1. #1
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    Lightbulb Led Lights Vs. Strobes

    What is everyone's opinion on LED lights vs. strobes? We are getting some new ambulances soon..I think LED's are the way to go, Im looking for anyone who has LED's on their engines, squads, or ambulances. Do you like them? Are they bright in the daylight, would you recommend them on new equipment?

    Thanks for any help provided.

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    All the answers you are looking for.....


    LED's are nice, I would suggest a combo of halogen and LED

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    The LED technology seems to be getting better... but I also think you want to mix them with Halogen and/or strobes. The LEDs seem to be very directional so if the viewer is not in front of them, they will not get the full affect from them.

    As odd as it may sound, the fact that they are "clear" when turned off is a little odd looking to me. Pehaps I'll get used to it, but I'd prefer to see some color on the light fixtures even when they are turned off.
    Richard Nester
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    If you want color, get colored lenses. We have them. No problems. It might dim them a tiny tiny bit.
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    The LED technology has exploded in the last year. You can outfit an entire unit with 100% LED warning lights and not suffer at all with the angles. They make LED lightheads to cover any angle possible from any mounting surface possible. Your current draw will be exponentially less, meaning less stress on the alternator and battery. They are not subject to vibration and envirmental effects that will ruin strobes and halogen lights. They don't "burn out" for 11 years.

    I would also recomend you make the rear stop/tail/turn lights and all the marker lights LED as well. For reverse lights and scene lights, stick with halogen.

    You can put colored lenses on the LED's so if the clear look isn't your thing, that is no problem.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Go with a combination, LEDs are great for the lower zones, sides and rear upper and lower but we found adding some halogen rotators to the front upper zone produces better warning. We have 60+ rigs, engines & trucks, as well as numerous abmbulances and excursions, in service with all LEDs, the main complaint has been no intersection wash, for lack of a better term. To test this two rigs have a combination of led mini bars and halogen minibars an arraingement that seems to work very well.
    Personally, the Whelan products are the best on the market, the variety of applications and mountings, as well as the quality of the product itself cannot be touched, they built the LED market and continue to be leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else. No I don't work for them. They just make the best product and the others are making half-assed attempts to produce their existing products in LED format.

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    Our local Sheriff's Office has all LED bars. Even in the bright Arizona sun, they are very visable - moreso than the halogens on our trucks.
    Last edited by Sleuth; 01-07-2005 at 04:37 PM.

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    I'm in the process of spec'ing out our new Rescue pumper, and from what I can tell, going all LED is an expensive feature, but nothing near what they used to be. We will probably go with all LED except for two beacons on the back corner's. Other than that the new LED technology is really great!

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    We have a 2002 Pierce aerial and a 2002 Pierce rescue pumper. With the aerial we ordered Whelen LED's for the lower zone. The pumper was a demo and came with Federal GS5 strobes. They both have Federal View Points (half Vectors) on the roof and IVP rotators on the rear.

    Which do I think is more effective for all lighting situations (day, night, fog, rain, a hurricane )? Hands down, the LED's. While the strobes are nice, they tend to "wash out" a bit in the bright Florida sun.

    That being said, you do lose intensity with LEDs as you move off center. For this reason, we included a pair of Federal strobes for the front of the aerial for a little extra "punch" at intersections. This is also why we went with Veiw Points (with sweep lights) on the roof.

    One other thing, if your set on strobes, go with the Federal GS5's. Our heavy rescue has Whelen strobes in the lower zone. The Federals on the pumper are MUCH more visable. Not even close.

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    LEDs............ No comparison.
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
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    If you are having intersection problems with LED's, it is simply a design short-fall on the rig. You can do ANYTHING with them now. And yes, Whelen rules all with this stuff.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Yeah it must be the 100 plus engines, ambulances and excursions?
    We changed the package on an engine and a squad company and the results for forward warning have been dramatic. The LEDS do not sweep ahead and wash off buildings as the rotators do. A combination product is in our opinion the best choice for upper forward facing lights.

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    We upgraded our rescue from rotator to LED lights, side markers - the effect was dramatic, if you cant see that truck coming you are legally blind! We have excellent coverage around the unit. We will be going to LED's on new units and also for upgrades, the benefits are cheaper in the long run (less alternator draw way less, logevity of the product, hardiness). The clear color goes well with red paint and chrome!

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    We have all LED running lights on our two newest engines (stop/tail/turn/marker lights). No issues with them yet (2 + years old). For warning, they have Federal GS5 strobes all around (had several problems, mostly with the tube/reflector assemblies, Federal stepped up to the plate and fixed 'em), Viewpoint (half- Vectors) rotators on the cab roof, and two pairs of PowerArc (model PA210) 210 degree ocillating lights (these are 50 watt halogen, big, square, rather ugly looking things, but are VERY effective!) One set is mounted high on the rear, the other pair on the sides just forward of the front cab doors. These make awesome intersection lights, covering from almost parallel to the side body and sweeping to a crossover in front of the vehicle (see www.powerarclights).

    We also have an Expedition that is 'soft" marked (no light bar, good on the highway and in parking garages) that is equipped with 911EP LED lighting - 10 LED Stars (grill, mirrors, 2 sidebody, tailgate), an LS12 LED bar behind the rear view mirror, and a TD28 traffic director bar inside the rear window. It also has Tomar Neobe hide-a-ways in the headlight and taillight housings. The LEDs are very bright, and we've had no issues with them as of yet (about 2 years old).

    Our local EMS provider just got some new ambulances, equipped with Weldon LED's. They are extremely bright (even in daylight), and aren't too bad at off-angles, either.

    As for new vehicles, we'll probably go with a mix of strobe, halogen, and LED, with the LEDs becoming more prevalent as their cost comes down in line with the other types.
    R.A. Ricciuti
    Mt. Lebanon Fire Department

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    Originally posted by nmfire
    If you are having intersection problems with LED's, it is simply a design short-fall on the rig. You can do ANYTHING with them now. And yes, Whelen rules all with this stuff.
    The design of our rig is fine thanks, just didnt want it to look like a whacker mobile

    Whelen LED's are nice, but the strobes dont compare well at all to Federals.

    Dave
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    Originally posted by Dave1983


    The design of our rig is fine thanks, just didnt want it to look like a whacker mobile

    Whelen LED's are nice, but the strobes dont compare well at all to Federals.

    Dave
    I have to disagree with your comment here. Emergency lighting on a rig is NEVER considered "whacker mobile" lighting. You are putting emergency lights on a rig for personnel safety. To say that you didnt put LED's where they are supposed to go because you didnt want your rig to look like a whacker mobile is ignorant.

    Make sure your budget allows you to get all the lighting that is necessary to be safe PLUS more. When your operating on the freeway, you want to be sure that the guy in the BMW sees the 50,000 lb rig staged on the side of the road. If you dont have enough to outfit your whole rig with LED, then go with good ol' halogen.

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    I have to disagree with your comment here. Emergency lighting on a rig is NEVER considered "whacker mobile" lighting. You are putting emergency lights on a rig for personnel safety. To say that you didnt put LED's where they are supposed to go because you didnt want your rig to look like a whacker mobile is ignorant.
    Ignorant? No need to be nasty, but since you started it. Tell me Mutt, how many specs for apparatus have you written? How many times have written lighting upgrade specs for older apparatus? How many classes have you been to about apparatus safety? How many departments in your area call you for input when they are geting ready to spec a rig? Come on, tell me Mutt.

    So let me see if I have this correct, when I see the front of a rig with a full lightbar, a pair of Mars888's, a Roto-Ray, strobes, halogens, hi-beam flashers and dont forget the all important bell on the front bumper, its all for SAFETY.

    Whatever

    Dave
    Last edited by Dave1983; 01-10-2005 at 08:17 PM.
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    Originally posted by Dave1983
    and dont forget the all important bell on the front bumper
    In my state, a bell is actually a legal emergency warning device... unlike, for example, air horns.



    And I agree with you on the Federal Signal body strobes. They are brighter. We also did Federal top/Whelen lower... no comparison.
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    Originally posted by Resq14


    In my state, a bell is actually a legal emergency warning device... unlike, for example, air horns.

    Same here.....
    The comments made by me are my opinions only. They DO NOT reflect the opinions of my employer(s). If you have an issue with something I may say, take it up with me, either by posting in the forums, emailing me through my profile, or PMing me through my profile.
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    Originally posted by Dave1983


    Ignorant? No need to be nasty, but since you started it. Tell me Mutt, how many specs for apparatus have you written? How many times have written lighting upgrade specs for older apparatus? How many classes have you been to about apparatus safety? How many departments in your area call you for input when they are geting ready to spec a rig? Come on, tell me Mutt.

    So let me see if I have this correct, when I see the front of a rig with a full lightbar, a pair of Mars888's, a Roto-Ray, strobes, halogens, hi-beam flashers and dont forget the all important bell on the front bumper, its all for SAFETY.

    Whatever

    Dave

    Well, I'm not going to go ahead and show my ignorance by calling you names, so I will just support my arguement like a civil human being.

    Maybe your department had a different maturity level, but if I went to my board and said "well, we dont want all these lights because its going to look like a whacker mobile" they would probably look around, chuckle, and throw me out of a room. How is this a valid arguement??

    But then again, I picture you as one of the guys that laughs at a rig that YOU personally think has too much emergency lighting.

    Where can I buy your book about emergency apparatus lighting???? Someone gives there opinion about "your" rig and you get all nasty about it. So do me a favor, you can continue to be an "expert" in your own little world. But anyone who accepts the "well we dont want to look like a bunch of buffs" reason for ANYTHING is himself, a closet whacker, and far from an "expert"

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    I have to make one exception, that Roto ray thing is most definitly a whacker item.

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    But those roto-rays just make me stare....kind of like a moth to a flame, you know?

    Good thing no one around here has one, huh?

    Along the topic, somewhat - we just looked at a demo with LED Powerarcs. I was impressed, especially at the front of the rig where they would be an asset at intersections. Anyone have anything good or bad to say?

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    Well, I'm not going to go ahead and show my ignorance by calling you names, so I will just support my arguement like a civil human being.
    Thats funny, considering YOU started it by saying I was ignorant.

    Maybe your department had a different maturity level, but if I went to my board and said "well, we dont want all these lights because its going to look like a whacker mobile" they would probably look around, chuckle, and throw me out of a room. How is this a valid arguement??
    So now your going to start on my department as well. Nice For whats its worth, our board has nothing to do with specs. They are elected public oficials who know nothing about fire apparatus, other then its a BRT. They trust us to properly spec a rig, as it should be.

    But then again, I picture you as one of the guys that laughs at a rig that YOU personally think has too much emergency lighting.
    No, I just shake my head when I see a rig with every light known to man, when the money could have been better spent on things like a foam system or on board generator. Items which we consider to be basic equipment in "my litle world".

    Where can I buy your book about emergency apparatus lighting????
    Its NFPA 1901. I'm sure you can pick up a copy on-line.

    Someone gives there opinion about "your" rig and you get all nasty about it.
    Once more, I didnt start this. Someone else, without any knowledge about our rig, decided the design was flawed since we used an extra pair of strobes on the front to help when going through intersections and overcome a problem with early modle LED's being "weak" at off center angles, which by the way, the Whelen rep admited when I met with him at the Pierce plant in Febuary of '02. But thats right, I dont know hat Im talkimg about.

    So do me a favor, you can continue to be an "expert" in your own little world.
    Not an expert, but well versed on it and experianced with it. And my little world includes not only my department, but several other local FD's that have asked for my advise. I even had the local Pierce dealer ask when they were getting ready to spec a demo rig. But thats right, I dont know what I'm talking about.

    But anyone who accepts the "well we dont want to look like a bunch of buffs" reason for ANYTHING is himself, a closet whacker, and far from an "expert"
    Whatever

    Im done with this thread. I came in here to offer some free advise to someone who had a question, and all I get is called ignorant by people who have probably never speced a rig, let alone around a dozen like I have. But thats right, I dont know what I'm talking about

    Dave
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    Originally posted by Dave1983
    Once more, I didnt start this. Someone else, without any knowledge about our rig, decided the design was flawed since we used an extra pair of strobes on the front to help when going through intersections and overcome a problem with early modle LED's being "weak" at off center angles, which by the way, the Whelen rep admited when I met with him at the Pierce plant in Febuary of '02. But thats right, I dont know hat Im talkimg about.
    That's a long sentance! I am refering to newer model LED's, not the older style onces, which is what I said in my very first reply to this thread. You can cover 360 degrees with 100% LED now and not be lacking in anything. I never said you don't know what your talking about or that doing what you did was wrong. Don't put words in my mouth.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

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    Originally posted by Dave1983


    Im done with this thread. I came in here to offer some free advise to someone who had a question, and all I get is called ignorant by people who have probably never speced a rig, let alone around a dozen like I have. But thats right, I dont know what I'm talking about

    Dave
    Actually, if you read, you are the one that gave a nasty comment to someone's opinion about your rig. They simple stated that it may be a design flaw, and you came back with a snappy "our truck is just right thank you very much" and "we dont want to look like a bunch of whackers". I called your phrase ignorant, because it is an ignorant thing to say. I didnt once call you ignorant. So your telling me that instead of getting one LED head that properly fits the vehicle, you decided to ADD a whole strobe to the existing lighting, to cover the intersection???? And you DONT want to look like a whacker????


    Do use all a favor, and stop with the "holier than thou because I'm not a whacker" attitude. You gave your opinion, than someone else gave you theirs, and you got upset.


    By the way: just looking at your sig "FFII-EMT-CFI" . You talk about not wanting to be a whacker??? Funny, I dont list my certs in my sig.

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