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Haligans vs. Strobes vs. LED's

Discussion in 'Strobe Lighting' started by Pirsch, Nov 29, 2007.

  1. Pirsch

    Pirsch Senior Member
    Messages: 596

    Ok... It was bright and sunny here in Dayton today. I came across several different work vehicles doing construction. They had 90 watt strobes (I stopped and checked them out) They were washed out in the sun... They had LED's on other trucks were bright but their regular 4 way amber turn signals you could actually see from a distance. The other trucks had good ol' 55 watt Haligan mini bars on them and I could see them from a decent distance.

    In your opinion... What do you guys look for... Show, Safety, Being seen in Day/Night or just anything that flashes or Piercing Factor?

    I'm a retired Fire Fighter and from what I've seen lately is that alot of Fire equipment is going back to Rotators and LED/Strobe Combo's but the strobes aren't in area's of major importance.

    So what do you think?
  2. bribrius

    bribrius PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,609

    I think some people use them for safety. more use them for show. i dont have any if i get some they will be cheapest crap i can find that makes me seen when im backing from behind a pile of snow.
    i have no intentions of getting any in the near future and only have a magent led rotator that plugs into the cigarette lighter. I think i would actually be embarassed by the amounts of lights some people put on their trucks. thank god i dont have to ride in them. I would feel like a idiot. I can see if you are plowing a busy parking lot but some of these guys have brighter lights than the town plows and they are only banging out a some driveways or a couple of small commercials... lol
    i guess as long as it makes them feel important. :rolleyes:
    just my opinion.

    sorry for the rant. i pick haligen.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2007
  3. kc2006

    kc2006 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    I recall this one local plow company, I really liked their set ups. They had rotators on the roof (small 2 beacon rotator), strobe hideaways, and I think some LEDs in their grille and on their spreaders. It was a good mix I thought. For some reason I can still remember seeing them at a local parking lot, they caught my eye and really stood out.

    I personally want to go with hideaways and maybe a twin rotator for the roof. I know rotators are old school, but they're the best for in the day I think.
  4. Diesel Sniffer

    Diesel Sniffer Member
    Messages: 46

    I pick halogen. Might be old school, but for several reasons I think they are the best for snow removal applications.

    Strobes are nice, but not very visible during the day. At night stobes reflect off falling snow and make you feel like you're about to have a seizure after about 10 minutes of running them.

    LED's are awesome, but not in the snow. For some strange reason they don't have the "punch" to go thru heavy snow at distances. Plus, they collect snow easily and won't melt it away because they don't throw of ANY heat. Let's face it, if we're out the weather is usually crappy. If I have to stop my truck and scrape off a lightbar, that light is useless to me. I don't make money scraping lights.

    For those reasons I like halogen the best. Bright in the day, non-reflective against the snow at night. It doesn't hurt that they are cheap to purchase, cheap to repair and cheap to replace if something happens compared to the others. There's my $0.02
  5. ultimate plow

    ultimate plow PlowSite.com Addict
    from N. IL
    Messages: 1,770

    LEDs are becoming the king of all lights. I like them because they draw very low power. And thats a big thing for a plow truck. I like to save every amp I can. They are also more reliable as you dont have to do any maintnace.

    Strobes, Very bright at night. Not bad during the day either if you have decent strobes. Some people say they get headaches. They also draw considerable amps.

    Halogens, Great at night and during the day. I miss my highlighters. Amps are up there but produce heat to keep snow off.

    I like to use a comination of rotators and LEDs. On one of my trucks I use hideaways with a mini LED bar.
  6. Eclipse

    Eclipse Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    I agree with both ultimate and diesels comments.

    A two rotator halogen lightbar is a great around light and cost effective.
    I do not understand why so many guys love hide-a-way strobes for plow trucks.
    LED's are nice, bright, and low profile (if we are talking about lightbars) but they are costly and do have there limitations as already mentioned.

    If the truck is a work truck a two rotator, halogen, mini lightbar is all it would needs IMO. I have an LED lightbar since my truck is both a work/personal truck. I am not a fan of strobes for plowing.
  7. flashinglight

    flashinglight Junior Member
    from maine
    Messages: 25

    Corner strobes in the tail lights are great warning. Especially if the driveway is a blind one until your almost in the road. I have talked to a few police officers in the area about them. They think that they are a great warning system. I, myself, run rear corner strobes but none in the front. I just can't see the need for them in the front. They look great, don't get me wrong. I would have to agree about the halogen rotators for anytime of the day use. I have noticed some of the led light bars don't have good 360* warning. My opinion of the new whelen responder LP is it has poor lighting at the corners, it just lacks that bright in your face punch. I run with a couple fire depts and have led grill lights which moves traffic. I guess it depends on what application your using your lights for.
  8. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    I am a firefighter also and am sort of a buff especially with lighting, LED"'s are the way to go if you want super bright concentrated light but I still think a good rotator on the roof works the best for plowing. You need 360 degree visablility... My Whelen talons I have on my dash for firefighting are so bright and fast that when it snows the reflection can get you a little nuts... You wont have that with a rotator. When I plow I use a magentic mounted old school firebeam amber rotater that is really bright and does the job. The grille lights and dash LED lights are great for moving traffic in front of you out of the way but when plowing you want the versatility of a good roof mounted rotator...

    my 2 cents...
  9. Eclipse

    Eclipse Senior Member
    Messages: 106

    I would agree with this about the CON3 model but the Linear model has no issues with off axis visability.
  10. Bens95cobra8594

    Bens95cobra8594 Junior Member
    Messages: 29

    I have a Whelan 4 strobe setup in the truck, powered off the second battery. There is no mistaking the truck in day, bright sun, night, dusk or any other time.

    It wakes up the neighbors and scares little old ladies... just the way a plow truck should be.

    I love the idea of LEDs, but the reliability of quick flashes and really intense light emission just isn't there yet. Halogen (correct spelling) lights are great, and really bright, but for my $$... I'm doing strobes.

    I've done it in 3 trucks and they are all still working and never had an accident or any problems. The little beacons on the top of the trucks just don't put out enough light to function to my satisfaction.
  11. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    So I saw the title of this thread and chuckled about "Haligan" wanting to post asking if this was a firefighter thread --- come to find out, it was!
  12. deckboys

    deckboys Senior Member
    Messages: 198

    i've got 2 ) single, simple halogen magnetic mount rotators.... nothing too extreme and very cheap... both lights cost 100 bucks total... but the ligjts can be see 3 blocks away
    i am looking to add 2 strobes to the salter some time......but not in a big hurry to do so
  13. Pirsch

    Pirsch Senior Member
    Messages: 596

    Of course...Retired IAFF 2951! LOL :yow!:

    I've always liked the strobe affect in a heavy fog. Didn't really get a chance to find out about the LED's how they do in heavy fog but I have a feeling it's not that bad but visible???? No Piercing power!
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
  14. Lynden-Jeff

    Lynden-Jeff PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,433

    I love my Whelen gardian mini rotator bar. It is definatly bright enough day or night and no flash back.

  15. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    That is so funny cause I thought the exact same thing...:D

    For all you non-firefighters a Halligan is the most versatile and main tool that a fireman uses at calls... Its like a police officers handcuffs... It is a steel tool about 2.5 feet long with a fork end on one side and an ads end with a pike on the other... It can be used for forcible entry, prying, hammering, mechanical advantages, etc... It is normally paired with a flat head axe... Just in case you were wondering...

    Remember - A firefighter without a tool is just another bystander...
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
  16. iakentdoz

    iakentdoz Senior Member
    Messages: 204

    Linear (LIN) is much better than the CON3, The CON3 is some what like the TIR3's and from now on all I will be installing will be the LIN3's and LIN6's from Whelen. TIR3's have there place, I love mine under my tailgate. Great for traffic behind me. All my LED's on the back rack will be LIN6's and a LIN Responder LP light bar. I sold my old Whelen Edge strobe light bar, the flash back off the strobes was just to much and washed out much more than the LED's
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2007
  17. YardMedic

    YardMedic PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,266

    Actually, wouldn't we say it's more like the gun for an officer?!? To draw the similarity, both get us in or out of tricky places!!

  18. Pirsch

    Pirsch Senior Member
    Messages: 596

    You guys both forgot... The Haligan is more of a battering ram... All 30+ pounds of it... Our Gun is the Nozzel and the Ammo is the Water!

    You ever notice the cops are calling FD's for more and more lately... Using our thermal imagers for their pd work. Go figure I guess they're going to be carrying turnout gear next!
  19. Brian Young

    Brian Young PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,394

    I agree some strobes get lost in the sun. But I've seen some very bright strobes that didnt. IMO haligens are the best way to go but in the winter some tend to freeze up where as strobes are good in any weather, and as far as led's...the ones I've seen just aren't very bright and you have to be looking at then just right in order for them to be effective.
  20. jjklongisland

    jjklongisland Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    I was going to put "gun", then I changed it to handcuffs because a police officer from my understanding doesnt like to pull out his weapon unless there is a serious threat... You dont some P.O.'s taking out there gun at every scene even when arrests need to be made... But firefighters always carry there tools whether the call is b.s. or not... I dont know, maybe it was a poor analogy... anyway, its an important tool and I totally agree it getting us out of sticky situations...

    On another note, first snow on Long Island with very slick roads... We had 2 MVA's (motor vehicle accidents) at the same time either end of the district earlier... Drive safe...
    By the way, both mva's, non-experienced young kids driving...