View Full Version : Grill lights/strobes
I'm looking at putting strobes (blue) behind the two grill panels of my Sunfire once the warranty runs out.
I'm thinking I'll have someone install them. I'll have them put a toggle switch on the interior.
What brand/model is preferred? Thanks!
It might be a good idea to check with your insurance company before you add lights. My company won't cover me when I run lights on my POV in response to a call, so I took them off years ago. In fact, our fire protection district has a policy forbidding emergency lights on personal vehicles for several reasons.
Also, laws vary from state to state. In Wyoming we do have an "authorized emergency vehicle" statute to cover EMS and fire service folks, but blue is pretty much considered a reserved color for law enforcement.
I appreciate the advice.
However, I've had a ratator for years and my company knows I'm an EMT, and I've never been told anything about restrictions. Plus my station covers me for any accidents responding to calls.
About the colors...it is different for every state.
Some states Red is EMS/Fire and blue is police. Some states police are red and blue and EMS is Red and white. Like I said, it differs from state to state.
My state/region is blue for non-officer EMS/Fire. So I know I a right on the coloring.
Now which lights should I get? :)
Strobes are illegal on a non-emergency vehicles in PA. I wouldn't recommend doing it. If they weren't illegal, I would have put some in my car already. Maybe one of the PA 5-0 can state which section of the seemingly endless PA code refers to this.
Actually there are TONS of cars and SUV's around here that have tail light strobes, head light strobes, grill strobes, etc. None are LE and NONE of them have ever been given any guff.
I've heard several different versions of "laws" restricting the use of lights and where they can be placed and stuff.
They are kinda like sex laws telling you which positions and acts you are allowed to do...they are laws, but not enforced.
Whelen, Code 3, any of the big name manufacturer's.
They are pretty simple to install yourself.
Yeah, I was thinking about Whelen to. We have those on the ambulance and they are good. We haven't had any problems with them.
I would install them myself, but the whole drilling through my car and fooling with the electrical system doesn't thrill me to do. I would most likely screw it up and then my electrical system is shot.
Thanks for the suggestion though.
Just get a couple grill LED's, and either keep your dashlight and get wig-wags for your headlights, or install headlight strobes.
I know I said no one gets guff for stuff, but headlight strobes (clear) are supposedly the distinction of an unmarked LE in PA, so as not to step on any toes, I'm going with the grill lights. Plus I think it's a more efficient settup.
I don't have to monkey with the existing headlights, which are a pain to mess with, plus I get to have two lights where there previously was none.
Thanks for the suggestion
Ohh, Fire/EMS use headlight wig-wags in Ohio. Along with either Red/Clear Lights.
AFAIK, in PA, long as the strobes are blue you will be fine. Again, I'm not a lawyer and I don't play one on tv. My opinion though and this is based on the area I run...blues are useless. They are only courtesy lights, noone is required to move out of the way for you (and most people don't here). All they tend to do is bring attention to your vehicle "oh look, there goes another one of them firefighters racing like hell to get to a fire!" without any lights on my car, all anyone may think is "oh look, someone else just speeding along a little" Blues (in PA, again) do not give you any special rights or priviledges. You may already know this, just felt it beared repeating.
JMO, FWIW, worth every penny you paid for it.
My F-150 begs for grill strobes.
section 173.3 (a) (3) is what you are allowed in PA as a basic volunteer EMT/firefighter- sorry I could not get the diagrams to show up
§ 173.3. Display requirements.
(a) Color. White, clear, red, blue, amber or yellow are the only colors permitted for use in flashing or revolving lights.
(1) Chromaticity coordinates. A flashing or revolving light shall comply with the Chromaticity Coordinates, CIE 1931, Standard Colorimetric System as provided in SAE Standard J578d, Color Specification for Electrical Signal Lighting Devices, September 1978. This requirement does not apply to flashing headlamp systems.
(2) Red lights. A vehicle may display red lights as follows:
(i) Under 75 Pa.C.S. § 4571 (relating to visual and audible signals on emergency vehicles), an emergency vehicle, as defined in 75 Pa.C.S. § 102 (relating to definitions), shall be equipped with one or more flashing or revolving red lights.
(ii) Under 75 Pa.C.S. § 4571, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission vehicles used for the enforcement of 66 Pa.C.S. Chapters 23 and 25 (relating to common carriers; and contract carrier by motor vehicle and broker) may be equipped with flashing or revolving red lights.
(3) Blue lights. Under 75 Pa.C.S. § 4572(a) (relating to visual signals on authorized vehicles), ambulance personnel, owners and handlers of dogs used in tracking humans, and volunteer firefighters may each equip one personal vehicle with no more than two flashing or revolving blue lights or one light-bar assembly containing no more than two blue lights. Only blue lights may be used on the light-bar assembly. See Figure 3.1.
(4) Combination red-and-blue lights. Under 75 Pa.C.S. § 4571(b), police, sheriff, coroner, medical examiner or fire police vehicles may be equipped with flashing or revolving blue lights in addition to red lights—combination red-and-blue lights. The privately-owned vehicles of a police chief, assistant police chief, fire police captain and fire police lieutenant shall be equipped under paragraph (2).
(5) Yellow or amber lights. A vehicle may display yellow or amber lights as follows:
(i) Under 75 Pa.C.S. § 4572(b), an authorized vehicle as defined in 75 Pa.C.S. § 102 and designated in Chapter 15 (relating to authorized vehicles and special operating privileges) may be equipped with no more than two flashing or revolving yellow or amber lights or one light-bar assembly containing no more than two yellow or amber lights. Only yellow or amber lights may be used on the light-bar assembly. See Figure 3.1.
ILLUSTRATIONS OF LIGHT-BAR ASSEMBLIES *
Rotating halogen lamps—‘‘V’’ mirrors
(contains two single lights)
Rotating halogen lamps—‘‘diamond’’ mirrors
(contains four single lights)
* THESE ILLUSTRATIONS REPRESENT TWO COMMON MODELS OF LIGHT-BAR ASSEMBLIES. OTHER LIGHT-BAR ASSEMBLIES MAY BE USED.
(ii) Emergency vehicles may be equipped with no more than two yellow or amber lights, in addition to one traffic control emergency directional light assembly.
(6) White or clear lights. In addition to flashing or revolving red or combination red-and-blue lights, an emergency vehicle may be equipped with a flashing headlamp system and no more than one flashing or revolving white or clear light, except that an emergency vehicle may be equipped with a light-bar assembly containing no more than two flashing or revolving white or clear lights.
(i) Flashing or revolving white or clear lights and flashing headlamp systems may only be used in conjunction with the flashing or revolving red or combination red-and-blue lights. Flashing or revolving white or clear lights and flashing headlamp systems that are not used in conjunction with flashing or revolving red or combination red-and-blue lights do not constitute visual signals under 75 Pa.C.S. § § 3325 and 4571 (relating to duty of driver on approach of emergency vehicle; and visual and audible signals on emergency vehicles).
(ii) Flashing headlamp systems are to be used under 75 Pa.C.S. § 4306 (relating to use of multiple-beam road lighting equipment).
(7) Steady burning lights. Unauthorized colored, white or clear nonflashing or nonrevolving lights—steady burning lights—may not be used in conjunction with flashing or revolving lights, except for steady burning lights used on emergency vehicles as specified in 75 Pa.C.S. § 4571(a) and (b)(3). These lights, which include flood lights and other steady burning lights, may be used only while the vehicle is stationary, except that a police officer, sheriff or deputy sheriff operating a police or sheriff vehicle may use these lights while the vehicle is in motion, if the lights are used only for the purpose of an emergency, or for the safety of the public or in the enforcement of the law.
(8) Other lights. A vehicle, other than those identified in this subsection, may not be equipped with lights or systems identical or similar to those specified by this subsection, except that school buses and urban mass transit buses which will be used for carrying school children may be equipped with flashing lights as permitted by 75 Pa.C.S. § § 4552(b) and 4553(a) (relating to general requirements for school buses; and general requirements for other vehicles transporting school children), and Chapter 15 and Chapter 171 (relating to school buses and school vehicles).
(9) Hazard warning systems and turn signals. Hazard warning systems and turn signals are not considered flashing lights for the purposes of this chapter.
(b) 360° visibility. When flashing or revolving red, blue, yellow or amber lights are mounted on a vehicle, one or more of these lights shall be mounted to provide visibility to vehicles approaching from any direction (360° visibility), regardless of the method of mounting. Emergency vehicles equipped with flashing or revolving red or blue lights mounted on or behind the grille are not exempt from this subsection.
(1) When only one light is used to provide 360° visibility, this light shall be in compliance with SAE Standard J845, 360° Emergency Warning Lamps, January 1984.
(2) When more than one light is used to provide 360° visibility, the number of lights used may not exceed those specified in 75 Pa.C.S. § § 4571 and 4572.
(3) For emergency vehicles, 360° visibility shall be provided by one or more red lights.
(4) Vehicles that are equipped with a light-bar assembly are presumed to have met the 360° visibility requirements when the flashing or revolving light configuration is visible to vehicles approaching from any direction.
(c) Flash rate. The flash rate, when observed from a fixed position, shall be between 60 and 120 flashes per minute. When the flash rate is produced by the interruption of current, the period of illumination shall be long enough to permit the bulb to come to full brightness.
(d) Mounting location. The following applies to mounting locations for flashing or revolving lights:
(1) Flashing or revolving lights, excluding flashing headlamp systems, may be permanently mounted on the vehicle or attached to a mounting device, in a workmanlike manner, in the following locations only:
(i) On a cab or roof of the vehicle.
(ii) No more than 18 inches above the highest fixed point of the vehicle.
(iii) On the front of a dump truck bed.
(iv) Behind or on the grille of emergency vehicles. A flashing light may not be mounted so that it flashes through the grille, except that no more than two flashing red or blue lights, excluding light-bar assemblies, may be mounted so as to flash through or in front of the grille on emergency vehicles when the vehicle is also equipped with one or more flashing or revolving red lights that meet the 360° visibility requirements of subsection (b).
(v) Close to the front upper edge of each front fender of an emergency vehicle and not protruding more than 2 inches from the fender, with respect to intersection lights.
(2) Traffic control emergency directional light assemblies shall be rear-facing only and may not interfere with permanently installed lights. These assemblies may be permanently mounted on the vehicle or attached to a mounting device, in a workmanlike manner, in the following locations only:
(i) Underneath or behind light-bar assemblies.
(ii) On the rear deck, inside or outside of the vehicle.
(iii) On the trunk lid.
(e) Mounting devices. Flashing or revolving lights, excluding flashing headlamp systems, grille-mounted flashing lights and intersection lights, may be mounted on one of the following devices:
(1) A magnetic base.
(2) A roof rack, light-bar or other device that is welded or bolted onto the vehicle, or is mounted on the vehicle by using suction cups equipped with nylon or steel straps and clips which hook onto the drip rail or moulding.
(3) A self-leveling gimbal device.
The provisions of this § 173.3 issued under the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S. § § 4571, 4572 and 6103
§ 173.5. Light activation indicator.
Emergency and authorized vehicles which are equipped with lights or light systems provided for in this chapter shall also be equipped with a light activation indicator which will automatically activate whenever a flashing or revolving light, flashing headlamp system, traffic control emergency directional light or authorized nonflashing or nonrevolving light is engaged
Wow, PA is really anal about that stuff, aren't they? Sheesh, it doesn't look like you can do much of ANYTHING with any kind of lighting. You may be better off trying for the element of surprise and buzz past people in your "4 cylinders of fury" Sunfire. ;)
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