1. Welcome to PlowSite. Notice a fresh look and new features? It’s now easier to share photos and videos, find popular topics fast, and enjoy expanded user profiles. If you have any questions, click HELP at the top or bottom of any page, or send an email to help@plowsite.com. We welcome your feedback.

    Dismiss Notice

Hideaways...where to put?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by GLS, Aug 9, 2003.

  1. GLS

    GLS Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    I am considering hideaways (along with a mini lightbar) on my plow truck. It is a 95 chevy k2500 with the deluxe grille. Does anyone have any tips on where to put the strobe tubes? or any tips on the installation procedure for the whole system?

    I attatched a diagram with mounting locations.
    1. This would be my preferred location, but I don't know if there is room, or if the strobe would flash through the lens.
    2 or 3. Seems like there would be plenty of room in there.
    4 or 5. Also seems like there is a lot of room.
    6. Probably even less room than (1) since there is already a bulb in there.

    Now the tail lights. Will it fit in the reverse lens? If not, is it legal to run them as red? Even if on private property?

    And the power supply. How many watts do I need for 4 lights? And where is a good location to mount it? I have a regular cab.


    Thanks
    Ryan

    diagram.jpg
     
  2. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Let see ... you are in United States - so pretty much everywhere the only legal color you can use is amber as for warning lights. In Canada, it is blue.

    Let review the mounting location you are considering:

    #1 - No, it won't work. It looks like a side reflector. The strobe will not work through that very well.

    #2 & #3 - probably the best location. I would recommend mount it in #2 because the lights would be more furthur apart, which would cover more of your vehicle body. Also it would be easier to be seen than them clustered close together.

    #4 & #5 - A big NONO - its illegal to put strobe or flashing lights in your headlights, unless you are authorized emergency personnal. You could put amber colored strobe tube, but I strongly advise you not to do so because you don't want the strobe to be running in the same location when your headlights will be on at night. Also, sometime the color of strobe tubes caused it to "wash-out" and make the headlights color looking funny when strobe is not running.

    #6 - Looks too small to try to fit it there.

    You can put strobe in the backup lights lens, only if there is room, but be sure to use amber colored strobe tubes. As far as red strobe, yes, you can run then only on private property. Cops can do nothing about that. But if you have red strobe running on the road - you would be caught.

    As for the wattage - I recommend a minimum of 20 watts for each head. 15 watts per head would work ok, but I advise 20 or 22.5 watts per head. If you have four strobes, get either 80 or 90 watts power supply. The best location would be to mount it right behind the seat.
     
  3. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    One another thing .... have you taken into factor that the strobe in front would most likely reflect off the snowplow when it is mounted? I think that the strobe would be visible to other motorists when the plow blade is down, but I doubt it when the blade is raised. It could actually annoy and blind you, especially at night. So I just want to give you a fair warning.
     
  4. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,223

    I put my Hide-a-way in the #2 spot I figured that would be the best coverage for reflection in the front.It does reflect off the plow good when your driving it bounces very wide to the sides.But what I did is put it on a seperate switch for the front so I can run them when I want Most of the time I just have the rear and bar on.If I'm in a crowded parking lot I put the front on just so people can see me .
     
  5. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    NY law reads that your headlights cannot be used as warning lights unless authorized no matter the color.

    Red flashers to the rear are OK, not to the front or sides.

    I recently saw a Chevy pickup that had amber hideaways in the back of cab light, there are 2 clear lenses on either side of the high mount brake light that they used. They were actually pretty effective, it got the lights up high. Don't know if your truck is set up that way.

    As for power packs, the more power the better, especially if you are using them during daylight. My unit is 22.5 watts per light and works well in daylight. 20 watts per light or more would be OK.
     
  6. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Pelican, as I know you are part of fire department, I have seen your photos of nice F350? setup. Myself as a volunteer firefighter and as far as I know of, it is illegel to run flashing red or clear lights all around the vehicle, except the vehicle's 4 way flashers. Only the authorized emergency vehicles are allowed to have red and clear lights. Can you please clarify because I do not believe that this is legal. Where did you hear about this law? I am curious because this is something I never knew of.
     
  7. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    I have them in my front side markers,and they don't shine off the plow too bad.Not sure if there is enough room to fit them in yours or not.You may have to make room.

    Like Pelican said,the cab lights make a good rear location.I have mine in my reverse lights,but I have two outputs still unused,so I may put the in the cab lights as well.
     
  8. GLS

    GLS Senior Member
    Messages: 248

    Thanks for all of the helpful responses.

    Looks like i'll be putting them in location #2 up front. I don't want to put them in the cargo lamps because I have sideboards (and a front board) that cover them up. I figured they would reflect off of the plow a little.

    For the rear, has anyone put one in a reverse lens like mine or know that it will fit? I don't want to get in trouble for having them red.

    Also, what is a good brand? I am considering a whelen 90w supply with 4 amber strobe tubes.


    Thanks again
    Ryan
     
  9. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,223

    Ryan I have the whelen 90watt with the 4 clear bulbs very good system.I don't think that you can get them in the back up lights I have mine in the red brake lights the only place that I felt comfortable putting them space wise.I'm sure there are guys that can get them in that space since I 'm pretty sure I have seen them flashing in other tucks like ours.
     
  10. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Alot of people prefer Whelen, because of their well known brand name. But I acutally don't like their power supplies. My fire department had a few problems with them. I have bought several Nova power supplies and I am very satisfied with them. Never had a single problem for years. They make excellent product at very reasonable price.

    You could check out this website. That person, Nancy, is a good person to deal with. Never a problem with her, the order went through fast, shipping was prompt.

    http://www.strobesupply.com/

    You are right in the ballpark - 90 watts 4 head power supply is exactly what you just need.

    Good luck with your project.
     
  11. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Stephen, when I was younger and before the studies were done proving that amber is a better color for hazard warning lights, the tow trucks here ran red flashers to the rear. The revolving lights had split lenses, amber front and red rear. When the tow truck operator wanted to get to the scene a bit quicker, he'd spin the lens around so red was front and then explain to the Troopers that it vibrated around that way. I don't know the law specifically, but the way I've always heard it is red is OK to the rear and has been agreed with by my Police friends.

    OryanO, our Chief's cars (Ford Expeditions) have hideaways in the reverse lights, I don't know about your specific application.

    I'll second Stephen's recommendation of Strobe Supply. Her pricing is very good and so is her customer service. I had a problem with a portable strobe and she replaced it immediately.
     
  12. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    I don't know exactly how the rear of your dump insert is set up (dimensions), but My first thoughts were that you could get some self-contained LED or strobe heads, like these, and just mount them back there in the small oval mounting cabinets. I've nly seen this partial rear view, so my perspective is a little distorted.

    In this picture, can't you weld or bolt the cabinets right under the top bar where you put the side boards, and face them backwards? I think that this might be cheaper than buying a 4 head system, when you can't really use the front two heads without driving yourself nuts.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2010
  13. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,223

    That would a great set up but when your done all you have is 2 lights and not the 4 for the same kind of money .I got mine on an ebay store for like$300 can't remember exact price.It does not say how many watt that self contained is.
     
  14. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    I came up with the S/C strobes and cabinets being $193 before tax, where this setup is well over $300. And since the front mounted flashers aren't as practical as the rear-facing ones, I thought it was probably all you'd need.

    I also found these self-contained LED strobe heads and they are $10 less per head.

    Just my $.02

    -John

    *EDIT* The self-contained strobes are only 14 watt, so they may not be as bright as the hidden strobes. However, they'd be plenty bright to use as a supplement to a mini lightbar.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2003
  15. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,223

    if Ryan went with the oval and steel box where on the back of his dump insert could he mount?It would have to sit out if he put it on the side of it because it would hit the truck if put in -line with the edge .
     
  16. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Bowtie, I read nearly $60 per light in that ad, where does $10 come from?

    This discussion comes up again and again, your primary warning should be 360 degrees. Hideaways are secondary warning systems or for use in truly undercover police work. They offer no warning to the sides and are comparatively low mounted to be effective as primary warning.

    Nova has a magnetic mount self contained beacon that has a 22 watt power supply built in for under $100 through Strobe Supply. If you don't want to drill holes and want all around warning, this is the ticket!
     
  17. JohnnyU

    JohnnyU 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,040

    Pelican- These strobes are $69, where theseLEDs are only $58 per head, thus the $10 difference.


    I agree that the hidden strobes are only secondary, and If he has the mini light bar already (as discussed in the Snowplowing Forum) He may not want to have too many lights.

    Cat- Like I said, I don't know what the rear of the dump insert looks like, I said that merely as a suggestion, I'm sure he could come up with something better (as could I) if I was standing there looking right at the unit. Maybe he could use the round self contained strobes with a stud mount, maybe that would give more clearance to the bed of the truck. Like I said, it was just a suggestion.

    If you look at this picture, you will see that the vertical bar that I was talking about does not come into contact with the truck bed, or the tail light He might be able to mount them there. [​IMG]
    Here's a picture of the insert in 'dump' position: [​IMG]
     
  18. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    You can get strobes that look like the self contained types but still plug into a box. In Illinois clear is illegal unless you are police/fire or the like (yet all of IDOT and the utilities construction and tow operators run clear/amber) I dont think there is any law about sticking in the actual headlights? You should be able to pick up a vehicular code book from the SOS. Also on the lighting laws, I dont think you will have any problem if you run something that isnt legal as long as you arnt doing something to give em a reason(being a dick to a cop or driving through town on a summer night with clear strobe going for no reason)

    I have a wheelen 50w 6 outlet power pack I might get rid of ;) mounted once never used. I had it for when I was on UW/Rescue

    I have a Lightbar that I bought from AW direct. I need to work on getting it mounted. They were excellent to deal with and very cheap on some things. You gotta watch em though. galls is actually cheaper on some things(like the hide away stobes) www.galls.com
     
  19. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    ratlover - I don't mean to be picky, but the Nova hide-a-flash strobe tubes are acutally cheaper than Galls. Nancy from StrobeSupply sell one clear strobe tube for $18 each. So that's $36 a pair plus another $9 for each strobe cables, so that would be $54 for the exact same setup that Galls would sell for $75. It would be nice to save $20 bill and use it for something else. ;)
     
  20. ratlover

    ratlover PlowSite.com Addict
    from IL
    Messages: 1,325

    I ment galls was cheaper than aw direct for some stuff.

    I have never checked out strobe supply but definatly will in the future ;)