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Strobe light question

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by oldmankent, Aug 30, 2002.

  1. oldmankent

    oldmankent PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,322

    I'm in the process of getting a light and am wondering about strobe lights. It seems that many have a very low wattage light and some have a higher wattage but still not as high as rotator lights. What do you guys feel is the minimal wattage I could go with and still be safely visible? Thanks, Nick.
  2. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    That will depends on what color filter your strobe will be using. Amber filters more light than clear. Green filters more light than amber. Blue filters more light than green. Red filters more light than blue. I don't remember the number exactly but it is the best to what I remember. This is the % of light that the color filters.

    Clear - 0%
    Amber - 15%
    Green - 25%
    Blue - 35%
    Red - 45%

    With clear I would recommend at least 15 watts. With amber, green, blue I would recommend at least 20 watts. With red I would recommend at least 25 watts.

    Since you probably are looking for warning lights for snowplowing, the amber is the color to use in the U.S. but blue in Canada. So I would recommend you to use at least 20 watts per strobe for amber.
  3. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    I just put a 2022 whelen on my machine and it eorks great bright and plenty of visability.
    What kind of light or light bar are you looking for?Rotators are good but strobes can give you brighter at less wattage.
  4. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

  5. bam

    bam Senior Member
    from .
    Messages: 201

    i would go with a 15-22 watt strobe if your looking for amber colored. I have a 60 watt supply for hideaways on my truck and the fronts are bright enough, however the rears are red and not as pronounced during the day. Whelen makes the superstrobe which is a 30 watt, but also is costly.

    I also use a federal signal highlighter, which is extremely bright, day and night. However its a halogen 2 bulb model, uses more juice, but worth it. You can also have this model delivered for less than $100.
  6. ultimate lawns

    ultimate lawns Member
    Messages: 92

    right now im running highlighter on my trucks and work awsome at a cheap price they sell for. but moving up to a mx7000 lightbar.
    i like strobes but they are more money. i personally like the super strobe from whelen. expensive they are! and the phase 2 from federal signal. but those strobe beacons look good really just mounted on a dump truck with the mounting plate. ill list you a bunch of diffrent sites to go too.

    www.elightbarsforum.org "emergency lighting forums"
    www.fire-ems.net thanks, ultimate lawns & more
  7. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    After reading the thread on high output alternators, I'm considering using stobe warning lights on my flatbed to lighten the current load while plowing and have a few questions of my own.

    I think a 6 outlet power pak is what I need, 2 beacons mounted on either side of the headache rack, one flush mount on each rear side corner for backing into traffic, and 2 grill lights for fire dept. use. Can each pair of lights be switched on and off individually?

    Whelen has always been on the forefront of strobe technology, and seems to be the most widely used in public service, at least in these parts. I've noted the Conn. State Troopers lights are clearly visible in daylight, does anyone know what wattage they are running?

    And finally, would a competitors light head work with a Whelen power supply if the right connectors were used?
  8. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Pelican - Yes, most strobe power supply have separate circuit for each pair of heads. They can be turned on individually. 6 outlet power supply should work good for you. Usually the 6 outlet supply have only four heads connected to it because of wattage. If you get a 90 watts pak, then you will be getting 22.5 watts through each head which is plenty.

    Regular strobe flat plugs with three pins can fit in most strobe paks manufacturers. They are used almost everywhere. But some of them make an optional waterproof plug which have a triagle shape. I never see them in person but it would be ideal for wet location, or plugging in the strobes on your trailer to the rear of your truck.
  9. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Wouldn't the wattage be total watts/number of outlets, or in your example, 90/6=15 watts? I thought they might measure them similar to stereo equipment where the outlet would be comparitive to a stereo channel. This is a new area to me.
  10. wxmn6

    wxmn6 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,037

    Pelican, the wattage you will be getting through each head depends on how many watts the power supply pak can supply and how many heads you are connecting to the pak. Suppose you have 90 watts 6 heads pak and you connected only 4 heads, you will get 22.5 watts through each head (90/4= 22.5). If you connect 6 heads to the same pak, you will get 15 watts through each head (90/6= 15). Now, you may wonder what happen if you connect only two heads to the same pak. That would be 45 watts through each head and mostly likely blow the strobe tube. BUT I know some manufacturers make some models that have power reduction safety feature. It safely reduce the total output wattage. For example, if you have 4 heads connected to the same pak, which is two pairs in a separate circuit each. Suppose you switched only one switch but leave the other switch off, that would cause the pak to supply 45 watts through each head. That is when the safety feature comes to work. It automatically reduce the power itself.

    WHITE=GREEN Senior Member
    Messages: 161

  12. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    I think Pelican is looking for a compltete light package. The magnet mount top lights are great for general warning but for a dedicated work truck it is good to also have lights at differing heights to get attention of people at different angles.

    WHITE=GREEN Senior Member
    Messages: 161

    sorry i must have misunderstood the topic. i was responding to oldmankent, whom started the topic, and thought he was asking for info on strobe lights in general.
  14. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman Banned
    Messages: 2,133

    No you weren't wrong. I was just referring to the most current topic. Nothing wrong with putting you 2 cents in.
  15. THREE W

    THREE W Senior Member
    Messages: 122

    We have been using ABLE-2 power supplies, you can find them at
    Southwest Public Safety.

    The advantage is that you can have any combination of strobes on, as well as change different flash patterns. For example you could have just front, or just rears on or both, or all depending on how many strobe head unit you have. Then, you can also switch between four flash patterns, dual flash,quad flash, or a mega flash that flash at an incredible flash per minute rate.

    I have that wired to the back-up lights, so when you start
    backing every strobe turned on starts the mega flash, and then
    return to the normal flash when out of reverse.

    Money wise they are even cheaper than Whelen. Have used the same powerhead in my other work cars for over a year with no problems.
  16. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Thanks guys, I may go with a 4 head unit and put LEDs on the rear corners in the interest of limited funds. These strobe setups can get pricey in a hurry, but if it prevents an electrical breakdown, worth it. The blue LEDs for fire service are pretty high

    THREE W, do you know of a link where I can see these Able-2 products?
  17. THREE W

    THREE W Senior Member
    Messages: 122

    Pelican, sorrry it took so long to return your question, I deal with
    Southwest Public Safety Supply, if you search for that name it will come up using most search engines. They have most thing in stock, some of the newer items are back logged, but only 4-5 days or so.

    If you can't find it let me know, I will get the address...
  18. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Thanks. After posting before, I tried the obvious and it worked, a lot of possibilities to choose from.
  19. BWhite

    BWhite Senior Member
    Messages: 496

    Strobe lights

    I have seen many pickups with white strobes incorporated within the front and rear lenses of their pickups . Are they adding a flasher to their factory lights or or they adding a complete strobe system . where would I get such light kit
  20. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Those are called "Hide aways" and are available at any of the links listed above.