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LED Emergency Warning Lights

NCJ Number
Law Enforcement Technology Volume: 28 Issue: 2 Dated: February 2001 Pages: 50-54
John Bellah
Date Published
February 2001
5 pages
Light emitting diodes (LED's) have a lot to offer in emergency vehicle lighting system applications compared to today's predominant use of incandescent lamps or strobes in emergency vehicle lighting systems.
The introduction of Hewlett-Packard's super-flux wide-angle LED has overcome previous drawbacks in LED's, paving the way for the use of LED's for emergency vehicle lighting applications. The primary advantage of LED's is lower power consumption with less heat generated. An incandescent lamp is a heat-generating component. Although an LED also produces heat, it is far more efficient than a conventional light bulb. Since heat is not as critical, LED's may be mounted in areas that would prohibit a conventional bulb or sealed beam. LED's have no delicate filament to burn out. Thus, LED's will withstand shock and vibration far better than an incandescent bulb. The initial cost of LED lighting equipment is higher than halogen lighting. Blue LED's currently cost approximately 60 percent more to manufacture than red LED's. Supply versus demand may eventually reduce the cost of blue LED's. Offsetting the high initial cost is reduced maintenance and the fact the LED's do not require the additional power supply that strobe lighting requires. With no filaments or glass envelopes to break, the LED modules should rarely need replacement. This article describes particular LED products and manufacturers and their compliance with SAE standards.