LED emergency lights are not the only option for your vehicle, but they are your best bet for increased visibility and improved safety out on the road.
Volunteer firefighters, law enforcement officers and EMTs frequently equip their personal vehicles with LED lighting. Security companies, towing services and roadside maintenance crews also opt for LEDs. Utility service technicians and construction workers drive vehicles outfitted with LED emergency lights, too, and they are a top choice for off-roaders.
Why the popularity? What makes LED lighting superior to the other options out on the market? For an explanation – along with expert advice on choosing emergency lights for your vehicle – take a look at the following guide.
How LED Lights Compare to Halogens and HIDs
Emergency lights for vehicles generally feature either halogen, HID or LED bulbs. Check out their differences below, and you’ll understand why most people decide on LED lights.
Halogens, the oldest type of bulb, work much like the incandescent lighting you’ve used in household lamps. An electrical charge heats up the metal filament inside the bulb, and the resulting chemical reaction creates illumination.
Though halogens are typically the least expensive option for emergency vehicle lights, they are inefficient, less durable and relatively dim in comparison to HIDs and LEDs. Plus, they have the shortest lifespan of the three bulb types. Halogens can last anywhere from 450 to 1000 hours, but on average, most burn out at around 800 hours.
High intensity discharge (HID) lights, which are also called xenon lights, function in a similar way to neon lighting. A high voltage pulse ionizes the xenon gas contained in the bulb, creating an arc of electricity between two tungsten electrodes. This vaporizes the metallic salts inside, releasing energy in the form of light.
Compared to halogens, HIDs are a definite upgrade. They generate light that’s about twice as bright, and function for at least 2,000 hours. But, they don’t work well in all weather conditions, and HIDs grow less efficient as time goes on. Furthermore, this type of lighting can inflict an intense amount of glare toward other motorists.
Light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs generate illumination through a unique process known as electroluminescence. An electrical charge activates the flow of electrons around the semiconductor within the bulb, and as the electrons move, they emit bright light.
LED lights are highly energy efficient, incredibly durable and much brighter than halogens. Also, LEDs don’t produce any glare, like HIDs. Best of all, LED lighting can function for up to 50,000 hours – which means they can last for more than 10 years, even if used every day for 12 hours.
Advantages of LED Emergency Lights for Vehicles
We’ve touched on the reasons to choose LED lights over halogens or HIDs, but let’s take a closer look at the many benefits of equipping your vehicle with LED emergency lights.
LED lights require very little energy to function, yet they provide instant illumination, with no flickering or warm-up time. As soon as you turn them on, LEDs operate at full brightness – even in bitter cold temperatures.
Unlike halogens and HIDs, LED emergency lights conserve energy and, therefore, help your vehicle run more efficiently. In fact, because LEDs don’t drain the power resources, they are increasingly used as original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts for vehicles.
LED emergency lights offer ultra-bright illumination and clear visibility. The lighting covers a broad stretch of the road ahead, and the widespread, far-reaching, intense white light they provide helps ensure your safety while driving.
The longevity of LED lights is due in large part to their construction. They have few internal parts and an extremely rugged housing, so LEDs hardly ever break down or suffer damage. And since they create illumination without heat, they don’t burn out.
LED emergency vehicle lights are completely recyclable, as they contain no hazardous substances. As such, LEDs are a greener lighting option, one that is less environmentally harmful than halogens and HIDs.
Types of LED Emergency Lights for Vehicles
You can choose from a wide range of emergency vehicle lights. The many options include:
- Dash Lights, which mount on your dashboard or windshield with super-strong suction cups
- Beacon Lights, which have heavy-duty magnets to hold them in place on your vehicle’s roof
- Grill Lights, which feature a slim, profile construction for mounting on your grill, bumper or dashboard
- Running Board Lights, which tuck away into the recessed grooves of your vehicle’s steps or running boards
- Light Bars, which attach with brackets to your vehicle’s roof or bumper and are available in lengths ranging from 4 to 60 inches
- Mini Light Bars, which are a compact, low-profile alternative to full-size light bars suited for mounting on the roof, bumper, grill or side of your vehicle
- Spotlights, which offer a concentrated stream of light ahead when installed on your vehicle’s roof
- Floodlights, which allow for clear visibility in inclement weather when placed on the front bumper of your vehicle
To best meet your needs, you may want to opt for a multi-light setup. Installing a combination of LED emergency lights can ensure you have ample brightness and illumination, regardless of the weather and road conditions.
How to Choose LED Emergency Lights for Your Vehicle
Are you ready to shop for LED emergency lights? Finding your ideal vehicle lighting solution requires careful thought. Before you make any decisions, take these steps:
Check the Local Laws
Different parts of the country have different regulations regarding the use of emergency vehicle lights. Contact your local law enforcement agency to learn the rules for your area, as you don’t want to install lighting that isn’t legally allowed.
Measure Your Vehicle
The LED lights you choose need to be an appropriate size for your vehicle, so take the time to carefully measure the spots where you plan to mount them. Guessing isn’t a good idea – if you’re off by just a fraction of an inch, the lighting might not fit.
Think About Installation
Are you planning on handling the installation yourself? Many LED lights – including those at LED Equipped – come with detailed, step-by-step manuals. So, lighting installation is quite doable, but you can also leave the task to a professional electrician.
Consider Your Budget
LED emergency lights last for a very long time, but for optimal longevity and durability, you’ll want to purchase high-quality products from well-respected manufacturers. The prices may not be the lowest, but the lighting does make for a smarter investment.
Find a Reputable Supplier
Though LED lights rarely fail or develop problems, yours could be an exception to the rule. And in that case, having warranty protection would be to your advantage. For that, you’ll need to shop with a reputable vehicle lighting supplier – like LED Equipped.
At LED Equipped, we offer a vast selection of high-quality LED emergency lights for vehicles, all of which come with a 3-year warranty. The products we sell feature state-of-the-art technology, superior construction and top-notch performance. We’re proud of our Shopper Approved status – with nearly 800 reviews and 4.6 out of 5 stars – and we work hard to maintain our A+ rating and accreditation with the Better Business Bureau.
First responders, volunteer firefighters, law enforcement officers, construction companies, towing services and many other workers across the country have come to rely on LED Equipped to meet their vehicle lighting needs. You can, too – and we’re happy to answer questions, offer expert advice and help you find the perfect LED lighting solution.
For more information on the LED lights we sell, or for personalized guidance in selecting LED emergency lights for your vehicle, reach out to the friendly team at LED Equipped today.