Just like all first responder vehicles, fire trucks and fire engines must operate with utmost urgency and meet the highest levels of safety standards. Since roads are often busy, and since accidents happen even at ungodly hours, it is crucial that these vehicles remain noticeable and visible to other participants in the traffic, including pedestrians. Enter firefighter lights.
What Are Firefighter Light Bars?
In short, firefighter light bars are lighting systems we install on fire trucks, engines, and other kinds of vehicles used by firefighters. Their mean role, as we mentioned, is to ensure visibility and let others know about the presence of an emergency vehicle and, well, danger.
There are many types of light bars. They vary in size, shape, and color, they vary based on the optical technology they’re based on and the kind of beam they produce, and they can be mounted pretty much anywhere on the truck. To keep things short, we’ll focus on some of their most important aspects and give you a few words of advice in regard to where to buy the best light bars for your truck. Let’s roll!
So, a good set of firefighter lights ensures everyone can see you, even from greater distances and in harsher weather and road conditions. Usually, the best option you’ll have will be LED lights, although strobes are a popular option for many, too. But, if we had to pick, we’d argue LEDs are more efficient, as they are usually affordable, energy-efficient, durable, and bright enough in most scenarios.
Where we choose to install lights will greatly influence how visible the truck is. Typically, we want the vehicle visible from all angles, so we mount light bars on the rooftop, which provide high degrees of illumination. In addition, we can put a bar or two on the front, on the sides, and on the back, just for extra measure.
If you have any experience on the road, you’ve probably noticed different emergency vehicles have different lights in terms of the color they emit. There’s red, blue, amber, green, etc., as well as a number of combinations, for example, red and blue for police vehicles.
Combined with sirens, recognizable colors engrave in the public mind the notion of urgency that allows everyone to react appropriately in any given situation. Fire trucks usually use a combination of red and white, and they can be programmed to emit certain light patterns, flash and rotate, etc., all with the simple goal of catching the attention of as many people as possible.
As you can imagine, firefighting is no easy job. It’s rather dangerous, so all equipment must be highly durable if it is to withstand all the damage it’s likely to sustain. The same goes for light bars. Namely, they have to be shock-resistant, tough, and waterproof — everything that will help them stay up to the task in extreme environments and help the team keep everyone out of harm’s way.
Spotlights or Scene Lighting?
There are two types of fire truck lights according to the type of beam they provide: spotlights and floodlights.
- Spotlights are powerful unidirectional light beams that can be manually adjusted and moved by the truck operators to provide illumination in a specific area of the scene where an accident took place or where the fire is the most violent;
- Floodlights, on the other hand, provide proper scene lighting. They illuminate the entire area surrounding the vehicle and allow the team to assess the situation, come up with an action plan, set up and check their equipment, etc.
As you can probably guess, spotlights are much more powerful. Their long-range beams can go right through fog, rain, snow, and shadow, which makes them essential for pretty much all fire engines. Of course, most vehicles come equipped with a combination of both, which allows for great flexibility in most situations.
Rules and Regulations
It bears mentioning that there are no universally good picks for firefighter light bars beyond the vague categories such as “bright,” “visible,” etc. That is because rules and regulations for firefighter light bars often vary greatly from one district to another. That is, the specifics in regards to color and flashing, for example, usually depend on your country, state, and local jurisdiction laws.
There are, of course, exceptions. For example, specialized firefighter units or volunteer departments might be exempt from some but subject to other rules that do not apply to regular fire departments. Whatever your line of work, it is crucial that you consult your local authorities and adhere to their specific regulations. You can often get informed about all the necessary details when shopping for light bars locally from manufacturers or retailers who are already supplying the local departments with tested and licensed gear.
Get the Firefighter Light Bar You Deserve
Now that you’ve got a comprehensive idea of what firefighter light bars are and what they do, you might be wondering where you can buy some. We reccommend SpeedTech Lights.
SpeedTech Lights is a reputable retailer with a huge catalog of high-quality, affordable, and downright lighting and safety equipment solutions, including police sirens, air horns, light bars, etc. All products on offer at SpeedTech Lights are carefully built by the world’s leading manufacturers with years of experience in the industry, so you can rest assured you’ll find something suitable for your ride.
Should you have additional questions about specific fire truck light bars or their installation and features, feel free to get in touch with SpeedTech Lights. Our team is available and ready to share any details and information about your light bar options and assist in choosing the most suitable model for you.