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Lightbars: What's new in 2008

Written by Jennifer Gavigan

911EP
The 360 Star® from 911EP is a virtually maintenance-free lighting solution for many law enforcement, fire and rescue, and light- and heavy-duty equipment applications. Applications within law enforcement include: motorcycles, marine, undercover units, etc. A complete 360 lighting system with low amperage draw, the 360 Star consumes up to 70% less energy than traditional strobe and halogen technology. The 360 Star can also be operated with the engine turned off—saving fuel and reducing engine stress.

Features of the 360 Star include: the brightest, most powerful LEDs available; low-profile design with 360-degree viewing angle. In addition, the high-visibility Fresnel Lens provides enhanced optics with up to 30 flash patterns based on color and certification level. The illuminated dome can be used as a running light or incorporated within select flash patterns. The 360 Star also sports a rugged, shock / vibration-resistant platform, and it meets and exceeds SAE J845 Class I and Class II requirements.

The 360 Star’s base is made up of A-380 die cast aluminum. The lens is Lexan® Polycarbonate, with a diameter of 7.25 inches and a height of 2.1 inches. The power cord with switch is a 15-foot cable with cigarette plug, 3-amp fuse and magnet mount. Without the switch, it is a 15-foot cable housing power, ground and pattern activation wires. A permanent mount comes standard, but several mounting options are available, including Magnet (switched version only), Pole Mount Adapter, and Flat Mounting Plate.

Code 3 Public Safety Equipment
Code 3 will announce a five-year, maintenance-free, all LED lightbar in the early months of 2008. The prototype, which features halogen-equivalent LED take-down and alley lights, was met with a tremendous amount of interest when it was displayed at IACP in New Orleans, LA. The lightbar will be based on the newly released RX 2700™, which introduced PriZm™ reflector technology in a low-profile (2.7 inches) design that provides a full 360 degrees of lighting and more signal power than any other lightbar of its size. Because the lightbar is built on a modular basis, it can be customized to meet any department’s needs.

Options for the RX 2700 include: various length NarrowStik from five to 11 heads available; clear or colored top lens caps; red, blue, amber, white or green LEDs; dual-stacked optics 3 LED LP (low profile) available with NarrowStik applications; 940 flasher for alley and takedown lights; lighted LIT3 mounting kit (LED and/or 55W halogen); N-3 emitter; 12 LED PriZm lightheads in front and rear positions. The RX 2700 comes in 36-, 47-, 58-, 69-, 80- and 91-inch lengths. It stands 12.2 inches wide by 2.7 inches high.

Also introduced with the RX 2700, the Central Controller makes installation much easier than traditional lightbars and adds a variety of user-selectable flash patterns and additional options, such as control of a directional Arrowstik® or NarrowStik® and dimming operation. The Central Controller also allows for sequencing of the take-down and alley lights, which is not possible with traditional halogen lights. D&R Electronics Co. Ltd. D&R’s Prowler lightbar combines the features of GEN II / GEN III LED technology with a bright light signal generated by the use of D&R Cobra LED light modules. The low profile (2.75 inches high) combined with the use of clear lenses make it virtually undetectable when not in use. Designed for heavy-duty applications such as SUVs, pickups and command units, the Prowler has an extruded aluminum base with a tough outer UV-treated polycarbonate lens. The Prowler can be controlled through any of the D&R standard switch packs or siren / light control systems as well as other manufacturers’ systems. It is compatible with all emergency vehicle applications. Mounting kits are available for most makes and models of vehicles. D7R’s Prowler is available in five standard configurations and a design-your-own version, which allows the end user to submit his own build configuration. It meets all applicable SAE, NFPA & California Title XIII when properly configured.

D&R Electronics Co. Ltd.
D&R’s Prowler lightbar combines the features of GEN II / GEN III LED technology with a bright light signal generated by the use of D&R Cobra LED light modules. The low profile (2.75 inches high) combined with the use of clear lenses make it virtually undetectable when not in use. Designed for heavy-duty applications such as SUVs, pickups and command units, the Prowler has an extruded aluminum base with a tough outer UV-treated polycarbonate lens.

The Prowler can be controlled through any of the D&R standard switch packs or siren / light control systems as well as other manufacturers’ systems. It is compatible with all emergency vehicle applications. Mounting kits are available for most makes and models of vehicles. D7R’s Prowler is available in five standard configurations and a design-your-own version, which allows the end user to submit his own build configuration. It meets all applicable SAE, NFPA & California Title XIII when properly configured.

ECCO Group
ECCO Group’s latest LED lightbar, the 10 Series, features distinct “roof hugging” low-profile styling with innovative emergency warning options. Available in various lengths, each 10 Series lightbar uses high-intensity LED modules each with four high-intensity 1-watt LEDs. Colorless until illuminated, users can specify any combination of amber, blue, red or clear (white) LEDs as well as multiple flash pattern options.

The 10 Series’s aerodynamic styling and the low amp draw and maintenance-free service life aids in fuel savings, and its unique lighting options are ideal for the emergency vehicle market. The Corner Cluster option features three separate LED modules mounted at 30-degree angles that provide enhanced warning to the sides of the vehicle. The halogen Cleversector™ multi-function light offers take-downs, alley lights, multi-directional worklights and oscillating intersection clearing lights all in one module.

ECCO Group has also extended its popular line of Blaze® minibars to include several high-intensity LED versions. The new versions feature a compact size, with an available vacuum-magnet mount option, multiple flash patterns and synchronization capability (permanent mount only). The Blaze LED minibar is available in six- or eight-head configurations, each featuring four high-intensity 1-watt LEDs per head. Other features include low amp draw and a long and maintenance-free service life backed by a five-year warranty. Colorless until illuminated, the Blaze is available in configurations of amber, blue, red and clear (white) LEDs.

Federal Signal
Federal Signal’s new Raydian S2 lightbar is unique in three ways: the patented HotFoot (lighting in the mounting feet); the patent-pending ROC (Reliable Onboard Circuitry™); and the patent-pending Solaris LED Reflector Technology. The Raydian S2 may be repaired or reconfigured without taking the lightbar off the vehicle or removing or rewiring individual modules. Domes or lenses are quickly and easily replaced as needed.

The Raydian S2 is the first all-LED lightbar with new white LED takedown and alley lights, and it is as bright as traditional 50-watt halogens while drawing fewer amps. True 360-degree continuous coverage provides effective visual warning in a stealthy, quiet design. LED colors are offered in red, blue, white, amber and green. Domes are available in red, blue and clear.

The patent-pending ROC (Reliable Onboard Circuitry) design eliminates about 85% of potential failure points in a lightbar. ROC with the micro-processor controller provides advanced communication between the lightbar and the controller head. ROC technology also reduces the number of parts found in a typical lightbar by about 65%. Solaris optics and curved end caps offer LED reflector technology for bright 360-degree coverage, off-axis light output and no dark spots.

All Raydian S2 lightbars include a serial interface module, which is used to program the lightbar’s features and functions. Select from default flash patterns or customize your lightbar with 26 newly designed warning patterns. SignalMaster patterns can be activated via a standard switch and do not need a separate directional warning controller. Additional pre-programmed options such as front / rear cut-off, intersection warning, and dimming can easily be programmed into the lightbar operation and cloned from vehicle to vehicle.

Raydian S2 lightbars are controlled through a standard RS485 bus connection. Built-in SignalMaster directional warning capability comes standard with the Raydian S2. The Raydian S2 can also be configured for internal Federal Signal SignalMaster™ control operation. In this mode, an external SignalMaster controller is not required. A simple slide switch activates the lightbar’s internal SignalMaster. While operating in three priority modes, all modules keep sequence with the flash pattern. Once the directional warning is selected, the SignalMaster modules override the current flash pattern.

Rontan North America Inc.
Rontan’s newest roof-mounted lightbar is the aerodynamic WingLux®, featuring a swept-back design for full 360-degree visibility and modern styling. Like all Rontan lightbars, the WingLux incorporates high-intensity LED lighting and 100% digital technology. The plug-and-play operability and modular design of the lightheads facilitate installation, quick color changes and field upgradeability.

The lightweight, low-profile lightbar assembly features a durable, one-piece polycarbonate dome and triple rubber sealing surfaces for weather-tight performance. The WingLux is engineered for low amperage draw and long service life. Available in a range of standard lighting configurations, the WingLux provides user-selectable flash patterns to meet specific lighting and color requirements. Directional stick functionality is standard; take-down and alley lights are available as options.

Rontan offers the LC1000 Digital Light Controller for serial connectivity and operational simplicity. With the LC1000, any Rontan lightbar assembly can be installed by connecting two serial wires. The digital controller can also operate in analog mode to control other 12VDC devices, enabling an entire lighting system to be easily programmed and activated. The controller features tri-block architecture with three internal, independent electrical circuits for operational readiness. Nine built-in relays drive 12V outputs.

Emergency lighting is controlled by a three-position slide switch, plus five functional switches, including a momentary contact switch. Soft-touch, positive feedback switches are backlit with a night-dimming function. The backlight color of the switches changes to red in the ON position. Rontan lightbars are equipped with an Interface Control Module (ICM), which also enables them to be operated with controllers from other manufacturers.

Signal Vehicle Products / STAR
The ULB42-DHP STAR Phantom® from Signal Vehicle Products is an undercover interior LED lightbar with takedowns. The brightness and low profile allow for greater interior visibility for officers. Four modes include: LED Takedown, LED Pursuit, Halogen Takedown, Halogen Pursuit. One of the new features is a 20-second SuperBurst™ steady burn that is available by pushing the pattern select button while in LED Takedown mode.

The ULB42-DHP also offers: cooling fans; two adjustable 35-watt halogen takedown / pursuit lights; 35 customer-selectable flash patterns via a push-button switch. Ideal for undercover or unmarked vehicle applications, the ULB42-DHP features a front windshield mount, is less than 1.5 inches high, and installs in 15 to 20 minutes. It also mounts under the center visor clips above the rear-view mirror with the universal visor clip. Still more features include: reverse polarity protection; two-output LED flasher; standard 12-foot wire harness; plus 216 long-life LEDs are angled for intersection clearing.

The ULB42-DHP is 1.5 inches high by 42 inches wide by 4-3/4 inches deep. Voltage is 10V-16V DC, and it weighs less than 5 pounds. The amp draw is as follows: LED Takedown mode: (4.3 amps max); LED Pursuit mode: (4.3 amps max); Halogen Takedown mode: (6 amps max); Halogen Pursuit mode: (3 amps max). Custom lighting color combinations are available in amber, blue, green, red and white.

SoundOff Signal
SoundOff Signal’s new lightbar, the ETL 5000, was designed based on input from public safety professionals throughout the industry, and it was recently enhanced with a “Split Arrow” option. The exclusive Split Arrow option activates the upper row of LEDs in all the rear arrow modules against the bottom row of LEDs. The upper row of LEDs offers a warning function and is available in amber, blue, green, red or white, while the lower row of LEDs offers an arrow function in amber only. The ETL 5000 is American made and meets or exceeds SAE J845 and CA Title 13 requirements and comes with a five-year no hassle warranty.

SoundOff also took its LED3 Mini Light and made it into a versatile line of interior Directional / Warning Bars. Each version is available in 4, 8 or 12 LED3 module lengths. Officers can select from five safety colors with solid or split color combinations. The 8 Module bar is available with Single Warning Ends, and the 12 Module bar is available with Single or Dual Warning Ends. The bars come with a universal Dash / Deck Headliner mount with 11.5 feet of wire for hard wire installation. The lights meet or exceed California Title 13 and SAE J595 requirements and come with a five-year no hassle warranty.

The Universal Directional Arrow Switch from SoundOff is compatible with the ETL 5000 LED Lightbar; Predator™ 4, 6 and 8 Module LED Bars; TrafficMaster™; and Traffic Arrow LED Directional / Warning Bars. The Directional Arrow Switch features seven programmable warning modes, an illuminated display, and a built-in Smart Sensor, which detects inputs from another switching source. The sleek black housing is made with durable ABS material and comes with an adjustable steel “U” bracket and 12-inch wire leads. The Directional Arrow Switch is for use with LED lights only and comes with a one-year no hassle warranty.

SoundOff’s Clear Lens TrafficMaster™ Directional / Warning Bar, with Warning End Modules, now offers a Flush Mount that features integrated brackets for easier surface mounting. The TrafficMaster™ LED Directional / Warning Bars produce powerful directional light output with 168 LEDs encased within a rugged weatherproof design. Each sealed module contains 21 Gen II LEDs with a choice of amber, red or clear lenses.

Bars are “self-contained,” which means no external flasher is necessary. Built-in flash patterns and special directional and warning patterns make this bar simple to use and install. Standard 10-30 volt operation is compatible with many vehicle makes and models. Officers can permanently affix as surface mount or easily move the bar when needed with the optional Magnetic Mount Brackets. Bars meet or exceed California Title 13 and SAE J595 requirements.

TOMAR Electronics Inc.
TOMAR’s 960 Series low-profile LED lightbar, the Blade, features a durable one-piece extruded aluminum chassis and 100% solid-state electronics design. The low-profile modular design helps improve fuel efficiency for fleet vehicles. At less than 2 inches high, the Blade gives vehicles a stealthy appearance when off, and when on, provides warning capability with the brightest off-axis light output.

The Blade uses a unique thermal management system that utilizes the entire housing to draw heat away from the LEDs. This allows for longer LED life and more consistent light output. The ultra-high-power LED takedown and alley lights exceed the performance of traditional halogen lighting. The pure white light of the LEDs greatly enhances the image quality of video recordings.

The Blade features up to nine high-performance modules to the front (eight with take-down) and up to nine high-performance modules to the rear. It is available in 44-inch, 49-inch and 54-inch lengths. The Blade also offers an Integrated Traffic Direction feature; adjustable beam angle LED takedown and alley lights; multiple user-programmable flash patterns; lifetime structural warranty; and increased vehicle fuel efficiency.

Whelen Engineering Co. Inc.
Whelen’s Justice WeCan™ and Justice Competitor™ Series include high-performance, cost-competitive Super-LED® lightbars with a range of options, designed for ease of operation, upgrade and serviceability. WeCan offers built-in Traffic Advisor™ control, independent flash pattern, plus phase control of each individual lighthead, optional flashing take-downs and alley lights. The Competitor Series offers front, rear and all-bar operation control, optional Scan-Lock™ flash patterns, pattern override feature, alley lights, take-downs or flashing takedowns, low power operation and optional Traffic Advisor with control head.

The Justice lightbars are 12 inches wide and 2.25 inches high (without mounting feet). The lightbars come in three standard lengths: 44 inches, 50 inches, 56 inches plus a 62-inch Wrecker Bar. A black polycarbonate base is on an extruded aluminum platform. Clear outer lens is standard with a moisture-resistant compression fit gasket. Color lenses are available.

Jennifer Gavigan is the former associate editor of LAW and ORDER. She can be reached at jengavigan@comcast.net.

Published in Law and Order, Feb 2008

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911EPCode 3D and R Electronics LtdECCO GroupFederal SignalRontan North America, Inc. Signal Vehicle ProductsSoundOff SignalTOMARWhelen
 

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