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Lightbar for patrol vehicle

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by fuzzyduck, Dec 8, 2011.

  1. fuzzyduck

    fuzzyduck

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    Jan 10, 2007
    Montana
    I am looking into different options for a lightbar for a patrol vehicle. I know that we are looking for something in the size of 45 inches, LED, low profile. That is about it.

    Presently we use the Federal Signal LEGEND.

    What have you seen that you like. Price IS a consideration, but if there is a reason for using something more expensive, I would need justification.
     
  2. Bullman

    Bullman Deranged Deputy

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    Oct 11, 2003
    SW Virginia
    I was using a Whelan LED bar that had a clear cover, it was pretty bright, but alas, it didn't make it over to my new car, I got an older LED bar that wasn't quite as trick. The town has a Tomar LED bar that is crazy bright. Guess I should surf for pics of these.
     

  3. blueiron

    blueiron

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    Aug 10, 2004
    Do you need lots of intersection clearing ability or can you get by with more of a forward and rearward signal? Do you need opticoms, powerful takedowns, high output power or? What's the budget per bar?

    Lots of stuff is available.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  4. rookie1

    rookie1

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    Mar 3, 2009
    Iowa
    We have the Liberty Raydian S2, I like them but the University in my city has a different bar and it is significantly brighter. I don't know if I really would want something extremely bright because people coming from behind cant see me if I'm walking back to my door. Not sure how much they are but they are much better than the rotator lights we used to have.

    http://www.fedsig.com/products/269/raydian_s2
     
  5. Bullman

    Bullman Deranged Deputy

    13,108
    184
    Oct 11, 2003
    SW Virginia
  6. ryanm

    ryanm

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    Central Arkansas
    The LEGEND is hard to beat on price. Federal sells a package with a Legend, a smart siren, and a speaker pretty reasonably. And it's freakishly bright.

    I am a fan of the Tomar Scorpion... those can be had at similar price points. (you can mix and match the 3-LED and 6-LED pods to get the price about wherever you need it). My agency is running a Tomar Blade (love it, but expensive... got it on clearance) and a Tomar 930L.

    The SoundOff Signal Pinnacle bar also has great reviews from installers I trust... I've just never installed them.
     
  7. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    8,798
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    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    I think the Whelen Liberty is becoming something of a "standard." There are an assortment of configurations available, with prices for standard size bars often in the $1,500 to $2,000 range. Not sure about 45", though, since I think that's a size up.
     
  8. ryanm

    ryanm

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    Aug 1, 2003
    Central Arkansas
    Does your state have any contract bid pricing on lightbars/warning equipment?

    FedSig also has the new Legend LPX bar out to compete with the economy Liberty. It has fewer LEDs in the inboard modules. Should save a couple hundred dollars.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
  9. OXCOPS

    OXCOPS

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    Dec 31, 2000
    AZ
    I always wanted a light bar with a mini gun.
     
  10. Whatever lightbar we use, I can't look at it too long for getting dizzy and nauseous. Slim profile, all LED, clear covers . . . bright enough that the ISS can see us running code.
     
  11. fuzzyduck

    fuzzyduck

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    Jan 10, 2007
    Montana
    Perfect answers. I know that we presently use Legends on our new outfits. We used to canabalize our old rigs but the equip is getting to 12+ years old so we are looking at new options. The contract for outfitting is up and we are looking at just making sure we are getting a good deal. While it is a bit expensive to start, in the long run it will save a LOT of $.

    I am also looking at strobes vs LED corner lights, wig wag options, lower level lighting (We drive all SUV or Trucks) for lower profile vehicles, siren options, blackout/cut out switches, and we are revisiting A Post spotlights (we went back to electric motorized roof mount). The issue that we are having is that with the A Post lights, we allegedly void or diminish the manufacturers roll over safety. I need to verify this or disprove it. I personally want an A Post light, but at a minimum, at least a manual light and not the GoLight. Any thoughts?
     
  12. blueiron

    blueiron

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    Aug 10, 2004

    I always get a kick out of fanciful disinformation promoted by an administrator or a non-sworn purchasing agent to justify why they don't want to buy something.

    If rollover standards are compromised by an A-post Unity spotlight, the SAE [Society of Automotive Engineers] would specifically warn against them and Ford and Chrysler [I am not up on the current Chevy specs] would not put them in new vehicles or allow them to be placed into their vehicles. Another thing to consider is that while UNity spotlights are offered as an option by the three US manufacturers on most police spec. vehicles; not one lightbar is.

    Why is there no "liability" problem with taking an aftermarket accessory [made out of metals] weighing up to, and in some cases, over fifty pounds and strapping it to a thin sheet metal roof? Most lightbars are supported only on the outermost ends and either side has a small foot print on the roof and in a rollover, the small contact area is likely to protrude through the sheet metal and into the cab as the weight bears down onto the bar and the roof. The same applies to drilling holes in a roof to mount a motorized spotlight on the roof.

    Fuzzyduck, someone is trying to pretend they are an attorney and an automotive structures engineer all in one. Not having a high power spotlight is definitely a safety hazard for the street cop. Make them prove that it is a demonstrable liability according to well accepted professional engineering standards, not just on some fool's day dream.
     
  13. actionshooter10

    actionshooter10 CLM

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    Dec 29, 2006
    Texas
    I'm not sure if Texas DPS uses the Whelen Freedom or Liberty but looking at the takedowns are like looking into the sun at night. The red and blues are also extremely bright.

    My pick out of what I've seen so far.
     
  14. I'm not an LEO, but I like blinkies (and no I'm not a whacker lol). My recommendation to you is to spend less on the lightbar to leave space in the budget to build a more well rounded warning package. I personally would stick with the Legend bar, as it is reasonably priced, and very bright.

    The package ryanm mentioned runs a hair under $1600. That is going to be the best bang for your buck.

    What I notice with agencies local to me is that their patrol cars lack intersection warning. If you run push bumpers on your rides, a Whelen M4 is a great light to put on the side to add a bright light in a critical area.

    http://www.whelen.com/_AUTOMOTIVE/details_prod.php?head_id=12&cat_id=74&prod_id=426#

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sU7a1qD2M1k

    If you don't run push bumpers, another fantastic option is the SoundOff Signal Intersector. It mounts onto the underside of the side mirrors and offers 180 degrees of light output.

    http://www.soundoffsignal.com/warnamber/surfacemnt/sm_Intersector.html

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CF8Wo_U-3-s
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1clZ7QSsAY

    Also, because of the nature of SUVs, if they are parked on an angle, the roof will block the lightbar, therefore it is a good idea to add a light stick to the rear window like the SoundOff Ultralight 12.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p09zOKpWSIM&feature=related

    Some other tips.

    Amber warning lights to the rear are extremely effective because they are highly visible compared to red and blue at long range, even in direct sunlight. My local Sheriff's office runs fully loaded Whelen Freedom bars, which is probably the brightest bar on the market, in all blue, except for one amber head to the rear and from a distance, the amber is much more visible from far away. What I would choose if I were outfitting an LEO ride is a SoundOff Ultralight 12 setup R/R/A/A/A/A/A/A/A/A/B/B

    Stay far away from split color and split head flash patterns. They cut the output of the light head in half, and look like a steady burning light from a distance, and the split red/blue lights look purple.

    Also avoid, super fast warp speed flash patterns. I find the most effective patterns to be those with slow flashing, large blocks of light. If you take two identically outfitted cars, but one with hyper fast patterns, and one with slow patterns, and stand about 150-200 yards away, the slow patterns will stand out much more.

    Have your installer make use of the dimming feature almost all LED lights have today. They cut the output of the LEDs almost in half so they are still highly visible at night, but not blinding to traffic.

    Take a look around this website. A lot of the guys on there upfit emergency vehicles for a living, and are more than happy to share their knowledge.

    http://elightbars.org/
     
  15. blueiron

    blueiron

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    Aug 10, 2004

    Fine for EMS or FD, bad idea for police vehicles. On a traffic stop or on a high risk stop, these will light up officers and turn them into illuminated targets unless wired to shut off when the transmission is in park.
     
  16. Cochese

    Cochese Most mackinest CLM

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    Unmarked Rustbox
    We run mostly Whelen LFL Liberty bars with some old Whelen Strobe bars and odd ball Code 3 bars mixed in. The new Liberty has LED alley and takedowns that are brighter than eck.
     
  17. DaBigBR

    DaBigBR No Infidels!

    8,798
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    Oct 28, 2005
    Circling the wagons.
    I really think we're turning the corner in warning packages now where some of them are getting to be so bright as to be distracting and disorienting. Slower flash patterns are less "cool" looking, but much easier on the eyes and at least as effective as some of the awful seizure inducing crap out there.
     
  18. That is a very good point. Having them turn off when the vehicle is placed in park is easy with a siren and light controller like a SmartSiren or Whelen Cencom.

    Sent from my Motorola Atrix
     
  19. Bullman

    Bullman Deranged Deputy

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    184
    Oct 11, 2003
    SW Virginia
    One thing that is handy that I never experienced before here is that all our lightbars are wired front rear all in a three position switch. I guess the place I worked before the light bars didn't lend themselves to that sort of set up, but it is nice when you are running a multiple response the guy in front of you can shut off his rear bar so your not blinded.
     
  20. Roadkill_751

    Roadkill_751 5 or 6 rounds?

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    Aug 29, 2005
    North Georgia
    Stay away from this, unless you have spare alternators and batteries:

    The Whelen Delta Independence lightbar....[​IMG]