There are a number of different needs that first responders and emergency personnel may have when it comes to their response vehicles, and off-road features are a common example here. Any emergency vehicle that travels in off-road settings regularly will need to be properly outfitted, and the correct emergency lighting equipment should not be overlooked in this process.
At LED Equipped, we’re happy to offer a huge range of emergency LED lights, from light bars to beacon lights, visor lights and more – including many robust options for vehicles that spend some or most of their time in off-road settings. Here are some top areas to be looking at as you choose the ideal lights for any off-road emergency vehicle, from why LED lights are your best choice today to some of your top light setup options, some tips on mounting, and more.
Firstly, before we dig into some specific tips on LEDs for off-road settings, it’s important to understand why LEDs are such an ideal choice in emergency vehicle lighting. In comparison with traditional halogen or incandescent lights, LED lights offer a few major advantages:
- Increased Visibility & Brightness: LED lights emit a brighter light than the older technologies, making them highly visible even during daylight hours.
- Longer Lifespan: LEDs last much longer than incandescent or halogen bulbs, meaning less time spent replacing and more time responding to emergency calls.
- Low Maintenance: LED lights require very little in terms of maintenance, and are typically rated for up to 50,000 hours – or even more!
- Environmentally Friendly: Another major benefit is that LED lights are much more energy-efficient than other technologies, meaning less draw on the battery and fewer emissions.
Problems With Halogens, HIDs and Other Options
Furthermore, it’s important to understand why halogen, HID (high-intensity discharge) and other lighting options aren’t ideal for off-road emergency vehicles. These older technologies have a few key drawbacks:
- Poor Visibility & Lower Brightness: All of these lighting options offer a significantly lower level of brightness and visibility than LEDs.
- Shorter Lifespan: Halogen, HID and other lighting technologies require more frequent replacing than LED lights.
- Higher Maintenance & Cost: In order to maintain the same level of brightness and visibility over time with these older solutions, regular maintenance is required – as well as higher costs associated with replacement bulbs.
- Poor Performance in Off-Road Environments: Finally, these lighting technologies don’t perform as well in off-road settings, making them a poor choice for any emergency vehicle that faces such conditions regularly.
Light Type Options for Off-Road Emergency Vehicles
There are numerous quality emergency LED light formats that can be effective for off-road settings. Here are some of the basic examples to consider:
- LED light bars: One of the largest categories of emergency LED lights, these offer tremendous versatility and are ideal for a variety of off-road settings. They range in size from options as small as 30 inches up to those 70 inches and longer, plus they’re available in numerous beam patterns and wattages.
- Hideaway strobes: A great option when there’s limited space, hideaway strobes can be mounted almost anywhere – including the grille, bumper or headlight assembly of most emergency response vehicles. These offer intense brightness and superior visibility in all driving conditions.
- LED visor lights: Perfect for mounting on the inside of windshields or visors, these are a great choice when additional light is needed without compromising visibility. They provide powerful lighting and offer superior performance in off-road conditions.
- Spotlights and floodlights: For those situations where long-distance visibility is needed, spotlights and floodlights are both excellent options. Spotlights offer a tight, more focused beam of light while floodlights provide a broad spread of illumination – both ideal for off-road conditions.
- Grille or surface-mounted lights: In other cases, grille or surface-mounted lights are ideal. They provide intense brightness and superior visibility for first responders navigating difficult terrain in off-road settings.
Tips for Off-Road LED Lights
When mounting any type of emergency LED lighting for off-road vehicles, there are a few considerations to bear in mind:
- Size and configuration of the vehicle: The size and configuration of the response vehicle are important because they will dictate where lights can be mounted, as well as the type and number of lights that can be used. For instance, if the vehicle has a more open design, light bars may be ideal.
- Environment and terrain: It’s also important to consider the environment and terrain that the vehicle will be travelling in. This will help inform which type of lights are most suited for the situation, as well as how they should be configured and where they should be mounted.
- Battery and power needs: Be sure to factor in the vehicle’s power needs and source of energy when choosing any emergency LED lighting products. This will ensure that the lights can be powered sufficiently, without overloading the battery or other power sources.
- Length of driving sessions: Finally, consider the length of driving sessions that will be undertaken in off-road settings. If long drives are planned, it’s important to choose lights with a longer lifespan and lower maintenance requirements.
Mounting Tips and Considerations
Another major consideration for any emergency LED lights for off-road vehicles is mounting. Firstly, let’s lay out some of the common mounting formats available for emergency vehicle lights today:
- Tab mounting: Using tabs already present on vehicle cargo bays, roof racks or other areas, this is a common mounting option for light bars and other products.
- Surface mounting: This format utilizes a bolt-and-lock fastener, which is a great option for permanent mounting.
- Flush mounting: Many vehicles have cutouts or recessed areas that can be used for mounting LED lights. This creates a more seamless appearance, without compromising visibility or functionality.
- Clamp mounting: As the name suggests, this involves using clamps to attach the lights to any secure surface. This is a simple and fast way of mounting emergency LED lighting products on vehicles.
- Magnetic and other temporary mounting: In other cases, magnetic or other temporary mounting formats may be used. This is ideal when the lights need to be moved often, or when they’ll only be employed in certain situations.
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when it comes to mounting:
- Use quality mounts and hardware: Make sure that any mounting equipment used is of the highest caliber. This will ensure that the lights remain secure, regardless of terrain or driving conditions.
- Choose appropriate locations: When possible, pick locations with plenty of airflow and space around the light. This can help to avoid overheating and ensure proper cooling for any LED lights used in off-road vehicles.
- Consider visibility: It’s also important to be aware of how visible the lights will be once they’re mounted. Some locations may require special covers or additional lighting – such as lights on the rear of a vehicle – to ensure the lights are always seen in off-road environments.
Wiring is Also Vital
Particularly in an off-road setting where you can expect some significant jostling and jarring, it’s important to pay close attention to any wiring that’s used in conjunction with LED emergency lights.
Any wires should be secured properly and fastened securely so that they don’t become damaged or disconnected during use. Furthermore, consider the type of conduit being used for each wire – this will help protect against moisture damage and make sure all connections remain strong and secure.
Finally, the power supply should be installed in a way that makes it easily accessible – this will ensure that any repairs or adjustments can be handled quickly and without disruption to the emergency response vehicle’s operations.
With these tips in mind, choosing emergency LED lights for off-road vehicles doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By paying close attention to the needs of the vehicle, environment and terrain being navigated, you can choose emergency lighting that will provide reliable illumination in any off-road setting.
At LED Equipped, we have the experience and expertise to help you find the right emergency LED lighting system for your off-road vehicles. Our team can provide guidance on selecting the best lights for any situation, as well as providing installation and wiring services that will ensure each light performs optimally in any environment or terrain. Contact us today to learn more or get started with your vehicle setup!