Dang Emergency Lights!

Discussion in 'Firefighter/EMS Talk' started by WT, Dec 19, 2019.

  1. WT

    WT Millennium Member

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    Drove past an accident scene tonight. One ambulance, one rescue and three cop cars, all with their blue and red lights flashing. Dang near blinded me. Very difficult to see the officer directing traffic around the scene. Thankfully there were no spectators … that I could see.

    There oughta' be a law - maybe one roof mounted gumball per vehicle.
     
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  2. Wake_jumper

    Wake_jumper

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    I agree one hundred percent. The new high intensity LED lights are way too bright. It is nearly impossible to see through the glare. Someone is going to get hurt.
     
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  3. DaleGribble

    DaleGribble Sandwich!

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    People were getting hurt and killed when the lights weren't bright enough.

    The point for them is to be so bright you can't miss them. The brighter the light, the shorter the detection time by other drivers.
     
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  4. FullClip

    FullClip Native Mainiac CLM

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    I hate the bright strobe lights too, so I just close my eyes and hope for the best. I think they are great for daytime use, but sure screw up the night vision and after a few beers it's even worse.
     
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  5. heavyduty

    heavyduty

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    Part of the issue is that agencies rarely wire up the high/low feature when its available. They’re always on high intensity.
     
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  6. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    It almost seems... Some Officers are not aware there is a lower setting...

    A hint do not look directly into lights. Slow down a bit, I tend to weave a bit with high beams before I enter accident zone. So I tag where people are. Some people (especially drunks) seem to get tunnel vision to bright lights. Right into them.
     
  7. John_AZ

    John_AZ

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    Try being the backup officer to a motorcycle unit with its rear decks on. I think I’m parking 5 feet from the motorcycle and get out of my vehicle and realize I’m 20 yards behind the damn thing. That’s a long walk outside of my A/c - heater.
     
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  8. Tvov

    Tvov

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    Virtually all new LED emergency lighting has a reduced "night" setting. A lot of professionally installed systems will automatically switch to night setting, others need a button pushed - which no one actually does.

    Also... most new professionally installed LED lighting packages have a "slow down" system that slows the strobing effect when the vehicle is parked. That makes a big difference - the slower strobing / blinking is much less blinding.

    Another lighting issue is the scene lighting... the new LED scene lighting is intense. All of our fire apparatus now have LED "brow lights", high intensity scene / flood lights over the windshield pointing forwards. GREAT for lighting up the area in front of the vehicle at a scene, also great when traveling down tight side roads at night. But completely blinding if pointed at traffic.

    Being one of the "old guys", now I usually do traffic control and scene safety... I am constantly trying to control all this high intensity lighting to avoid blinding oncoming drivers.
     
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  9. Tvov

    Tvov

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    Yes... and no. You don't want people driving a 2 ton vehicle towards you while being blinded. That is where the "slow down" strobing comes in... even the brightest LEDs are less visually blinding if they are blinking slower. Still intensely bright, but not blinding.

    So I am agreeing with you - just have to figure out the sweet spot of brightness - strobing - blinding.
     
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  10. Hauptmann6

    Hauptmann6

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    I still think the Michigan State Police do it right. Gumball on top and tail lights flashing. Can see it for miles away but it doesn't blind you going by.
     
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  11. powernoodle

    powernoodle

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    It helps to step on the gas and blow through the scene as quickly as possible. This minimizes the likelihood that the lights will bother your eyes. And first responders prefer that you speed up as you approach the scene, so that you get out of the way and they can do their job.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2020
  12. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    Thank you for making it safer for everyone.