There are too many distractions on the road these days – cell phones, an increase in drivers on the roadways, people eating/drinking/even changing their clothes at the wheel (I kid you not – I’ve personally seen it). For these reasons emergency lighting has, and is, becoming increasingly important to the emergency services field for one simple reason – safety. Safety of what? Safety of the scene and personnel working at these scenes whether it be a mere traffic stop by a police officer to a motor vehicle accident containing a multitude of emergency personnel. All in all, the safest emergency lighting choice at this point in time is LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, which have an array of advantages over old halogen lighting technology.
Of course there are other reasons why agencies are starting to use LEDs, which are also contained within the body of this article.
I See The Light
Lighting is meant to, well… bright. In most scenarios, to an extent, the brighter the better. Light Emitting Diodes technology is currently the brightest on the market, and advancements towards more efficient and brighter technology in this field are constantly growing, and will continue to do so for some time.
In comparison to strobe and halogen technology when it comes to brightness LEDs win hands down.
Conseration of Energy
It has been shown that LED lighting has a much less amp draw on car batteries, conserving the energy of your car battery. This, in essense, allows emergency services to place more emergency lights on the their emergency vehicles, creating increased warning power towards motorists. Plus, there’s nothing worse than a dead battery – especially when you need it to safely secure a scene for a traffic stop, house fire, car accident, or whatever the emergency is at hand.
There’s no doubt about it – LEDs are much more covert and stealthier than general emergency lights. The reason for this is that LEDs will generally come in clear housing, not allowing for motorists to notice colored lights in a vehicle. Aside from that, LEDs can be made smaller and still have incredible light output.
Some LED modules have smaller dimensions as well. For example, the Mini Phantom by Signal (see a video of the Mini Phantom here) is much smaller and more compact than many halogen or strobe dash/deck lights, yet they still have incredible light output, making it an all around great emergency light. Click here to see a review of the Mini Phantom by me.
LEDs also have the advantage as they have a long lifespan of 5+ years. Halogen and strobes can easily burn out, especially after constant and heavy use, but LEDs will last much longer, making them a greater investment for the future.
Obviously when it comes to emergency lighting you’re going to want a reliable product, which is why LEDs are the prime choice.
LEDs should be used by any emergency vehicle these days, including: fire appatartus, police vehicles, ambulance units, hazmat trucks, personal vehicles for emergency personnel whom are authorized to use them, and so on.
Consult your Chief and local law before purchasing and using any emergency lighting equipment, as there are specific guidelines that vary state to state, and even department to department in some cases.