There are many different vehicle types that may utilize emergency lights for varying needs, and trucks are a key example here in several different settings. From police vehicles to other needs like tow trucks, snow plows and many more, there are several ways trucks are often used and may require emergency lights – and installation of such lights may differ in a few simple ways from other vehicle types.
At LED Equipped, we’re happy to offer a wide selection of the very best emergency LED light bars and many other options, which are ideal not only for traditional vehicles but also trucks, ambulances and many others. What are some simple tips we regularly offer to anyone installing LED lights or related products on their truck? Here are several, including some that differ from traditional vehicles and others that will be relatively similar.
Choosing the Ideal Lights
Before we even get into the installation process, it’s important to choose the ideal lights for whatever need you may have. We offer several different types of LED light bars and others that are specialized for multiple unique needs – from police cars to tow trucks or snow plows and beyond.
As you’re considering your light needs, a few specific areas to be thinking about:
- Laws and regulations: Naturally, laws and regulations will vary depending on the specific need for your lights, including local laws that may differ from those in other areas.
- Vehicle size: The bigger the vehicle, the larger the light bar you’ll likely want – a simple tip to keep in mind when choosing.
- Durability: It’s important to note that truck emergency lights are often more exposed to the elements than those in traditional vehicles, so durability is essential.
- Brightness: You’ll also want to make sure you find the right combination of brightness and visibility that fits your needs, while not being too overwhelming for drivers around you in dark or dimly lit areas.
You should also be ensuring that the lights you choose are in compliance with any department or entity you work for.
Ensure You Have the Right Tools
Tools are essential for the installation process, and you don’t want to be caught without the right ones when beginning your project. Some of the most important tools you may need for emergency light installation include:
- Wrenches: A wrench may serve a number of different purposes, from connecting cables to mounting certain components.
- Screwdrivers: Of course, both Phillips and standard screwdrivers will be essential for nearly any installation process.
- Wire cutters: If you need to shorten or otherwise adjust wires during installation, having the right wire cutter will always come in handy here.
- Drill and drill bits: From drilling holes for mounting to making other adjustments, a drill and drill bits may be necessary.
- Crimping tool: This is particularly true if you’re working with exposed wires or terminals. This tool is designed to help create a secure and solid connection.
- Other tools: You may also need other items for the job, such as sandpaper or insulation tape – just make sure you have them before beginning.
Choosing Mounting Location
For certain types of emergency lights, such as strobe lights, you may want to mount them to the center of your vehicle’s roof for maximum visibility. However, if you’re looking for a more permanent solution – such as an LED light bar – you’ll likely want to find a mounting location that is out of the way yet still easily accessible.
For example, some trucks have grille guards that are perfect for mounting a light bar to. This helps you ensure maximum visibility while also keeping the lights out of the way and protected as much as possible. In other cases, you might find the best mounting location on the back of your truck, either in the center or to one side.
An important consideration here will be visibility of your lights for other drivers. If you’re mounting your lights in a position that is not as visible to others, or if you want to be extra safe, it’s important to also consider additional lighting solutions – such as a strobe light on the roof of your vehicle.
Now, in many cases mounting location won’t really be an optional thing. Certain light types, such as dash lights for instance, can only be mounted in certain areas of the vehicle, so make sure you have a good understanding of what type you’re working with and where it needs to be mounted.
Consider Other Similar Vehicles
When it comes to mounting location and related themes like precise light choice and patterns, one of the best things you can do is observe other vehicles that are similar to yours. Depending on your type of truck and application, there will likely be others doing the same or a similar job. In many cases, this will be an active requirement – most police departments, for instance, require that all their vehicles use the same emergency lighting setup, so you’ll want to be careful and make sure you’re in compliance with any standards or regulations.
Keep Voltage Closely in Mind
As you get to the actual installation of your lights, it’s important to be aware of the voltage needs for them. It’s a good idea to use a power converter if you’re plugging your lights into from an outlet in your truck – this will help you match up the proper voltage requirements. There are four common voltage types typically found in emergency lights:
- 120v: This is generally used in larger light bars, and you’ll need to use a power converter.
- 277v wire: This is usually found in smaller light bars and is often a good option for trucks.
- Common wire: This is typically a 3-wire setup and can be found in most vehicles, including trucks.
- Ground wire: This is an important safety measure and should always be used.
Finally, when you install your lights, make sure to use waterproof connectors and protect any exposed wiring with electrical tape – this will help protect your wires from shorting out due to weather conditions or any accidental contact.
Be Careful Around Electrical Connections
As you’re doing any electrical wiring, it’s important to be aware of the potential dangers. Make sure you don’t touch any exposed wires or other parts and that you always wear the necessary protective equipment – gloves, appropriate eyewear, etc.
It’s also a good idea to test your lights before completely mounting them. This will help ensure everything is working properly and will save you time, energy and potential danger if there is an issue with a connection or something else.
If there’s any part of the electrical part of this installation that you’re not comfortable with, you should not attempt to proceed further. Electricity can be dangerous and it’s important to get the help of a professional if you need it.
Down related lines, it’s unrealistic for every first responder out there to also be an expert in installing emergency lights – and that’s okay. One of the most important things to remember is to ask questions if you’re not sure how to proceed or what type of light is best for your specific application.
The good news here is that there are plenty of resources available to help you out. Local emergency lighting installers, vehicle retrofitters or even just automotive shops can all provide valuable advice and information – so don’t be afraid to ask them for help.
By following all of these steps, you’ll have everything you need to get the right emergency lighting setup installed in your truck. Whether it’s a police vehicle or tow truck, making sure that your lights are properly mounted and wired will help ensure that you are safe and compliant with local standards. People’s lives may depend on it – so be sure to take the necessary steps to get your emergency lights installed properly.
For more here, or to learn about any of our emergency LED light products or services, speak to our team at LED Equipped today.