Thread: LED tail lights
05-25-2001, 02:10 PM #1tmr91Firehouse.com Guest
LED tail lights
Any body out there use the new LED tail lights? Are they worth the cost? How about maintaince? Would you switch back to the "Bulb" style tail lights?
05-25-2001, 02:57 PM #2mnfireguyFirehouse.com Guest
They have many advantages. The only disadvantage as I see it is they are not as bright or blinding as a strobe light, especially when looking at them from an angle.
05-25-2001, 03:14 PM #3CaptCraigFirehouse.com Guest
I would be interested in seeing if they would replace the round Weldon Stop/Tail and turn signal that a lot of appartus use. Has anyone tried this and how did it work? I don't know if we would ever trade LED for strobe emergency lighting.
05-26-2001, 01:56 PM #4JohnMFirehouse.com Guest
We are getting a new truck in a week or so with older style "bulb" type lamps. I think I made a mistake. I have seen many commercial trucks with LED's, and they are very bright. I understand they have a VERY long life and are sealed against mositure. I wish our flashing warning lights were LED also. LEDs use a tiny amout of current compared to conventional lamps.
05-26-2001, 06:09 PM #5ALSfirefighterFirehouse.com Guest
I'm with JohnM, I have to say that I hope future apparatus we get have the LED Taillights/turn signals. Many of our new buses in the county, and many commercial vehicles have them, and they are very bright and catch your eye. As far as emergency lighting, I have seen the LED full lightbar on a few police cruisers and I have to say, they are the most eye catching warning device I have ever seen. And I have always loved the MX7000 all-light series of lightbar. I haven't seen them used in lieu of strobes for intersection and side warning lighting on emergency vehicles so I cannot comment on that.
The above is my opinion only and doesn't reflect that of any dept/agency I work for, deal with, or am a member of.
05-27-2001, 12:23 AM #6Resq14Firehouse.com Guest
Tons of commercial vehicles have them, so they must be cost effective if corporate fleets are using them, right?
Someone mentionned something on here about the advantage of additional reaction time... the LED illuminates much faster than an incandescant or halogen bulb, so people have more time to react to it.
I've noticed the newer ones have the LED's positioned at different angles to try and cut-down on the 'line-of sight' problem.
05-27-2001, 07:32 AM #7wofd1Firehouse.com Guest
We have specced them on our new truck to arrive in summer of 2001. Both rear running lights and side intersection lights. We'll see how they work out. Stay Safe
05-27-2001, 09:17 AM #8Dalmatian90Firehouse.com Guest
Let's fill out a little quiz:
1) How many times have you replaced a burned out bulb in a tail light?
2) How many times have you had to replace the tail light or the wiring harness because it was damaged?
My guess is #1 is a lot larger than #2 for most people!
While disappointing bored Police Officers who will no longer be able to use the line "You've been pulled over for having defective equipment, a tail light out..." I'll betcha y'all will see all new vehicles within 10 years using LEDs for their tail/parking/brake lights.
05-27-2001, 11:09 AM #9Rookie1Firehouse.com Guest
The dept that I am with is in the process of buying a new truck. We are looking at having LED lighting on it. We saw some demo units with the LED and it was quite impressive. You can do alot of different flash patterns with them. LED's are a lot easier on the electrical system than conventional bulbs and strobes. A number of commercial vehicles in this area are running with them as tail.marker lights. If you can afford them, I would put them on.
05-27-2001, 02:14 PM #10391HDFirehouse.com Guest
The only disadvantage that I have experienced with LED's is if you operate in the snowbelt, particularily during a snowstorm, snow will pack around and over the lightheads, reducing their visibility. Because they're so efficient, very little heat is generated, which isn't enough to melt the snow from them. Whereas, incandescant and halogen lights produce so much heat, they're lenses always stay clear.
Again, this is the only situation the I have noticed. By far they are much more friendly on the electrical system and have a long service life. Like anything, be sure to get a good quality LED. Probably just like tools, "good ones ain't cheap, and cheap ones ain't any good."
05-28-2001, 12:15 PM #11FEOBobFirehouse.com Guest
We have six new Pierce engines with the LED light bars and rear emergency flashers. I was somewhat skeptical at first, but they are much brighter with more flashes than our other bars with incandesants. We also have brake and turn signal LEDs. Stuck with strobes for side mounted and intersection lights though.
So far we've been really happy with the LEDs. They have been clearing traffic better for me in my district.
05-29-2001, 08:45 PM #12pokeyfd12Firehouse.com Guest
If I cand afford it, I will probably never go back to halogen bulb or automotive bulb lighting on an emergency vehicle again.
Our new engine was delivered in October with LED tail, turn and stop lights and a few other strategically placed LED's. We also have a brand new ambulance that was spec'd and delivered with mostly LED lighting (except white) and a couple of strobes in the corners.
The LED is bright, especially the amber. The turn lamps, brake lamps and box flashers are fantastic. The box flashers (similar to the Weldon squares on most apparatus) have 440 individual LED lamps. They draw approx 1.2 amps each per unit, so if you have 20 of these big box flashers, you're amp draw is only 24 amps total. The big benefit to LED is that since they are all individual light heads on one PC board, if you smash the light, only the broken LED's will not work, the rest WILL. No more changing light bulbs, less maintenance. Another benefit is that the wiring is done through a small drilled hole in the body of the apparatus instead of a big hole for wiring and more holes for screws. The warranty runs something like 40 percent of the light bulbs have to burn out before replacement of the light unit. So that means 200 light heads need to burn out, an "unlikely, although not impossible, event" says Whelan Engineering.
The drawbacks are the cost. The cheapest is Red I think, then Amber, then green, and the most expensive colors are blue and white.
Lt. Kevin C. (aka Pokey)
05-29-2001, 10:59 PM #13tmr91Firehouse.com Guest
Thanks everyone for your great input.
05-30-2001, 11:53 PM #14EFDems841Firehouse.com Guest
We have LED tail/turn lights on our 2000 Bruan ambulance. I love them. The one problem with them is (may be a ford thing too not sure) is the relay thinks that a bulb is burned out, so the blinkers flash at a faster rate..Like if a regular bulb was burnt out. I was told we could put another type of relay in, but I personally think the faster rate gets better attention. I wish we went with LEDs on our 2001 Pierce. Ohh well.
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