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Thread: LED lightbars

  1. #1
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    LED lightbars

    My agency is looking to switch over from the old strobe bars to the LED bars. Obviously, the chief wants the best bang for our buck. We'd like to have 3-5 options to get price quotes for. I was wondering if anyone had any suggestions. What does your agency use? What are it's best features/options/prices?

    Any info will help. Galls only has a few options and I know there's many many more options out there.
    -Stay safe

  2. #2
    OH NO IT'S FIVE-O!
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    Depends on your price range obviously. We've been trying out 3 or 4 LED bars and i'll discuss the ones we've tried out.

    First off, the 911 Galaxy & Galaxy Elite (http://www.911ep.com/products/galaxy.asp): These were some of the first we got, and they've been nothing but trouble for us. They were supposed to be on our cars for the entire vehicle cycle (about 3-4 years) and many of them required major maintenance after only a year or two. Condensation got down in them, which clouded up the lenses pretty bad. Several of them had to have most of the light modules replaced two or three times. We ended up deciding not to go with these after the initial batch.

    Whelen Edge (http://www.whelen.com/_AUTOMOTIVE/de...&prod_id=362): These ended up being the best that we purchased. They required little to no maintenance, were the most visible both at night and day.

    Sho-Me (http://www.able2products.com/update/...Features.htm): These also had little to no maintenance, but we found that they weren't nearly as visible during the day as the Edge was.

  3. #3
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    +1 I would check out Whelen.

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    Price range is $1000-2000. I couldn't imagine them spending more than that. $2000 is pushing it.
    -Stay safe

  5. #5
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    I think ours were like $1200 a piece installed. Code 3 with like 30,000,000,000 leds that blind or send the motoring public into seizures.
    Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

  6. #6
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    My buddy is a certified Whelen Technician. Whelen has GREAT bars. Most companies will allow you to try out a bar for atleast a month. Holler at a couple vendors with your price range and allow them to let you borrow one. Get input from the people who count, the officers.

    Our Fire Department is starting to move with Tomar Scorpions. I must admit, they are freaking awesome. There are two within the department, both on admin vehicles. Here is a video of the bar.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qLmL38Imf0

    My PD uses the Ultra Freedom Bar, with serial communications. Here is a clip of the bar.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fh9_7_gfkuI

    They are a little pricey, but a VERY nice bar for the price you're asking is probably a Whelen Liberty, it is a very common bar, here is an example of it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq9bB5GAXD8

    Code 3 bars really suck. They outsource their parts, Whelen makes all their parts.
    Last edited by iamacop; 09-08-2009 at 10:41 PM.

  7. #7
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    We use the Whelen Justice bars. Everyone seems fairly happy with them so far.
    http://www.whelen.com/_AUTOMOTIVE/de...17&prod_id=398

  8. #8
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    Check out elightbars.org, its a forum with tons of dealers and installers on it. You can find anything there and probably get a deal too.
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  9. #9
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    The Sheriff's Office here uses Whelen Liberty and the PD uses Federal Signal Legend. Both are extrememly bright and will blow your socks off.

    The new whelen liberty now have the availablity to switch color from all blue, to all red, to red/blue all in the same bar.

    The SO K-9s use interior mounted Sound-Off ultralights (8 and 12 head) plus some Sound-Off ghosts in the grill. They are very bright as well.
    Last edited by rgv_cop; 09-09-2009 at 04:11 AM. Reason: link doesn't work anymore
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  10. #10
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    I like the LED bars we have on our newer cars, but I looked and they are something like $3600 ea. They are the Federal Signal Vision with the rear yellow bar.

  11. #11
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    Whelen Liberty, best bang for your buck.

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    Any one use the Tomar Balde? Fairfax county uses them around here and they are VERY bright both day and night...around $1600

  13. #13
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    We use the Whelen Liberty's I believe... pretty good bars... for some reason condensation gets in them a bit... not sure why they haven't figured out a good way to seal off the light bars by now. Our newest light bar has LED take downs and alley lights, which are awesome, but I noticed some of the bulbs on the take down's are already out...

  14. #14
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    We use Whelen Liberty Economy and Code 3 LED 2100. How many you planning on buying? We buy direct from Whelen and Code 3. However, we buy so many at a time they give us a DEEP discount. We pay about 700 a piece for each. It's the pallet discount. We have few problems with them. We used to use the MX7000 exclusively.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlighthi View Post
    Any one use the Tomar Balde? Fairfax county uses them around here and they are VERY bright both day and night...around $1600
    I was sitting at home trying to figure out for the life of me what our bars were so I could recommend them. Extremely bright at night, equally shiny during the day. Alleys and takedowns are plenty bright as well. Not a lot of wind noise either. I haven't heard of any issues with maintenance.
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  16. #16
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    Whelen Liberty here as well. We just ditched the hide-away strobes in favor of LED inserts from Whelen. Very nice as well.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5031OKC View Post
    We use the Whelen Justice bars. Everyone seems fairly happy with them so far.
    http://www.whelen.com/_AUTOMOTIVE/de...17&prod_id=398
    Given the price range this would be my recommendation as well.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4F5DY...eature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixwxc...eature=related
    Last edited by ZGXtreme; 09-10-2009 at 08:25 AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCSD241 View Post
    We use Whelen Liberty Economy and Code 3 LED 2100. How many you planning on buying? We buy direct from Whelen and Code 3. However, we buy so many at a time they give us a DEEP discount. We pay about 700 a piece for each. It's the pallet discount. We have few problems with them. We used to use the MX7000 exclusively.

    We're a very small dept. 18 total sworn. We only have 5 cruisers. And they only want to replace one at a time.
    -Stay safe

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by iamacop View Post
    My buddy is a certified Whelen Technician. Whelen has GREAT bars. Most companies will allow you to try out a bar for atleast a month. Holler at a couple vendors with your price range and allow them to let you borrow one. Get input from the people who count, the officers.

    Our Fire Department is starting to move with Tomar Scorpions. I must admit, they are freaking awesome. There are two within the department, both on admin vehicles. Here is a video of the bar.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-qLmL38Imf0

    My PD uses the Ultra Freedom Bar, with serial communications. Here is a clip of the bar.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fh9_7_gfkuI

    They are a little pricey, but a VERY nice bar for the price you're asking is probably a Whelen Liberty, it is a very common bar, here is an example of it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq9bB5GAXD8

    Code 3 bars really suck. They outsource their parts, Whelen makes all their parts.

    Whelen is great and Code 3 sucks, but you say that Whelen makes the parts for the Code 3.......Huh???????? Kinda like loving a Chevy truck, but hating a GMC. Same thing, different packaging.
    Being a good street cop is like coming to work in a wet suit and peeing in your pants. It's a nice warm feeling, but you're the only one who knows anything has happened.

  20. #20
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    Tomar makes a great package.

    I know quite a lot of depts that make the switch to Tomar. They make a great LED . Some still use the heliobe lightbar. They are bright as anything and they are only strobes!!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by stormz5192 View Post
    Whelen is great and Code 3 sucks, but you say that Whelen makes the parts for the Code 3.......Huh???????? Kinda like loving a Chevy truck, but hating a GMC. Same thing, different packaging.
    I believe he was saying Whelen makes their own parts, while Code 3 outsources them to someone else.

  22. #22
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    Yes, thanks JPSO. That is exactly what I was saying. Easiest thing to do, just contact the major companies.

    Code 3
    Whelen
    Tomar
    Federal Signal

    Let them know your price range,
    and ask for a demo bar. I guarantee you that they will let you mount a bar for atleast a month or two. See what the guys on the streets think, and make your decision from there.

  23. #23
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    Fed Sig Ledgend is surprisingly flexible. Bright as a MF too. Too bright on occasion.

  24. #24
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    No, Whelen or Tomar Scorpion... Those are your choices..

  25. #25
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    I don't understand the Code 3 hate. They make good stuf, but are VERY proud of it (very pricey). Whelen Liberties are very popular.

    My department tested the Whelen Liberty, Whelen Freedom, Federal Signal Arjent, and the Code 3 RX2700.

    Ultimately it came down to the Liberty and the RX2700. Both are equally effective. At the time, the Code 3 bar did not have syncronized flash patterns. Code 3 finally included a controller option. THe new Code 3 Defender also looks very interesting. The department has settled on a Whelen Liberty (WeCan version) and the newest bars have LED takedowns/alleys and Whelen CenCom Golds for controllers. The bars have arrowboard functionality, but ours are all red and blue (not the traditional amber). The department has also transitioned the rear deck lights from dual head SoundOff Predators to 2 single Whelen Avengers. Not really sure if I'm liking that particular change.

    Make sure your department buys a good controller option. I really like the CenCom, but it has push buttons for siren control (I prefer knobs). The Code 3 RLS sucks (IMHO). The push buttons are difficult to press reliably. Some departments opt for the 20 bazillion toggle switches to control the lights (don't like).

    Many LED lightbars also have a dimming feature so they aren't as intense at night. Flash patterns are also important. Fast flash patterns are cool, but are not as effective as a slow pattern when a car is parked. Best to have a fast flash pattern to the front to clear traffic/running code (conveys urgency) and a slow pattern to the rear for blocking traffic, stopped on the side of the road, etc (allows oncoming drivers to better determine the location of the emergency vehicle).

    I also second the eLightbars forum suggestion. Lots of professional installers who know what they are doing.

    Oh and pic.

    Last edited by beavo451; 09-12-2009 at 04:37 PM.

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