your state allows this mix of colors, that might be the way to go. I also prefer to mix up the colors as much as possible: multiple colors will definitely allow your vehicle to stand out from the background colors.

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Dont forget GREEN it is very bright and is used in many areas to signify Incident Command Vehicles other wise every one has about the same ideas the brighter the better.

  6. #6
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our newest engine uses both strobes and halogen lights. Red strobes above the cab and 1 mounted just below the windshield.
    Front and rear intersection lights are combination red and white strobes.
    The rear has 2 red halogen and 2 yellow halogen lights.
    There is also 2 red upperbody halogen lights on the sides of the truck.
    One thing to watch with the white lights is the requirement that they be used in response only mode (they could possibly blind on coming traffic). An easy way to control this is to have them shut of when your parking brake is applied.It is also good to have your on scene lights come on when the parking brake is applied.This setup is very quick and easy for the driver.

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    These are just my ideas but I prefer a mix with a few halogen flashers to break it up a little. Also keep in mind that rotators are a problem over time. You can run a number of strobes for the amp draw of a rotator. Also over time the rotators will lose their efficiency and their FPM will go down with an increase in amp draw because of the mechanical action needed to run the light.I suggest a 8 strobe lightbar across the top of the cab with a oscillating
    light or Piercer II in the middle. Mini-edges down the side or TS200 double strobes if you have a raised roof on the side raised part. 2 twin strobes above the headlights in bezels with a oscillating light in the bumper or grill area and wig-wags. Thats the front. Along the side is next. Side front bumper is a combo halogen flasher and strobe with the halogen in front of the strobe. TS200 double strobe above the front wheel wells. A Halogen flasher in the area of the pump panel low. TS200 double strobe in the area of the rear wheel wells and the same at the tailboard are facing to the side as well. At the front of the body high should be a larger single strobe. At the rear high either a Tailboard edge or F head. At the rear should be pair of halogen flashers high with one TS200 double strobe on either side below the flashers. Also an arrow stick as high as practical on the rear as well. As far as colors go that is preference and state law. I suggest Amber for the rear flashers for visibilty day and night.
    All together that totals up for: 12 strobes, 2 oscillators and 4 flashers to the front. 9 strobes and 2 halogen flashers each side. 6 strobes (Plus the F head or Tailboard edge flashing to the rear which is two more strobes) and 2 halogen flashers to the rear plus the arrow stick. Just my thoughts on the matter. Be safe.


  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I agree with the posts regarding a mix. Our newest engines came with red strobe bar, strobes to the front, side, and lower rear. White halogen ossilator to the front, yellow halogen rotators to the rear, and headlight flashers, and people have actually stopped by the fire station and told us that if somebody claims they can't see the lights on the truck that they are blind. LOL

  9. #9
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Same here. Mixture of strobes and halogens. We use red strobes with red/white halogen light bar and white mars 880 lights with alternating headlights during daytime responses.

  10. #10
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I like to include a mix of halogen and strobe like most of the other folks that have responded. We have had excellent service from Code 3 light bars for the last 10 years. Not a single failure of a rotator yet, and very few bulb failures. Our new engine's raised roof does not allow the white section of the light bar to be seen from the rear. All the red blends in when in traffic is slowing down at night, and no white is visible. Now what I am about to say might alarm some people, but this is what we did, and it works great. We replaced the little rotators on the rear(one red and one amber) with Whelen model 1200 strobes. One was red and the other half white and red, with the red facing forward as not to iritate the driver. The white is about 9 feet above the road, and really gets your attention but doesn't blind you when approaching. This rig stands out but doesn't hurt the eyes. I know this is not what the NFPA says, but I am not a fan of amber lights on fire trucks. To me amber means tow truck, not emergency vehicle. For that matter I want the white lights to stay on in the light bar when the engine is parked. Once again these lights are way up in the air, and don't blind anybody that high up. If the lower zone lights were white I could see a blinding problem, but not lights on top of the truck. There was some discussion about this when it was done to one engine as an experiment, now quite a few guys want all the engines set up this way. As for another anti NFPA statement I can't see why the entire lighting package on a truck must be from one manufacturer. I like Code 3 light bars and Whelen strobes, but this can no longer be done. What a silly rule. The only recourse is to get the truck from the builder and change the lights to how you want it, but this is a pain and costs more money. The no white to the rear may be fine in some areas, but we operate on a very busy highway, and we need all the attention we can get to aviod a rear end accident.

  11. #11
    Firehouse.com Guest


    strobes are great at night, halogen is the only way to go during the day so go combination.

    My 1997 E-One 95 ft Platform has a split vector on top with 2 red and 2 white lights set opposite of each other so one side is red and the same light on the other is white. Each bar has (from in to out) a osilazer, a 95rpm rotator, a intersection sweep light, and a 175rpm rotator on the outside. On the front of the body, above the headlights and inside the turnsignals, there is a comet flash strobe on each side (1 red, 1 white) and in the center is a twin osilazer (red), and of course headlight flashers. On each side of the bumper is a twin strobe mount (red/white). Midship above the wheelwells is another twin strobe mount (red/white). There is one more twin strobe mount built into the side of the rear ladder frame used for getting to the turntable. There is also a 175 pm rotator on the top of the rear corner of the truck, one on each side and a 2 rotator minilightbar above each of the rear jumpseat doors. This thing puts out alot of light, but with being such a big rig, it needs it. I wish the rest of our rigs were as well lit as this one.

  12. #12
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I forgot to add that I love the new strobes from Tomar enterprises. All of our new squad cars for our pd have them. Great light all day long and they are programable so you can make it into an arrowstik with the strobes flashing from one side to another. Expensive bar though.

  13. #13
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Strobes go un-noticed on a bright day, but are awsome at night. Halagon works on a bright day, and at night. Best mix, mostly halagon with a few strobe for better night visibility.

    State law dictates color, here in NC, fire/EMS can run red with white and amber optional. White cannot be seen from the rear, thus the amber. Law is blue with white and amber optional, public safety red and blue, wreckers are amber, and a few odd vehicles like mall security run green.

    Got a scare a couple of years ago when driving between Ft. Worth and Dallas late at night, to have a vehicle charge down a ramp just as I passed with a blue light bar on. Thought I was about to get pulled for speeding, and it turned out to be a wrecker!

    OBTW, if you run a blue lightbar as a firefighter in your state, don't come to NC with in mounted, or without "out of service" cover for the light bar, else you will be seen on the side of the road with one of our blue lighted vehciles watching you remove it then and there.

  14. #14
    Firehouse.com Guest


    As for another anti NFPA
    statement I can't see why the entire lighting package on a truck
    must be from one manufacturer.
    <end snip>

    I'm not intimately familiar with the recent NFPA lighting standards, but I'd be very surprised if this was actually true. Can you say anti-trust violation?

    Sounds more like marketing hyperbole, or an apparatus company that doesn't want to certify the mix as compliant, and instead wants to go with a mix certified from the manufacturer. Can you say lazy?


  15. #15
    Firehouse.com Guest


    721 - I love the courtesy some cops show to visiting public safety professionals. I think it's ridiculous that some state police organizations have such a bad attitute toward other public safety personnel. In Pennsylvania, volunteer fire and EMS personnel use blue lights. It's a shame that they can't take their personal vehicle on vacation without being harassed by the police. I'll grant you that their are a few yahoos who abuse their priveliges, and cast a bad light on all of us. Likewise, a few hard-line cops with an attitude give the rest of the cops a bad name. It would be nice if the few irresponsible individuals were the only ones punished, rather than all volunteers visiting another state.

    Mt. Lebanon Fire Department

  16. #16
    Firehouse.com Guest


    In my opinion , I would stay strictly with a strobe on the lower portion of the vehicle and a halogen lightbar (preferbly a Code 3) on top. The Air Force used to have a testing laboratory that manufactures would send their products to evry year, but it was dis-continued. The results found that strobe lights can pierce snow, rain, fog, etc. Halogen lights were never reccommended to be put on the rear of the vehicle for the fear of confusing with tail lights.Also the Trans. dept in California did a study about 8 years ago and determined that a intoxicated person will see the color amber before any other color, thus rendering the amber on the rear of fire trucks and police cars. I am not an expert, but have been a warning light dealer for some time, and I have seen what colors come and go. I know that here in Louisiana, everyone is retro-fitting the rear of their vehicles with amber. Each manufacturer has their own place in the warning light industry, I wouldnt buy Strobes from Fed Sig, or a Halogen Bar from Whelen. Whelen is tops when it comes to Strobes,m and Code 3 and Fed Sig have excellent halogen products. It all depends on what you want.I would say go Code 3 lightbars and Whelen Strobes, and you cant be beat.

  17. #17
    Bob Snyder
    Firehouse.com Guest


    This is a little bit off the subject, but I think I can partially answer Matt (Dalmation90). I don't know the exact NFPA regs, but I can certainly believe that single-manufacturer would be written into the lighting regs. After all, it's not an antitrust violation if a recognized "independent" standard-setting body makes the call. Let's face it, the reason that so much ridiculously expensive crap comes out in the form of NFPA apparatus and equipment standards is that the manufacturers are directly represented in the standard-setting process. They aren't selling as many enclosed cabs as they want, so get them written them into a standard, then use it as an excuse to stop manufacturing open jump seats and jack up apparatus prices. Here they probably realized that they can charge more for integrated lighting packages in the long run, so they probably wrote it into a standard. If we can get the people who profit out of the picture and see that the standards are set solely by firefighting professionals (preferably a mix of carrer and volunteer) and truly independent experts on the various technical aspects, the standards would command a lot more respect. The current system is kind of a slap in the face to the true professionals who are involved in setting the standards.

    Just to clarify, I want to point out that I'm not trying to condemn everything that comes out of NFPA, or everyone involved in NFPA processes. I also recognize the need for standards in the fire service. My complaint is largely with one element of the process (direct manufacturer involvement), and some of the resulting standards that come out related to equipment and apparatus. In these areas, compliance is often so expensive that it's pointless to even consider it in many volunteer settings. The eventual end-result of this problem is obvious: people start ignoring the standards completely.

    [This message has been edited by Bob Snyder (edited July 14, 1999).]

  18. #18
    John Berryman Jr.
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Put a ROTO-RAY on the front end and all the traffic will part your way.The R/R is the oldest rotating emergency warning light to be used by the American fire service,its real popular in the Virginia and Maryland areas.When you see it comming its like your looking up the rear end of a F-16 afterburner,put Mars 888`s on either side of it on the bumper and look out,also if you want to get there attention put a red Mars light on the rear end of the unit too...Safe-firefighting JWB

    [This message has been edited by John Berryman Jr. (edited August 27, 1999).]

  19. #19
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I would agree with everybody that says you need a mix of strobe and hallogen. One thing you need for the white lights is a seperate switch for foggy or snowy nights. I heard one department had to shut off it's lightbar because they couldn't drive in the fog. needless to say a switch for the whites was added pretty quickly.

  20. #20
    Firehouse.com Guest


    A good bit of this reaction is probably due to the bad press that "blue light bandits" get. Just as a firefighter hates to hear of another firefighter that is an arsonist, the law enforcement community feels the same about improper use of blue lights. If you live in North Carolina, you know that if you see blue lights, it is the law. But every now and then they catch some werido that has an illegal light and uses it to pull people over to rob them, or worse.

    I can't fault your statement, but I also see their point in strict enforcement.

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