How To Choose Emergency Lighting For The Vehicles They Will Be Installed On

When considering police light bars or emergency lighting for a city, county, or state police fleet, there are some things that are important. Lightbars have changed significantly over the last few years, and while they may look the same on the outside, there are some options that can enhance the performance and durability of the light bars you choose. 

Light Bar Sizes

Police departments are using many different kinds of vehicles for patrol, rescue, and specialty operations, so the size of the police light bars on the market has changed to accommodate this. Lightbars are available in so many sizes now that a department can add them to nearly any vehicle in their fleet. 

Getting the right size bar for a specific vehicle is now far more straightforward than it used to be, and they fit better, making them easier to install and reducing the effect they have on the vehicle. Air movement around these light bars is better because they install closer to the car and are smooth enough to allow air to pass over the top.

Some of the smaller light bars on the market are even making their way to use on side-by-sides that are used by departments for beach patrol or search and rescue purposes. The bars are small enough to fit on these smaller vehicles but still incorporate tools like side and front spotlights that can be used to light up dark areas at night. 

Lighting Types

Police light bars at one time used incandescent lights combined with reflectors and electric motors that rotated the assemble to create the flashing light look and feel. They were loud and inefficient, required a lot of electricity to run them, and were so large and heavy that they could not be used on small vehicles.  

Modern police light bars use strobe lights and LEDs to work more efficiently while reducing the power draw. Often strobe bars and LEDs are left running to alert traffic that the police or emergency vehicle is in the road ahead without any negative impact on the vehicle. 

The LEDs also offer added features like sections of the light bar that officers can use to create a moving light pattern that helps direct traffic around a scene or incident. Color variations used to depend on lenses on the bar, so red was always red, blue was blue, and so on, but multicolor LEDs can now be leveraged to change areas on the light bar to offer police light bars that can have sections that can burn amber or white with a flip of a switch inside the car.