When thinking about police cars, the first thing that comes to mind are the flashing telltale Police Lights used to warn or notify a person that a police vehicle is present. The most common type of light for lightbars on the top of police cars today are light-emitting diodes, or LED lights. LEDs are more efficient, brighter, and more cost effective than any other form of lighting previously used for Police Lights, while remaining just as safe as halogen or incandescent bulbs.
Emergency lights have always been a very important part of police vehicles from the start. They are used for everything from warning a person to get out of the way, to signaling to an individual that they need to pull over to the side of the street. The color of LED Police Lights used is mostly dependent on state policy, but most police lights are some combination of reds, whites, and blues. This combination is important because red lights are easier to perceive while driving during the day. Red is also the most widely recognized color of any emergency vehicle. Blue, however, can be seen better at night and reflects brightly off of snow. Blue is also the color most associated with police because it is frequently the color of their uniforms.
When police cars started out, the officers hung red tinted lanterns on the side of the vehicle and used noisemakers to make sure they were noticed. As lighting technology progressed, halogen lights and incandescent bulbs were used for beacons on the top of the cars or for the lightbars across the top. LEDs can come in a wide variety of colors and shine at a brighter intensity than incandescent bulbs. In most modern day lightbars and beacons just a few LEDs and diamond shaped mirrors are used to create the strobe effect of multiple lights.
Police have worked hard over the years to make sure that their Police Lights are not dangerous for other vehicles on the road as well. While the lights can glare, they are made so that the glare is minimized so that the lighting will not be a dangerous distraction for a driver. Also, those that have epilepsy when in contact with strobe lights, are usually not affected by flashing Police Lights. Epileptic seizures are usually triggered by lights flashing around 10-20 Hz, and Police Lights flash on a lower frequency.
Police officers are constantly looking into the safety of the average citizen. They do this by making sure that even little details, such as their Police Lights, don’t distract ordinary drivers but warn them that they are approaching quickly. Since they are working to provide us with safety and protection it is only right that they have switched to a more cost effective technology for their lighting needs. LEDs are such a common form of lighting now, there are many websites that provide an opportunity for officers to order their replacement lighting for their lightbars and beacons, while saving money and time.