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New Lights from Code 3 PSE!

As Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology continues its rapid advancement, emergency vehicle lighting product performance also improves. Code 3® PSE, based in Saint Louis, Mo., has been quick to leverage these advances to add to its already existing emergency warning products. Since 1974, this industry leader has earned a reputation for quality products and innovative design. For 2011, Code 3 has introduced several new products.

21TR Lightbar

Lightbars are the star quarterbacks of any emergency warning product lineup. From its veteran MX7000™ to its superstar Defender™, Code 3 has depth in its lightbar lineup and now offers the most comprehensive and developed lightbar selection in its history. New to this lineup are the 21TR and 21TR Plus lightbars. Both utilize Code 3’s all new Torus™ LED Technology, packaged in its time-proven 2100-series lightbar design. Torus lights are essentially a linear-optic cousin of Code 3’s established Optix™ Series lights, which uses Total Internal Reflector (TIR) optics.

According to Code 3, Torus LED lightheads provide superior directional and off-angle performance. To accomplish this, Code 3 uses the latest generation high-output LEDs and improved linear optics. Torus optics evenly spread the LEDs’ output, giving excellent coverage with a strong hotspot. Code 3 says that Torus technology offers unsurpassed brightness at a very economical price-point. Adding Torus lightheads to the 2100 platform maximizes performance and creates Code 3’s best ever lightbar value.

The new, standard 21TR lightbar delivers all the features of the older 2100 series including rugged construction and a low-power dimming mode. Both LED and halogen takedown and alley lights are available; an optional flasher can be ordered for them. The 21TR represents an excellent value for agencies needing to stretch their budgets.

21TR Plus Lightbar

For agencies that need more features, Code 3 offers the 21TR Plus Lightbar. The 21TR Plus includes standard flashing takedown and alley lights, a built-in NarrowStik™ directional arrow, and corner cruise lights, plus a multitude of user-selectable flash patterns.

Both the 21TR and 21TR Plus are available with standard clear top covers; optional blue, red, amber or black lenses can be ordered. Choose from red, blue, amber and white LEDs for each warning module. Additional options for the 21TR Plus include LED Stop/Turn/Tail lights, Opticom LP or N-3 emitters, and a solar panel battery conditioner.

Also optional for the 21TR Plus is Code 3’s excellent LIT3 mounting foot, which provides an external mounting platform for additional LEDs. The LIT3 foot can be used to enhance side warning or to move the LED alley and takedown lights out of the lightbar onto the mounting feet.

Regardless of your application, a 21TR/TR Plus lightbar is sized to fit. Choose from 22.5-, 36-, 47- and 58-inch lightbars to fit most law enforcement vehicles. If you are equipping something bigger, say a command post vehicle or transport bus, Code 3 offers 69-, 80- and 91-inch lengths. That means you can have an incredible 7.5 feet of intense light output! All lightbars are 12.25 inches wide and 2.1 inches in height. 21TR/TR Plus lightbars meet applicable SAE, NFPA and California Title 13 specifications when properly configured.

Defender Lightbar

Even as the 21TR and 21TR Plus lightbars bring impressive warning power, much improved off-angle viewing and popular features to the 2100 lightbar platform, Code 3 continues to advance the meaning of state-of-the-art with its unique Defender lightbar. Released in 2009, this premium offering uses Code 3’s proprietary TriCore® technology to provide the brightest light output available today. For 2011, Code 3 is introducing the Defender with TC2—TriCore® to the power of 2—technology. TC2 provides for multiple color outputs from each lightbar module without reducing light intensity or splitting the colors.

Many police agencies run dual-color warning light setups, typically red and blue lights split down the car’s centerline. Dual-color setups can be very effective overall—red is more visible during daylight hours and blue is more visible at night. However, many dual-color setups do not display both warning colors from all viewing angles.

With the Defender TC2 multi-color lightbar, agencies can project 360-degree warning in both colors, with one full-color signal followed by another full-color signal. The Defender TC2 will enhance the warning power of any dual-color fleet. In addition to red and blue signals, the Defender TC2 can also project full-power warning signals in amber and white.

The Defender with TC2 offers a technological breakthrough in regard to scene lighting as well. Police vehicles normally have takedown and alley lights, “work lights,” located within the lightbar to provide supplemental forward and side illumination. These lights compete with warning lights for space and provide limited light output. Seldom are these “work lights” provided to the rear, which is unfortunate as most police vehicle collisions occur when backing up.

Using TC2 technology, Code 3’s Defender lightbar can project powerful white LED illumination from any or all lightheads. No more compromise, no more choosing LED or halogen takedowns—the Defender TC2 lightbar provides all the white light needed at the flip of a switch. This is true 360-degree scene lighting!

Multi-Color and Auto Dimming

Code 3 believes that multi-color output is the next direction in emergency vehicle warning lights. For 2011, Code 3 is also offering this feature in its RX 2700 lightbar platform. The RX 2700CC™ MC Lightbar features Code 3’s excellent PriZm™ II technology enhanced with the ability to project multiple colors from each lighthead.

This allows for full-red and full-blue signals generated from the same lighthead—any combination of red, blue, amber or white. The RX 2700CC™ MC Lightbar provides impressive output and off-angle viewing with its advanced PriZm II dual reflector technology while putting multi-color capability within the reach of almost any budget.

Not only do the Defender and RX 2700CC lightbars share Code 3’s new multi-color technology, but now they both have an optional Auto Dimming feature. While manual dimming is still standard, some customers requested the Auto Dimming feature to allow standardization of lighting output. As any user knows, LED lightbar output can be overpowering in low-light conditions. In some situations, too much light can blind or distract officers or motorists. Code 3’s Auto Dimming upgrade provides maximum flexibility of light output by using a photo cell to read ambient light and automatically trigger the lightbar’s dim mode.

Clearly, each of Code 3’s LED lightbar platforms is capable and unique within its line. Whatever your budget, Code 3 offers a full-featured, full-power lightbar to fit. Instead of relying on one technology and reducing features, number of lightheads or warning signal strength to reach lower price points, Code 3 has developed specialized lighthead technologies for each lightbar platform. Whether you purchase a lightbar with Torus, PriZm II or TC2 lightheads, or choose the new enhanced multi-color technology, each product has been engineered to provide maximum warning light output and the widest possible viewing angles.

Essex Interior and T-Rex Exterior Lights

A similar approach to price-specific technology can be seen in Code 3’s line of supplemental lighting. For 2011, Code 3 also introduces the new Torus technology to dash and surface-mount lighting with its Essex Series interior and T-Rex Series exterior lights. Both the Essex and T-Rex units feature 27 user-selectable flash patterns, split color combinations, and they meet all applicable SAE and California Title 13 specifications. Red, blue, amber and white lightheads are available, and split combinations can be ordered in red/amber, red/white, red/blue and blue/white.

The Essex Series interior vehicle lights mount Code 3’s Torus optics in a compact dash light package. The Essex Series lights are very compact, allowing for flexibility in mounting, and have a new flared visor to shield vehicle occupants from blinding flashback. This new visor also offers wider off-angle warning, critical for intersection approaches. Installers will appreciate the visor’s locking swivel feature which enables the light to fit any windshield angle while keeping the lighthead properly leveled. A DC power plug with switch allows for simple wiring. Single- and dual-head units are available.

Code 3’s T-Rex exterior vehicle lights also feature Torus technology for a powerful warning signal in almost any exterior application. These compact lights can be surface- or bracket-mounted to suit the particular need: license plate, side mirror, grille, push bumper or body panel. The T-Rex lights use the same mounting pattern as Code 3’s existing XT3 series, meaning no new holes if you upgrade or replace lights. As you would expect, installation is simple, and up to 20 T-Rex units can be synchronized together. The units are sealed against weather and dirt, and solid-state construction protects against vibration. Chrome or black bezels can be specified as needed.

New Intrepid-Series Dash & Deck Lights

Code 3’s premium interior-mount lights are the Intrepid Series, new for 2011. These powerful dash and deck lights feature Code 3’s patented TriCore® technology, previously only available in its Defender, Supervisor or Wingman products. TriCore provides excellent visibility and off-angle performance. For customers who rely solely on interior dash and/or deck lighting, the Intrepid Series provides unequalled lighting performance capable of powering through tinted windows.

Like the Essex Series, the Intrepid Series features the new flared visor to protect the driver’s vision from flashback and increase the off-angle output. The locking swivel allows the light to adjust to any windshield, and the lights can be mounted with suction cups or brackets. Intrepid Series lights are offered in red, blue, amber and white, including split colors.

Operators can select from 27 flash patterns. The light is powered with a DC plug. Like all Code 3 lighting products, the Intrepid Series meets all applicable SAE and California Title 13 specifications when properly configured. Code 3 plans to have these powerful solutions available in the first quarter of 2011.

Code 3 has also added TriCore technology to its NarrowStik™ line. The interior or exterior mountable NarrowStik is offered in five-, six- or eight-head versions. There are 23 different combined traffic directing and warning patterns. Lightheads can be specified in amber, white, red and blue. End lightheads can be programmed to flash independently of the directional lightheads for maximum configuration flexibility. An 18-foot cable is standard, but up to 70 feet of cable can be ordered.

The Tri-Core NarrowStik has dim and fast pattern modes and includes a control head. Versatile mounting options are available, and the entire unit is weather, dirt and vibration protected. The Tri-Core NarrowStik warns approaching motorists at greater distances, even in daylight, while increasing the safety of emergency vehicle operators.

The PAR36 lighthead has been an industry staple for years, originally offered in halogen, then strobe, and now LED. Previously, Code 3’s PAR36 was only available in a surface-mount format. The newly added swivel bracket allows for more mounting choices, including grille, deck and push bumper. This bracket allows 180 degrees of vertical adjustment and 360 degrees of horizontal adjustment. The PAR36 lights can be synchronized with any of Code 3’s XT software-based lightheads, including T-Rex units, and offer 26 flash patterns. These rugged, weather-protected lights meet all applicable SAE and Title 13 specifications.

Cast Aluminum C3500 Speaker

In addition to its impressive new warning light offerings for 2011, Code 3 has introduced a new speaker, the C3500. Cast in aluminum, the C3500 speaker is low profile, compact and simple to install. Weighing just 6 pounds, it measures 6 inches square and just more than 3 inches deep. The C3500 should make it easier to find the perfect mounting location in tomorrow’s smaller patrol vehicles. The speaker driver is field replaceable. The C3500 sound output meets all Class A requirements.

Code 3’s LED lineup is among the most current and comprehensive available. “Code 3 built its business on giving the customer the widest possible choice of products to meet any need,” said Kelly Kyriakos, Code 3’s vice president of sales and marketing, “Our new lineup of LED lightbars and interior/exterior products continues this heritage.”

Matthew Ayers is the owner of Command & Control Installations in Sevierville, Tenn. He is currently a lieutenant with the Sevierville Police Department and is a frequent contributor. He may be reached at

Published in Police Fleet Manager, Jan/Feb 2011

Rating : 7.6

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