Just like you wouldn’t rush out and buy the first house you find for sale, you should never run out and purchase the first Emergency Led Light Bar you discover for your vehicle. Each type of light bar has different features, pricing, light choices, various mounting locations, and other options you need to consider. However, once you determine the type of lighting you require, you need to ensure it will cover the flashing light patterns necessary for your vehicle.
The primary functions of flashing emergency lights are to gain the attention of road users (this includes motorists, pedestrians, and workers) and to alert them to differences in traffic patterns, obstructions to the roadway, or dangerous conditions. Safety is why the flashing pattern is so essential to the light bar you purchase. Flashing lights must be easy to notice and very conspicuous when powered on. While the colors you can choose from vary depending upon the type of vehicle they are for, the function remains the same – to ensure drivers make a quick response.
There are two main things flashing lights must overcome to be effective. These are:
• Contrast with the Surroundings – For flashing lights to be effective, they must have enough contrast with their surroundings for the human eye to see the difference.
• Driver Distraction – This major motorist issue can be due to cell phones, radio controls, children, roadside sights, or even simply absent-mindedness. Anything that pulls the attention of the driver away from the road needs to be considered. Therefore, the flashing lights not only need to work with their surroundings, but also need to overcome any other distractions the driver may have.
Many light bar flash patterns are named based on their unique functions. In most cases, there are at least 30 pattern varieties to choose from to help catch the attention of road users and to help guide traffic. However, since emergency LED light bars are controlled electronically, there is almost an endless assortment of patterns available, provided you have the right accessories. Each flash pattern can cycle flashes, flash all lights, flash side by side, progressively light individual LEDs, split colors, alternate, and more. Chaser flashes generally offer three speeds (slow, medium, and fast). As technology improves, the rate of flashes only increases, with some models offering “super flash” modes, which flash the bulbs very rapidly.
Advanced patterns are created with the sole purpose of catching motorists’ attention and helping to control their attention while driving in complicated areas. The vehicle’s operator will determine the specific pattern to use. In most situations, an emergency services agent decides the proper function based on the type of traffic they’re encountering.
When making your purchase, check to see if your light bar selection offers the “remember pattern” function. As the name implies, this creative feature lets light bars remember patterns, so when you turn the light bar on again, the same sequence of light can be quickly activated.
The downside to flashing emergency lights is the intensity of the lights flashing. Over time these lights can cause strain, discomfort, or even more severe issues.
Therefore, there are restrictions on flashing lights. Lights that flash too quickly can become distracting themselves, especially if they are also so bright that it causes night blindness. Other complications can include but are not limited to:
• Epileptogenic Responses – seizures in epileptic individuals caused by staring at flashing lights
• Increased Eye Strain – pain caused by staring at low-level flashing lights for long periods of time
• Phototaxis – a psychological condition caused by blinking lights where drivers become distracted, causing them to drive towards the light
• Long Term Vision Impairment – long term damage to vision can occur in vehicle operators who are frequently exposed to overly-bright lights
For more information on the different types of flash patterns, LED light bar selections, and lighting safety features available for your vehicle, contact Ultra Bright Lightz today by calling 1-888-562-5125.