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  1. #1
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    Question Mini lightbar recommendation?

    I have a blinking red halogen visor light, which is hard to see during the day, judging by the percentage of cars that pull over during the day vs. after dark (yes, in my small town, people actually pull over if they happen to notice you).

    So I thought I'd move up to a mini lightbar. Any recommendations? I don't use it that much, so I don't necessarily need the long life of LED's. Are strobes that much more noticable in daytime or fog? Any brands or models I should stay away from? Do I really need to go for permanent mounting, or will the magnets hold it on - I rarely go more than 70 down our winding roads

    And thoughts/comments/experiences appreciated.


  2. #2
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    Get one of those newer Whelen LFL MiniEdge strobe bars. They are very low profile so the wind resistance on the magnets is a lot less. Get the strongest pull magnets you can though, trust me.

  3. #3
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    As a retired Federal Investigator, I have a fair amount of experience with unmarked cars and lights. I prefer wig-wag headlights if possible. If not, a strobe on your dashboard is in many cases better than a roof light. We used various kinds, and the red/blue dash strobes were the brightest and most effective.
    The dash lights are better because they shine right into the rear view mirrors, where they have a better chance of getting the driver's attention. The difference is so great, some states are putting dash lights in their marked patrol cars, in addition to the full roof racks.
    Since you are spending your own $$, stay away from magnetic roof mounts. Too many guys came in with a cord with some electrical junk on the end after hitting a bump. I wonder why no one makes a light with electromagnets. If you come on a scene in your POV, just aim the dash light out the back window, or put it on your roof after you stop.

  4. #4
    Forum Member HF&R_H28's Avatar
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    Personally, i would recommend that you upgrade dash lights, and add wig-wag. The dash lights I would recommend are the dash laser, fire beam(with the firebeam or dash laser in dual color), deckblaster, and the new galls double strobe.

  5. #5
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    Well, just got Whelen LFL mini and have only been to a few calls with it. I have no complaints about it but ditch the magnetic mounts. I took my magnets off and mounted it to the roof rack with bolts (who the heck carries any luggage up there anyway).
    Wigwags are the nicest things to have, especially during daylight because they really move traffic since they sit more at eye level for most people in front of you. I don't use these at night though!
    Strobes are nice but in heavy fog, rain or snow you get lots of bounce back from bad weather. Try a halogen/strobe combo instead. Good luck

  6. #6
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    I have to make a decision tomorrow on what type of dashlight I will buy. I am trying to decide between a dashlazer with the mirror, firebeam with the flash mirror, or the LED tir6 wehelen slimlighter.
    They have to be blue. I dont think I want a strobe dashlight due to the problem I have seen during the day. I like the price of halogen lights but love the power of the new LED. I NEED HELP. I am still interested in a strobe dashlight. Any help would be very much appreciated.

  7. #7
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Now how did I guess I would find a new post from you here. I guess I should answer your question in one of my cynical responses....

    You should not get any of them.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  8. #8
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    Do you guys have nothing better to do than look around every post and criticize me. Just give me a straight answer and that will be it for light questions.

  9. #9
    dazed and confused Resq14's Avatar
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    Originally posted by nmfire

    You should not get any of them.
    heh heh heh

  10. #10
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    After reading these posts, I have one caution to add. Using the lights tends to give one a sense of invunerability, and a perhaps excessive feeling of importance.

    WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THE SOLUTION, NOT PART OF THE PROBLEM.

    Will arriving at the station or scene a few seconds faster really make a difference to the people we are helping? We need to consider the real needs, versus our ego gratification of adding lights to our cars. If you can objectivly define a real (not percieved) need, get the lights. If not, drive a bit more conservativly, risk missing the occasional call, and focus on the bottom line, the folks who need our help. You cannot help if you have a TA (traffic accident) on the way, or cause one, an divert assets from those in need.
    Last edited by Sleuth; 01-06-2003 at 01:32 PM.

  11. #11
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    Very well said Sleuth. In my experiance, there have been more problems with lightbar equipped POVs than I care to remember. Constant complaints about reckless driving, speeding and a few wrecks were the main reasons my last department banned lights on POVs.
    Why spend hundreds of dollars for something you think you need. If the need is real, if having the light on your vehicle is really going to make a difference, the department allows it and you meet all state laws then get the light.

  12. #12
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    Thank you Volle. I will also point out that many complaints about speeding are unjustified, but brought on by driving with the lights on. We just had someone call the chief to complain about us "speeding" in our tender - Not possible because A: It can't go that fast and B: It was the chief engineer driving!

    In law enforcement, complaints of brutality arise because they don't see the bad guy beating the civilian, but the cars with the bright lights draw attention, and the cops get yelled at for "beating that guy for no reason."
    On the fire dept., driving the speed limit with lights is perceved as "speeding".

    Worst volle car I have seen: two (2) light bars on roof, 2 lights on grill, 2 in rear window, Volle plates, and a dash bar that took up most of the dash board. All on a POS stationwagon with a falling headliner, rust, dented doors, etc. The lights were worth more than the car!

  13. #13
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    I can see a small dash light or a small one or two rotator mini bar on the roof. But that much stuff on a car is ridiculous. Just make sure that the lights arn't worth more than the vehicle you are putting them on. One light fixture whether it be 360 or 180 is good enough. Do what the state says and what the chief says. Most of all stay safe. It is better to get there alive than not at all.

  14. #14
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    I have the Sho-Me 11.8000 LED Light. It is the brightest thing in the day or the night. People really see this light. It put me back $189, but it is well worth it. I bought mine from Rim Industries (http://www.rimindustries.com.) Also the 911EP light is cool, but it will put you out $300 or more.

    Firefighter Nishanian
    http://www.tmfd.org

  15. #15
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    I have looked at LED and it is just not perfect yet. That is the reason that I went with a mini roof mounted bar. The money was less and untill LED is better I do not see the need for it. Strobes are great but nothing shows up better in my mind 360 degrees during the day than a halogen rotator. Strobes are awsome at night.

  16. #16
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    If you are goimg to use lights, get something that has good 360 degree visability. Other drivers can't see it from the side or rear if it's on the dash. Here in Kentucky the law states that the light "must" be visable from 360 degrees and at least 500 feet. Also, Just because you have a light doesn't mean you need to run it in every situation. As for running magnets ect don't forget that the power cord can ruin a paint job quickly if it isn't secured. Good luck and remember that if you have your lights on the public perception is that your are running at least 20 mph faster than you really are.


    A reminder in the south blue lights are for cop cars.
    Last edited by gregblewett; 02-02-2003 at 06:35 PM.

  17. #17
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    You are absolutley right about choosing which calls to run your blue light on and which ones not to. If it is just a lift assist you dont need a blue light unless you know that it may be more than that and you are qualified in medical training.

  18. #18
    Forum Member HFRH28's Avatar
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    Not trying to step on any toes, but just be sure you check the law in your area. For example, in NC, only chief/asst. chief may have a lightbar and/or wig-wag.

  19. #19
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    The laws in NY are not the best in the world. Some people up hear have these huge lightbars on there trucks and they are not even chiefs. You do not need somthing that big. A mini bar is cheaper and puts out plenty of light. We can not pass anyone yet in this state so for right now it is only a curtisy light.

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