Construction Vehicle Lighting Requirements
The field of construction is often considered one of the most dangerous in the world. While not many people die when they’re doing this job nowadays, plenty sustain injuries when they are building, and the type of environment they are working in can have a huge impact on the likelihood of suffering with something like this.
As the owner of a construction company, you have the challenging job of making sure that your team is safe while they are at work. Protective equipment can help with this, but there won’t be much point in hard hats, gloves, and goggles if your workforce can’t see anything. This is where construction vehicle lighting comes in.
Your vehicles will often be perfectly placed to light your work areas, making them an excellent place to start when you’re working on this side of your business. Of course, though, the headlights on most trucks simply won’t be powerful enough to handle a job like this. To give you an idea of what you need to do to light your work arefas, this article will be exploring construction vehicle lighting requirements, covering all of the options you have before you.
What Will You Learn?
Before diving right in, it’s always a good idea to think about what you need to learn before you can start adding lighting to your construction vehicles. We want you to be able to take as much away as possible from this article, but this means that it’s going to be quite a big one. You can find a breakdown of what you can expect to learn from this below.
- The lighting options currently available to construction teams, along with their intended uses and the rules which surround them.
- How to choose construction vehicle lighting from the array of sources you have available to you, balancing quality, effectiveness, and affordability.
- How to install construction vehicle lighting and ensure that it has enough power to run throughout the night.
- The law which governs construction site lighting, especially those which sit by the side of busy roads.
The Types Of Light
Since the right of LED lighting, loads of different options have hit the market which can provide ample light without costing a small fortune. This gives you far more choice than you used to have, while also ensuring that even the cheapest of construction vehicle lighting is going to be able to do a good job.
Each of the lights on this list have a different purpose, along with offering different features and benefits. The section will be exploring the types of light available, some of the popular examples of these lights, and a little bit of information to show you how each light can be used. Following this, we will be diving into figuring out when you want to use each of the lights.
Emergency Vehicle Lights
Emergency vehicles, like police cars and ambulances, all have to use special lighting to make sure that they can be seen on the road. They will usually use specific colors for these lights, with most police forces using blue and red for their police lights. While you shouldn’t be aiming to mimic the lighting which is found on vehicles like this, having your own emergency vehicle lighting can make it much easier for other road users to see your construction vehicles.
Lights like this are usually designed to be quite discrete, ensuring that they don’t cause a distraction for the driver. You will often find them stuck to windscreens, sitting in the grill of a vehicle, and even simply sitting on the roof. The Fox Trot 16 Linear LED Dash Light is a great example of a light like this, with the option to mount it at the top or bottom of a windscreen.
Emergency vehicle lights come in at a range of different price points, and the ease of installation can differ from example to example. Many of them use simple 12v sockets for their power, enabling you to add them to your vehicle without modification. Of course, though, if you want something more serious, you may have to make changes to your machines.
Construction Lights for Trucks
This next category is broader than the others on this list, and covers most of the lighting options which you will find on construction trucks. LED bars, strobe lights, and emergency lighting all fall into this bracket, along with any of the other options you will find on construction vehicles. It’s worth mentioning this category because many websites and retailers will use it to help you find these products, and it can be confusing if you haven’t seen this name before.
LED Strobe Lights
Strobe lights are well-known for producing high-intensity light which you wouldn't expect from their small package. These types of lights can be used for an array of different tasks, from startling criminals to lighting an entire work site, and they are one of the most cost-effective methods to use when you’re approaching something like this.
Strobe lights can be fitted just about anywhere on your vehicle, with grills, dashboards, and windscreens being popular spots for lights like this. The Elemental 6 TIR LED Grille and Surface Mount Light is a great example of a small, affordable, and yet extremely powerful strobe light. While it is far smaller than traditional lighting options, it will be able to produce more light, while also offering features like strobing and pulsing lights.
Hideaway strobe lights offer an affordable option to companies who don’t want to spend too much on their lighting. While they are small and affordable, strobe lights will often produce far more light than examples in their competing categories. Of course, though, as a downside, they will also use more power, and this means that you have to consider the size of your batteries when you’re going through this.
LED Off Road Lights
Working off-road gives construction crews the chance to be more relaxed with their lighting. Without the chance of dazzling drivers with your lights, you can use much brighter options, and this is why you’ll find so many products in this category. You can find off road light bars in a range of different form factors, though full-sized bar lights are one of the most popular, offering huge amounts of light with plenty of vertical and horizontal coverage.
Much like strobe lights, you have a lot of options when it comes to mounting your LED off road lights. Many will be able to sit on your dash, the roof, or in the grill, and some will even be able to be mounted elsewhere on the vehicle. The Lynx L6-8 Linear Interior Light Bars are a great example of this sort of lighting option, offering the opportunity to mount it just about anywhere on your construction vehicles. This light is waterproof and discrete, making it ideal for a range of vehicle types.
LED off road lights are some of the pricier options on the market, though this often reflects the fact that these lights are both large and bright. Often consisting of several arrays of different types of LEDs, these lights are complicated to manufacture, and it makes sense that they cost more than many of their competitors.
Dash Lights are an affordable option for anyone looking to add extra lighting to their vehicle. With mounts for both the dashboard and windscreen, lights like this don’t force you to modify your vehicles to install them, and are incredibly flexible when you take them out onto the road. For example, if you can’t get your vehicle to the site you’re working on, you could simply remove the dash lights from the vehicle and take them to where the work is being done.
The Ranger Split TIR LED Deck Light is a compact set of split LED lights which are designed to sit on your dash. Having them split like this will better mimic the headlights you already have, while also giving you the option to cover two areas with light at the same time. These features can be excellent when you’re working on busy and complicated work sites.
Dash lights come in many shapes and sizes, giving you a wide range of price points to choose from. Buying a more expensive dash light will usually mean that it will use less power, provide more light, or offer a mix of both of these benefits. Dash lights are one of the easiest options on this list to install, and can often be moved from vehicle to vehicle long after you’ve bought them.
LED Light Bars
LED light bars form a broad category in construction lights for trucks. Many of the other types of lights you find will be available in this form, with examples like emergency vehicle lights and LED strobe lights being very common. Being long and short, these types of lights are usually very space-efficient, taking up as little space as possible while providing a powerful light source.
The Tracer 37 TIR Full Size Light Bar is an excellent example of a roof-mounted LED light bar. With LEDs pointing in all directions, a light like this will be able to illuminate a huge space around the vehicle. LED light bars can also be mounted to dashboards, bonnets, and in the grill, giving you a huge range of options and the chance to build your lighting around the vehicles you use.
Roof-mounted LED light bars are one of the most expensive construction vehicle lighting options on the market. This makes sense, though, as these lights are also often the most potent, packing far more LEDs than options from the other categories. This makes them a serious contender when you’re looking for a lighting system which will be able to cover your whole site.
When Do You Need Each Light?
Each of the lights covered above has a very specific purpose on your work site. It’s worth thinking about these before you choose the lights you want, as some will be able to do more for you than others. We’ve broken down the main uses of each of the lights on this list below, giving you the chance to sink your teeth in and get started on this as soon as you can.
Emergency Vehicle Lights
While it’s unlikely that you’ll need your team to attend any emergencies, emergency vehicle lights can still be a very powerful tool for many construction companies. These types of lights are designed to be highly visible, making them unmistakable to those passing by. This makes them ideal for use in situations where you need your team to stand out, like on the side of highways or other busy areas. Of course, it’s always worth making sure it doesn’t look like you’re trying to copy the look of normal emergency services.
Construction Lights for Trucks
General construction lights for trucks will be useful, but it’s always worth doing more research if these are the only options available to you. Websites and retailers which offer this as their only option will usually be offering a wide range of products, but won’t have split them up properly, and this means that you could easily buy the wrong thing if you don’t do the right learning.
Strobe lights are used in a variety of applications in the modern world, from law enforcement to nightclubs. Of course, though, in the context of a construction vehicle, these lights will usually be the best option when you need to light a large area without having to take up a lot of space for your lights. Strobing can be useful in a small number of applications, but most teams will probably stick to the solid light settings which come with products like this.
LED Off Road Lights
LED off road lights are typically designed to be used on vehicles which are going to be spending a lot of time driving on rough terrain without the benefit of street lighting. They are often much brighter than the sorts of lights which come pre-installed on cars, and would be very dangerous to use on busy roads. If your team is working on private property or in an area with very little lighting or people, these sorts of lights will provide you with a huge amount of visibility, even when you’re trying to build at night. It may be illegal to use lights like this if you’re too close to a road.
As mentioned above, dash lights can be found in many forms, but all of them will be able to be mounted on your dash. These lights won’t be as powerful as LED off road lights or LED light bars, but they will also be a lot smaller and offer some degree of portability. This makes dash lights perfect as construction lights on your trucks, or as the main lights on projects which are very small. Dash lights are inexpensive, and many companies will choose to fit them to all of their construction vehicles.
LED Light Bars
LED light bars are one of the more powerful options on this list, and this is largely thanks to their size and make powerful firefighter lights. These types of lights can be mounted on your roof, bonnet, or in the grill of your vehicle, and often have the power to bathe the area around the truck in light. These can make an excellent primary light on even relatively large projects, but you will have to be creative with the positioning of your vehicles to make sure that you’re using the lights effectively. When used with dash lights or visor lights, LED light bars and mini light bars will give you practically unlimited lighting freedom.
Choosing Your Construction Vehicle Lighting
Choosing the right lighting option for your construction vehicle can be a challenge. Most people don’t really have any idea where they need to start with something like this, and this makes it tricky to make the right decisions as you’re going through it. You can find some of the considerations you’re going to have to make below. It’s crucial that you think about each of these areas on their own before putting them together to find an option which covers all of the bases. Of course, though, it can also help to get some help from people who know more than you.
What Do You Need?
It might sound obvious, but a lot of people don’t stop to consider their requirements before they buy something like this. You need to think about your team, the areas they work in, and the laws in your local area to make sure that you get lights which will be effective on your work sites. Unfortunately, everyone will have different requirements for tools like this, and this will mean that you need to assess it for yourself. You can find some examples of the important areas to think about below.
- Worksites: The locations you work on will differ on each project, though construction companies often develop specialisations. For example, if you find yourselves doing a lot of urban construction, it would make more sense to look for smaller LED dash lights, rather than bars which will illuminate half a city block.
- The Team: Alongside your workplaces, your team is also likely to be quite varied, with professionals from a range of different backgrounds. Experts like electricians need a lot of light to be able to do their jobs effectively, and you will need to factor things like this in when you’re buying your lights. If you have anyone on your team who will need a lot of light, options like LED light bars and strobe lights can be a good idea, as they tend to be extremely bright.
- The Law: With your team and the workplace in mind, it will finally be time to think about the law. Lighting rules can be very strict in modern cities, with many places putting heavy restrictions on the types of lighting which people can use. For example, if you’re working in an urban area, the rules will usually prevent you from being able to use lights which will make it hard for people to sleep at home.
Of course, there are likely to be other requirements you business has for their lighting, and these will be partly covered below. There will almost certainly be areas you have to think of for yourself, though, and it can be extremely helpful to do some research as you go through this process.
What Is Your Budget?
Alongside thinking about your requirements, you also need to think about the budget your business has for tools like this. Construction vehicle lighting comes in at many price points, and the type of lights you get will drastically change the price you have to pay. LED strobe lights are a cost-effective way to fill a work site with light, while LED bar lights will cost a lot more to provide similar levels of lighting. Of course, you can always buy one type of light and upgrade or add to your system down the line.
There are a lot of different ways to increase your budget for something like this. Many companies won’t like the idea of getting into debt, and this means that loans and finance options will probably be off the cards. Instead, you will need to find other ways to make up the gaps in your budget. Using a lease agreement to get your lights could work, though this will be hard to find with products like this. Instead, if you simply can’t afford the lights you need, exploring the second hand market could be a good choice, as products tend to be much cheaper in categories like this.
Do Your Vehicles Have Space?
While many of the vehicle lights we’ve covered are designed to be low-profile and easy to hide within your vehicle, it’s crucial that you consider space as you go through this. This can be more complicated than you expect, and there are a few different areas to consider as you go through it.
- Make and Model: By looking up the make and model of your vehicles, you will often be able to figure out how much space you have for lighting. This isn’t something which will be explicitly advertised, though you will be able to use the service manuals you can find to figure out how much space is found on each part of the vehicle.
- Current Equipment: The current equipment you use will also need to be considered as you go through this. It will be much harder to use grill-mounted lights if you have a winch attached to each of your vehicles, and this is just a single example of the sorts of tools which are usually found on vehicles like this.
- Battery Power: The battery inside your vehicle will be used to power your lights when your on site. This makes it crucial that you have a beefy battery under the hood to make sure that you can keep your lights powered for long sessions of work. Of course, though, you can always add new batteries to your system, and it could be worth doing a test to make sure that you have enough power to last a whole day or night at work.
Installing Construction Vehicle Lighting
Once you have your hands on the right construction vehicle lighting, the last job on your list will be to install it before you can get started. This process shouldn’t be too hard for most people, especially if you’re already used to complex construction jobs.
LED strobe lights, dash lights, and roof mounted lights can often be the easiest to install, as they won’t require any prior modification to your vehicles. Other lights will force you to run cables throughout your vehicle, and this can be tricky if you don’t already have an understanding of how electronics work on your machines. This is another area which can be helped with the vehicle’s service manual, as this document will cover the wiring inside them.
Most regular mechanics will be able to help you with this process, installing your lighting and making sure that the system works properly. This can be a good route to go down if you don’t feel confident with electricity, and will give many busy business owners the chance to simply forget about this complicated job.
Understanding Road Lighting Law
As the last area to consider when it comes to your construction vehicle lighting, the law is a serious issue for many construction teams, and it’s crucial that you have thought about this before you buy your lights. There are a number of categories which have to be covered, and each of them will bring with it different rules. These can sometimes contradict one another, and this means that you will have to be creative with the solutions you choose to make sure that you’re not doing anything wrong.
- The Worksite: There are countless laws which dictate how employers have to look after their teams. Many of these laws are designed to keep people safe, and good visibility is a very important element of this. For example, if your team is having to work at night, you will have to make sure that their site is illuminated to a particular standard. This will differ from place to place, but you should also be able to assess the safety of each site by yourself.
- The Local Area: Alongside the worksite, you also need to think about the local area when you’re working with lighting like this. Companies have to work extremely hard to limit the impact that they have on the people around them, and this is particularly important to construction teams, as it’s likely that you’re making quite a bit of noise. You need to make sure that your lighting isn’t going to keep anyone up at night or disturb businesses like cinemas. This is a surprisingly important set of rules, and fines are often given out to businesses which are anti-social.
- Other Laws: Alongside the laws which cover your worksites and the local area, there are plenty of other rules businesses like yours will have to follow when they are doing work like this. This will differ from place to place, but getting legal advice isn’t too difficult, and it will be worth going through this to make sure that you’re not breaking the rules with your construction vehicle lighting.
The law will always be a fundamental part of a decision making process like this. It’s easy to get stressed when you don’t understand the law surrounding your business, but you can always get professional support, and this can make the process much easier. There are plenty of legal agencies out there which will be able to help you to follow rules like this, but you will need to look for their help yourself, as they won’t come to you.
Lighting has come a long way in recent years, and many construction companies rely heavily on these tools to be able to do their jobs effectively. Of course, though, buying a product like this isn’t as simple as choosing one from the shelf; you have to consider a range of different factors, while also doing plenty of research.
We’ve done a lot of this research for you, but it makes sense to follow this up with some of your own. Our friendly team is always happy to help with issues like this, and you can get in contact using the convenient forms on our website. Having worked with construction vehicle lighting for so long, we have all of the skills and knowledge required to make this job into a breeze, and can make the process much faster.