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Light Bar for plowing parking lots...whelen good?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by cgillispn, Apr 12, 2004.

  1. cgillispn

    cgillispn Member
    Messages: 38

    I was looking at a Whelen II responder. It has 2 rotating lights but it doesnt say the wattage, does anyone know the wattage? is this light bar sufficient for plowing parking lots? I'm looking for a magnetic that plugs into the cigarette lighter adn thats what this one is, so thats why i was interested in it.
  2. cgillispn

    cgillispn Member
    Messages: 38

    Sorry, that would be a Whelen Responder II Dx
  3. elite1

    elite1 Senior Member
    Messages: 187

    Strobes use a lot less power, and last longer.
  4. cgillispn

    cgillispn Member
    Messages: 38

    How effective are they though, the small one's i've seen flash prob once every 2 or 3 seconds and they are not that visible, esp. when its snowing out.
  5. jt5019

    jt5019 Senior Member
    Messages: 853

    You can get strobes that flash very quick.Many different flash patterns, mine alternates from a triple flash to a quad flash in a touch of a switch.Also i would suggest looking into LED lights.I dont think the flash patterns are as great but they are very bright.
  6. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    I am running a Whelen Guardian (new model more modern design than responder) 2 rotor mini bar. It is running off of a 10 amp fuse. I am very happy with the output and flash rate (I am not a big fan of strobes).

    As far as power useage goes, amp draw is the primary concern. Different lighting packages draw something like this:

    Halogen rotators - highest draw
    Halogen flasher - 2nd highest
    Strobes - significantly less
    LEDs - lowest possible draw

    As far as flash patterns go halogens (rotators and flashers) generally have only one pattern pre set. Strobes may or may not have programmable flash patterns. Whelen's LED's are programmable at the head for multiple flash patterns.

    As far as maintenanc issues go, working on emergency vehicles, I have found strobes to be more troublesome (as well as more expensive) than rotators.

    LED's are by far the most reliable. But, also the most expensive. I couldn't quite swing the $700 LED mini bar.

    JRKRACE Senior Member
    Messages: 172

    I pretty much have given up on Whelen. Don't get me wrong, I think that they make a great selection of light heads, but the power supplies have a lot to be desired. I also work on emergency vehicles and it seems I am always fixing a whelen product. I spec'd our new pumper (2003) with Tomar products for the strobes and Whelen for the LEDS and already the Whelens are starting up with me. I use Tomar in my own truck and a FD pick-up and in 8 years I have used 1 strobe tube and 1 power supply which were warranteed by Tomar.. Just my .02
  8. joethevacman14

    joethevacman14 Member
    Messages: 44

    I prefer Rotators because I think they look cooler, also on this forum, you may hear from other people that they cut through the snow better. Also, good news, I got my leaners driving permit tuesday. I personally was going to install a FS 22" turbobeam on my truck but I saw one the other day and they just seem too large. I also my go in with the local FD and be a traffic control officer for when they need to close the roads during brush fires, accidents and house fires. We have a very limited amount of sheriff's for out in the county and they are just needed at the scene for traffic control. If that is a good sounding idea to the FD, i'll probably purchase the turbobeam do to its flash pattern and amount of flashes. Otherwise, i'll just stick to a regular old Highlighter that everyone else and their dog has.
  9. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,951

    i use on yellow strobe i dont spend 700 hundred pn lights cause in heavy blowing snow you really cant see
  10. cja1987

    cja1987 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,407

    Iam getting a small lightbar sometime this weekend. I just got a back rack. I plan on mounting whatever lightbar i get on the top in the middle and two white spotlights on the sides so i can see when iam backing up. I have got the wiring for the spotlights as iam just moving them from the back bumper up to the back rack, i just have to make them shorter.
  11. avalancheplow

    avalancheplow Senior Member
    Messages: 265

    Go with the LED's. You will be much happier with them. They are brighter than halogen or strobes and you won't have to replace anything for ten years!! The best whay to go!! I have bought a mini rotator, whelen, and like it but after a storm I close my eyes and I can still see the damn lights. I also bought a Generation 1 Tomar mini 6 strobe and love it but it keeps blowing the fuse for the lighter after 2 hours :realmad: . In the fall I am going to get the Sho-Me mini LED bar. My friend has one and is in love with it. He said it's a lot of money up front but worth it!!!:)
  12. accipiter12

    accipiter12 Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    ..."and like it but after a storm I close my eyes and I can still see the damn lights...."

    That's funny, cuz when I went to work with a state trooper I know, his car was unmarked and he had strobes on the side of his headlights, a dash mounted strobe and a dash mounted LED just to the right of his rear view mirror, I couldn't see a damn thing walking back to the car (it was at night). I didn't know what was more dangerous, being with him or walking back to his car!! lol....they are so dang bright but the LED's are sweet!

  13. MickiRig1

    MickiRig1 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,617

    I have the big 4 inch diameter magnetic mount "Ecco"strobe light you can set it to single or double flash. I have it set at double. There is about a second and 1/2 between flash's. They cost about $100 now. It's bright, it's portable, low amp draw and takes up very little space in the cab when not on the roof. I have used it for 5 years now and it is still on it's first strobe tube. What ever you pick just remember the amp draw can kill your charging system if the truck is not setup for it. Volts X amps= watts (work it back ward ) you can see how many amps each bulb pulls + the motor/ motors to rotate them.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2004
  14. DJC

    DJC Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    Whelen , one of the best !!!!
  15. ratlover

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

    I've got a federal signal jetstream towman special. I went fullsized because I wanted brakelight turnsignals and revers lights/work lights mounted on my back rack. By the time I bought a mini light bar and then bought the brake light/turnsignals/park lights and revers lights the price difference was pretty much a wash. Plus everthing was together and it looked cleaner IMO. Leme see if I can attach a pick.....

  16. ratlover

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

    I persoanly prefer rotators in heavy snow since they seem to cut through it better and they dont seem to bounce off the snow and drive you batty. I mounted strobes in the clear section also but I can turn em on/off independantly when I dont need/want as much warning power and want to save juice.

    Forgot to add. I like having stuff on a backrack. That way if you go under something and rip it off you dont screw up your truck. A mag or suction mount is ok since it is easy to remove and probably wont damage your truck but I dont like the chance of screwing up my paint.

    One more edit. I have my wiring for it going through a trailer plug. So I can take the thing off easy if i am going to get stuck going into some place low.
    Last edited: May 7, 2004
  17. wfd44

    wfd44 Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 369

    Sweet set up ratlover. I really like the rack. I am gonna put a back rack on my truck in the fall. Probably going to leave the mini bar as a mag mount but put it on the rack. That way if i whack a tree branch the light will move rather than smash.

    When I work on specs for FD vehicles I try to go with a mix of strobes and halogens. Strobes long term (my experience) are the ost hassle. Sec'd a new ambulance last year with no rotors or strobes. It has an all Whelen LED package with 3 or 4 halogen flashers for forward white and an amber rear just to give it a mix. All of the tail lights and ICC lights are LED's too. The lights are extremely intense, low maintenance and low draw. Don't watch our rig go down the road if your an epileptic though - something like 14 flash patterns programable individually at the head.
  18. accipiter12

    accipiter12 Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    wfd44....yeah LED's are awesome....our troopers and a lot of our other agencies here in WA are using LED's in parts of their lightbars if they have a strobe lightbar and if they're 'unmarked' cars they have dash mount LED's. Sweet looking lights and VERY bright!

  19. accipiter12

    accipiter12 Senior Member
    Messages: 223

    Here's one of our departments...the LED'S are red and yellow....