It’s true to say that LEDs have made the road a safer place. LEDs provide a brighter, whiter light that ensures even the darkest roads can be well lit by car lights. As well as this, LEDs actually use a fraction of the energy of other older technology. As such, they are incredibly beneficial for a number of reasons. All of this is common knowledge. What you may not be aware of is that LEDs are now used in light bars that can be installed on a number of vehicles. Light bars can provide a greater field of light to ensure maximum visibility. Or indeed, gain the attention needed on the roads for police vehicles, first responders and any emergency vehicle. You might be surprised by the type of technology used within these LED light bars.
Indeed, over the years, there have been a number of advances in emergency response and vehicle tech used within light bars based around LED technology. These pieces of equipment and new pieces of tech can be used for a wide range of purposes. Let’s start by looking at the LED tech in light bars for off-road vehicles.
LED Tech In Offroad LED Light Bars
Anyone who drives off the road will know that the surroundings can be pitch black, particularly at night. As such, lights on the vehicle have to be significantly brighter than those typically found on cars that have come straight out of the factory. It is for this reason that LED light bars are often added onto cars, trucks, utility vehicles and any other type of car that might need to go off-road. The good new is that the tech available in LED bars are up to the challenge. Off road LED light bars use CREE LEDs. These highly intensive lights are able to produce a 60-90 lumen output. That means that they are powerful enough to light up any dark area and make a pitch black night seem like the middle of the day.
The LEDs used can range between 4-100 bulbs with a range of different Watt capacities. The tech used is also highly adaptable and can be found in floodlights, hybrid models, as well as spotlights.
Multi Color Technology
Another type of tech that you can find in modern light bulbs is multi color technology. This tech enables the LED bulbs to deliver colored light, rather than a typical white light and it does not rely on colored lenses to do this. The LED tech can actually be generated as soon as the lights are activated. This ensures that clear lenses, rather than colored lenses can be used. That means that the light displayed can be far more vibrant and eye-catching which of course, is important for use in emergency vehicles. The tech we are talking about here has been around for quite a while and can produce a range of different colors including red, green and blue from the power of one little microchip. Using the power of each individual shade of color, you can mix different shades and effectively produce any color you wish.
In the past, this tech was not powerful enough for use by emergency vehicles, as the light was not intensive. These days, however, with new LED tech, two colors can be created with two microchips. Since there are two control chips, one color can be active at full power before switching to the other, creating a rapid and effective system for warning drivers on the road.
In modern systems, the entire light bar can be changed and operated with a single switch on the dashboard of the vehicle so that the driver can choose a particular color. For instance, it is possible to switch between blue and amber. By doing this, the driver is able to change the color, depending on the situation.
Compact and Packed With Other Tech
One of the major benefits of the tech used in the latest modern vehicle LED strobe light bars is that the technology and hardware is incredibly small. As such, it is possible for these bars to fit onto a vehicle without drawing attention. This can be useful for a wide range of emergency response users, including undercover police cars. When the light bar is off, it can be fitted to the grill of the car and be barely noticeable. However, as soon as it is switched on, the light is powerful enough to gain the attention of any individual on the road, or even pedestrians.
Since the lights are so compact, a wide range of other tech can be fitted into the devices easily, including sirens. This means that with one click of a button, both the lights and the sirens can be activated or one can be activated while the other is left switched off depending on the situation.
The technology is highly adaptable, and it is for this reason that light bars, using LEDs are available in a wide range of different sizes and can be fitted to various areas of the vehicle.
Type Of LEDs Used
Light bars can be fitted with a wide range of different LEDs, including the Generation III 1-Watt LED that is used in a wide number of light bar products, including the full-size 48-inch variety. These LEDs pack a punch between 23,000 and 30,000 lumens, so it is advised not to look directly at them. One of the key benefits of the LEDs used in the light bars is that they are highly durable, being both moisture and heat resistant. This means that it is possible for the lights to last for years without any sign of damage or wear and tear. As such, it is a cost-effective solution for the emergency services.
Boosting The Power With Lenses
The LEDs used in light bars today often use two different types of lenses to ensure the maximum impact is achieved. Some LEDs use TIR lenses. The Total Internal Reflectivity lenses are able to ensure that focused, precise beams are produced from the light bar. Or alternatively, Linear 1 lenses can be used to ensure that the light is spread to the absolute maximum area. Indeed it is also possible for these lights to have Reflex Optics and this means that the produced light can fully spread across a city street, highway or narrow alleyway. You can find out more about the different lens types for emergency vehicle lighting here.
Smart LED Lighting
Technology gets smarter every day and in the emergency LED lighting industry, the story is no different. The LED light bars currently on the market often have pattern memory technology included in the design. This means that the chip inside the device remembers the last flash pattern that was provided and the sequence used. When the light is switched back on, the remembered sequence can then be activated without additional setup.
The Future Of LED Light Bar Technology
What tech will be used in LED light bars in the future? Currently, that is difficult to say, though there have been suggestions that OLEDs could be beneficial in some way. OLEDs are the lights found in various home devices, such as an HD television to produce the deepest shades of black and other distinct colors. Currently, it is unclear whether this will one day be a useful feature in emergency vehicle lights, but, we certainly wouldn’t rule it out just yet.