Strobe Light Kit: Frequently Asked Questions
- Strobe lights create recurring flashes or whirling lights that are intensely bright. When used on vehicles, they serve as warning or emergency lights.
- Although they are mostly used on emergency vehicles, official cars, and some commercial automobiles, there is no law that forbids you from buying a strobe light kit for your private vehicle. However, there are restrictions on the use of the automotive strobe light kit, which varies per state.
- The regulations surrounding the use of strobe lights, such as the color of the lights, vary per state, so you have to check the state or local laws.
Strobe lights create recurring flashes or whirling lights that are intensely bright. When used on vehicles, they serve as warning or emergency lights. Accompanied by sirens, these are commonly used on police automobiles, ambulances, and fire trucks to basically alert motorists of the presence of such vehicles on the road. With these lights, road users could give way to these vehicles, so first responders and other professionals in the field could quickly get to their destinations and respond to emergencies and other critical situations. These lights are also used in case of reduced visibility, so the vehicle can be seen from a good distance.
Although they are mostly used on emergency vehicles, official cars, and some commercial automobiles, there is no law that forbids you from buying a strobe light kit for your private vehicle. However, there are restrictions on the use of the automotive strobe light kit, which varies per state.
When is it legal to use strobe lights?
Strobe lights are extremely bright, but they are not exactly used to amplify the vehicle’s beam of light and provide added visibility to the driver since they flash in sequence and have a whirling effect. They are used mainly to increase visibility for road users and draw attention. That is why on public roads, strobe lights are used on ambulances, fire trucks, police cars, and vehicles designated for official function or duty. Some commercial and utility vehicles, such as school buses, emergency tow trucks, wrecker vehicles, and construction automobiles, may also use strobe lights on public roads, especially on backroads where lighting may be limited or when driving in heavy fog and other difficult conditions.
Private vehicles can be equipped with strobe lights, but the use is restricted on private properties or roads. For instance, strobe lights can be used on auto shows to captivate crowds or when the vehicle is in park to serve as a wow factor. These lights are mostly for show. Strobe lights are also used on security vehicles and on farm trucks for property surveillance. The regulations surrounding the use of strobe lights, such as the acceptable color of the lights, vary per state, so you have to check the state or local laws to be sure.
What are the benefits of using an LED strobe light kit?
LED lights can produce brighter lights. Compared to the average 20 lumens per watt of halogen bulbs, LED lights can produce up to 100 lumens per watt. They do not generate a lot of heat. Even though they are brighter, LED lights are more energy efficient, which means they have a longer service life. They are more expensive, but you can save money in the long run because they do not require frequent replacements.
LED strobe lights are not only brighter but also tougher. They do not break easily from vibrations and shocks, and they are not sensitive to hot and cold temperatures. They can be driven in different environments and weather conditions. Because of the LED lights' smaller size, these can be arranged in different patterns and flashing sequences.
What are hideaway strobe lights?
On emergency vehicles, police cars, and ambulances, strobe lights are highly visible. They are permanently installed on the roof or grille of the vehicle. Hideaway strobe lights are inconspicuous, mostly hidden from plain view. These lights are smaller and lighter than regular strobe lights, but the light they produce is still bright. They can be mounted onto a surface or integrated into the existing vehicle lights. These lights are more aesthetically pleasing because of their hideaway design. These lights are mostly used on private vehicles and by medical professionals and volunteer firefighters, which may use their own personal vehicles to respond to calls of duty.
What factors should you consider when getting a strobe light kit?
Strobe light kits come in different sizes, colors, and flashing patterns. They can be mounted or installed in different ways. To help you find the right strobe light kit for a truck or a particular vehicle, consider these factors:
There are specific guidelines on the color of strobe lights that can be used on a particular vehicle. You have to check the state rules and regulations before you install your strobe lights. The use of red and blue strobe lights, for instance, is reserved for emergency vehicles such as fire trucks, ambulances, and police vehicles.
Medical professionals, volunteer firefighters, and EMT (emergency medical technician) teams are prohibited from using the red and blue strobe lights on their private vehicles even if they are responding to emergency situations. They can, however, use strobe lights in other colors. In some states, green lights are used as courtesy lights for asking other motorists to pull to the side or to clear the path.
The most common colors used for strobe lighting are yellow, white, and amber. In some states, commercial vehicles may use red, blue, or yellow lights, depending on certain conditions and requirements. For strobe lights that are used to cut through fog, the recommended colors are red, orange, and yellow because of their longer wavelength. If strobe lighting will not be used on public roads, then there are usually no restrictions when it comes to the color and patterns.
Automotive strobe lights can be surface-mounted or permanently attached to the roof or grille of the vehicle. They may also come as full-size light bars or as hideaway LED strobes that are placed in the headlights or installed in reverse light sockets.
LED strobe lights can also be programmed, depending on the design and features of the truck strobe light kit. In some kits, these lights can flash according to the beat of the song played on the vehicle radio. Some strobe lights may also come with tougher housings, which are water-proof and shock-resistant.
Make sure that the strobe light kit complies with the legal and insurance requirements if used on public roads. If strobe lighting is used as an added flair to the vehicle or mostly for aesthetics, you are free to choose from the multiple color options and flash patterns.
Strobe light kits should have all the needed hardware for installation. You should know the requirements for proper mounting or installation. Check the included connectors, wiring, and other components in the kit such as the light control module. Look for a kit that is designed for a simple plug and play or one that you can easily install and remove as needed.
Get the Right Strobe Light Kit That'll Suit Your Car's Look
Customize the looks of your car by installing a strobe light kit. People won't help but notice the aura surrounding your car with this amazing modification. The extra lights will immediately turn heads as your ride shines brighter than any other car on the road. To get you started as you pick a set of strobe lights, here are a few things to consider first.
The most obvious choice when picking a strobe light kit is the color the lights will give. Amber, green, purple, red, and white are only a few of the many hues to pick for the lights. Makers offer different colors to choose from. Deciding what color is completely up to your personal taste. Mix and match the lights with the car's paint job to get the best combination.
People usually place these lights is under the car. If you choose to go with this route, make sure that the light's housing is strong enough to take the abuse of nature. Check if it's waterproof, and shatterproof. Don't pick lights that will blow when wet, or cases that will break when rocks hit them. As the owner, you want the confidence that your lights make your car look good instead of awkward because of the bad lights.
Check the extra features the kit may offer. Some kits have a cigarette lighter plug for quick plug and play installation. Other kits even have cool features like noise activated sensors that turns on the light along to the beat of the song on your car's radio. These types of additions may help you filter your options better.
Do some research about the legality of putting extra lighting accessories on your car's exterior. Some states pull over vehicles for simply driving with unnecessary lights. Even lighting with too playful colors get fined. The price of paying for a ticket is more expensive than the price you get from a cool looking ride. To be safe, it is recommended that you never drive whenever you turn these strobe lights on. The lights are for show, not for the road.
Fitting Your Car With a Strobe Light Kit
All cars have headlights and taillights. However, not every car owner would consider installing strobe lights on their car for a cooler, more customized look. With these lights, make your vehicle look like it came out of a magazine commercial for everyone to admire. Follow this general instruction guide to help you install a strobe light kit.
Difficulty level: Moderate
- Floor jack
- Jack stand
- Wrench set
- Socket set
- Strobe light kit
Step 1: Park your car, and turn off the engine. Disconnect the battery. If you plan to install the lights under your car, raise the car with a floor jack. Secure it after with jack stands.
Step 2: Pick the spots where you want to place the lights. Stick it on using the adhesive that came along with the kit.
Step 3: Run the wires of the lights along the frame of the car, with all the ends leading to where the battery is located. As much as possible, place the wires on areas protected from rain, mud, and other elements.
Step 4: If you raised your car for underchassis installation, lower your car after putting the lights. Grab the distribution block, and place it on top of the fuse box. Secure the block using the Velcro patches provided by the kit. Connect all the wires of the lights to this block.
Step 5: Grab the master controller unit and attach it to a convenient and accessible location. Run the wire of the distribution block through the firewall to bring it inside. Connect the wire to the master control unit.
Step 6: Some kits would have a compatible cigarette lighter plug, so you can use the lighter socket as a power supply. Refer to other materials, guides, and schematics for sourcing directly from the battery.
Step 7: Reconnect the battery, turn on the engine, and test if all the lights work.
Though simple, this tedious installation can take about 6 hours.
- Some users are not comfortable attaching the lights using only the adhesive with the kit. For more security, you can use super glue, or browse other sources for mounts made special for strobe light kits.
- If you must run the electric wires over the heat shield, use Thermo-shield tape to protect the wires from the excessive heat.
- Attach a blunt, thin object on the end of the wires ? like a ballpen cap ? to help run the wires through the car.