While these aren’t usually the primary factors that determine use of emergency LED lights by first responders, seasonal changes may have some level of impact on this area. What should those who utilize these lights be thinking about with regard to use and placement of lights during the summer parts of the year that we’re in right now?
At LED Equipped, we’re happy to offer a wide range of emergency LED light bars, beacon lights, dash lights and numerous other options for any need you or your organization may have. We assist with everything from product selection to ideal placement and use tips, including those that surround seasonal variations. Here are some of the elements to consider that differentiate summer from other seasons (both in challenging and simplifying ways), plus what to be thinking about when it comes to how these elements relate to your use and placement of LEDs on your vehicle.
Less Glare From Moisture
In most places, summer tends to be much drier than other times of the year. This means there will be less snow, ice and other forms of moisture that often cause reflection or glare from LED lights. When used in the summer, emergency LED lights will be more visible and won’t have to compete with external forces that can compromise visibility.
For some first responders, this may mean that you can use less powerful and/or a smaller number of LED lights than in other seasonal variations. You might also be able to place them in different locations, as you won’t have to worry about snow or ice buildup reducing their effectiveness.
Of course, many setups won’t be heavily impacted by this seasonal change. For some, though, it can be a great time to evaluate your setups and make sure you are using the most efficient and effective options.
Heat and LED Components
While modern LED products are meant to withstand a fair degree of heat, it is still something to pay attention to. The summer months can be extremely hot in many areas and this can cause LED components to expand or contract. This may also cause the lights to become less efficient over time, so you’ll want to be sure that any LEDs used are capable of withstanding these seasonal changes in temperature.
Just in case, this is a time of year where it pays to keep spare parts and components on hand. You’ll want to be prepared in the event that something does go wrong, so make sure you are stocked up with safety measures like extra bulbs, housings and more.
Sun Glare and Later Sunsets
One alternative glare-related consideration during summer months is the sun itself. In many areas, the sun will be setting closer to 9pm or later, meaning your lights may be competing with it in terms of visibility.
This means you should pay extra attention to glare control methods. Be sure to evaluate the angles and locations of each LED light fixture on your vehicle so that they aren’t aimed in a way that would cause additional glare or reduce visibility. Especially if you regularly patrol or respond to emergencies during these kinds of hours, you will want to be sure that your LEDs are as effective as possible.
That being said, this might also be an opportunity to utilize some of the other features of emergency LED lights. Many models come with selectable flash patterns, brightness levels and other options that can help you adjust for summertime conditions and make sure your lights remain visible when needed most.
Greater Pedestrian Quantity
Another major consideration for those who use emergency LED lights during the summer months is that this is a time of year when there tend to be more pedestrians out on the roads. This applies both due to the warmer weather and also because school may not be in session, meaning more children and teenagers are likely to be outdoors in some areas.
This means it’s especially important to make sure your lights are visible and positioned in a way that will help alert pedestrians. This isn’t just limited to the placement and brightness of the LED lights either – you may also want to think about including additional audio or visual warnings on your vehicle such as sirens and flashing LED arrows.
Furthermore, you might consider additional methods such as pedestrian-specific LED lights. These are small but powerful devices that can be mounted on the body of your vehicle or placed in other areas and used to alert nearby pedestrians when you are approaching or passing by.
Greater Risk of Certain Forms of First Response
During summer months, there tend to be more emergency situations related to natural disasters. Some examples:
- Fires: Naturally, the summer months are a time of year when many areas experience higher levels of fires due to hotter temperatures and drier conditions. This means that you may be responding to more fire-related emergencies with your LED lights, so you’ll want to make sure they are located in such a way that they will provide maximum visibility even during larger fires. Be sure to also evaluate the levels of heat and smoke that your LED lights may be exposed to during these types of incidents.
- Flooding: Similarly, the summer months can bring a higher risk of flooding in certain areas. Be sure to take into account the possibility of extreme weather when evaluating your emergency LED lights. If you are going to be responding to an area with a high risk of flooding, make sure you understand the durability of your LEDs and if there is any additional precautions you need to take.
- Lightning storms: In certain areas, the summer months can also bring increased risk of lightning storms. Make sure you understand the limitations of your LEDs when it comes to these types of severe weather conditions and take any necessary steps to protect them in the event of a lightning strike.
By taking into account all of these seasonal considerations, those who use emergency LED lights can ensure their lights are as effective as possible, no matter what summer brings. Taking the time to evaluate your situation and ensure all necessary precautions are taken can help keep first responders safe and increase their effectiveness in any emergency situation.
Differing Driver Habits
Furthermore, the way drivers behave on the roads changes during the summer months. With more people out taking vacations, distracted driving may be a higher risk than usual. And with more children on the roads due to school not being in session, emergency LED lights may need to be adjusted accordingly to take into account these additional risks.
Simply put, some people think there’s less “risk” when driving during the summer due to no ice or snow issues – and this may cause them to let their guard down. Adjusting your emergency LED lights accordingly to ensure maximum visibility can help mitigate this risk and keep everyone safe on the roads.
You Don’t Have to Make Changes
As we noted above, there’s no rule saying you have to make changes to your LEDs due to the season – but it is something that you should take into consideration. Safety should always remain a top priority, and understanding how seasonal changes can affect the use of emergency LED lights is an important part of making sure everyone stays safe no matter what time of year it is.
By staying informed and adjusting your emergency LED lights as necessary, you can be sure that they are up to the task of keeping first responders safe in any situation.
And at LED Equipped, we are here to help. We have a wide selection of LED lights for emergency and warning applications, so you can be sure you have the best equipment no matter what the season brings. Contact us today – and stay safe this summer!