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Popular Emergency Lights for First Responder Vehicles

Updated on November 30, 2020
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Tawnya is a freelance writer and mom of a tiny gymnast. When it comes to buying gymnastics-related gear, I'm an industry pro.

Best Emergency Vehicle Lights for those Who Drive Emergency Vehicles

Emergency vehicles are used in a variety of professions all over the world. However, emergency vehicles are only as efficient as the emergency vehicle lights installed. This is true because if an emergency vehicles has weak or no emergency vehicle lights, the emergency vehicle will not be visible on the road. As anyone will tell you, if an emergency vehicle is not extremely visible, which is only possible due to emergency lights, it will put the lives of emergency workers, other drivers, and pedestrians in danger. Additionally, it will also decrease response times, which can be the difference between the life and death of someone who needs emergency help. Below we will go over the most popular emergency vehicle lights including strobe lights, warning lights, and light bars. Additionally, we also explain the types of emergency vehicles that can benefit from these different types of emergency lights.

Strobe Lights

Why Strobe Lights are Important to Emergency Vehicles

Strobe lights are extremely popular emergency vehicle lights. To understand how strobe lights work, it is important to think about flash photography. This is important because a strobe light flashes similarly to the way a camera flashes when a picture is taken. In fact, strobe lights produce very quick bright flashes of ionizing light that are subsequently discharged through a large current of gas. The light that is produced by a strobe light has a bluish emission. As an example, when a strobe light shines through a red colored strobe lightbar, the strobe lightbar will produce a fuchsia/pink color.

Strobe lights are used by a variety of emergency vehicles including police cars, fire trucks, and ambulances. Although not technically emergency vehicles, warning vehicles and escort vehicles also use strobe lights to help increase their vehicle's visibility.

How Your Public or Privately Owned Vehicle Can Use Warning Lights

Warning Lights are Often Used by Escort Vehicles, Utility Trucks, and Construction Vehicles

If you aren't active in the vehicle lighting industry, you may not understand the difference between emergency vehicle lights and warning lights. The truth is the differences between these lights varies depending on the state you live in. In fact, every state in the United States of America has particular statutes that outline what vehicles can use emergency vehicle lights, and what types of vehicles can use a warning light on the roof, dash, or visor of their vehicle. Additionally, a difference between a warning light and an emergency light are related to the color the vehicle light emits. Generally, vehicles that are using a warning light, but aren't an emergency vehicle employ a white or amber warning light.

The Most Common Types of Vehicles that Use a Warning Light

As mentioned above, it is important to research your state's guidelines regarding emergency vehicle lighting or warning lighting, but in most states, the following vehicles are permitted to use a warning light on their vehicle.

  • Tow Trucks
  • Road Crew Trucks
  • Funeral Escort Vehicles
  • Heavy Load Escort Vehicles
  • Utility Company Trucks
  • Snowplow Trucks

It is important to note that these aren't the only types of vehicles that are allowed to use warning lights. Instead, they are simply the most popular.

Lightbars: Emergency Vehicles Most Important Tool

Lightbars Provide Emergency Lighting that is Essential to the First Responder Community

The first lightbars created were simply metal bars that were attached to the roof of a vehicle. Once the metal bar was attached, agencies would chose rotating beacons, usually two, to mount inside the metal bar. Additionally, agencies could also add sirens and a variety of other lights too.

As technology continued to advance, light bars became much more sophisticated, which made them incredibly popular with the first responder community such as ambulance drivers, police vehicles, and fire trucks. Warning vehicles like tow trucks, roadside assistance vehicles, utility, and construction vehicles often use light bars to alert drivers when they are working in a particular area.

Today, most light bars contain rotating, strobe, or fixed emergency lights. In addition, many of these emergency lights are LED-based and even come with programmable flash patterns. Since light bars use extremely advanced technology, they are also easy to customize, which means emergency vehicle drivers can choose the appropriate colors for their emergency vehicle and can also add additional lights like a spotlight, takedown lights, or virtually anything else that may aid them in the field.

Even sweeter, light bars are available in a variety of sizes, configurations, and styles, which means drivers from first responder, emergency responder, construction vehicles, and utility vehicles can find the right light bar for their vehicle.

Popular Emergency Vehicle Lights

In addition to strobe lights, warning lights, and light bars, there are a variety of other emergency lighting available on the market. In fact, much of this equipment can be found online. It is also important to realize that there are lights for every budget. However, before you purchase a product that is priced well below other retailers, it is important to compare features. Also, buyers should find out what type of materials are used to make a particular light. This is essential to do before completing a purchase as most emergency vehicle light purchases are final.


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