Types of Light bars

Light bars are an essential component of emergency vehicles. A light bar is essentially a bar that is mounted on top of an emergency vehicle and produces flashes of light, which send a particular message to other road users, who in turn, are expected to react accordingly. This is important because emergency vehicles are designated for responding to emergencies, and Light bars most effectively convey this message. Light bars have evolved over the years and there is newer and better technology being constantly applied to Light bars to make them even better.

Traditionally, a light bar referred literally to a metal bar that was placed on the roof of an emergency vehicle, upon which rotating lights and steady burning lamps were fitted. Today, Light bars are much more complex, brighter and produce a much larger array of light patters. Some of the common Light bars are basically elongated domes fixed to either side of a siren that contain different kind of lights within the domes themselves. These domes may contain LED lights; steady burning lights, rotating lights or strobe lights. Modern Light bars may also have a second layer of lights, which may include clear halogen lights that are used to illuminate the vehicle being stopped. These lights are also known as take down lights. There are also clear lights facing the side to illuminate alleys and other dark places, or additional red or amber lights mounted towards the rear of the vehicle for scene protection.

There has been a new trend that is widely favored particularly by the police of mounting the siren on the front bumper, ensuring the Light bars stretch across the roof and are used only for lighting. These Light bars may also be made to match the specification of particular police departments. There are those made thin and aero dynamic to reduce wind resistance mostly used by police chase cars or other emergency vehicles that require speed. Undercover police request detachable Light bars that they can be able to conceal. There are also those that are made using multiple rotating beacons that are in a V shape in order to provide additional lighting on the side of the emergency vehicles.

Flash patterns and light intensity are now configured to the specifications of the emergency department or emergency vehicle user and can be adjusted. Light bars are not necessarily only mounted outside the vehicle, as there are some made specially to be used inside the vehicle. These are however specially made to prevent them from flooding the car with light and disorienting the driver. Light bars are very important in police work and also for use on other emergency vehicles and so should be selected carefully before being installed on the vehicle. Some of the factors to consider are the type of emergency vehicle and its purpose, the intensity and flash pattern desired, as well as whether it is permanently mounted or detachable.

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