Best throw light?

May 21, 2010
1,030
LKN, NC
So, one thing I want to outfit my car with, more than any other blinky device, is a red throw light. I of course want something bright, but not big. I like the look of old hologen teardrop lights, and I like the way a rotating light flashes, but maybe there's something better out there?
 

VolEms

Member
May 24, 2010
2,112
NY, USA
The Code 3 Dashlaser is pretty bright. The Whelen cadet is not that bright. I just put in some vehicles the new Code 3 LED beacon bought on sirennet.com www.sirennet.com/c3lss222.html . Whelen also makes the L31 or L32 LED beacon Magnetic mount. Then you can go with the old teardrop light thats bulky and heavy but vintage. I like to go only led with all my new installs.
 

ELS

Member
May 21, 2010
129
USA NY
The best would be rotolazers or oscilazers from code 3 but those arent exactly dash friendly.


Firebeam from federal signal takes it for the dash.
 

JohnMarcson

Administrator
May 7, 2010
10,971
Northwest Ohio
Federal sentry. Best reflector for its size. I would feel comfortable using it as an only light.


If that's too high profile the fire beam is nice too.


John

 
  • Like
Reactions: OliverD

Richard P

Member
May 23, 2010
1,031
Sudbury, On
Dash Laser, Firebeam, Hotshot II. Dash laser is nice and small, the adaptable mirror is easy to snap on. firebeam is nice with the half snap on lenses, extremely bright, just a tiny bit bigger than the dash laser, mirror is bulky, but worth it of you have the dash space, also fits in the svp hotshot mirror nicely. hotshot is bright and very compact, easy snap on lenses, nice small mirror for it too.
 
  • Like
Reactions: I 26

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
JohnMarcson said:
Federal sentry. Best reflector for its size. I would feel comfortable using it as an only light.

If that's too high profile the fire beam is nice too.


John


There's a lot to be said for that, or the FS14 or 100 or whatever the one-bulb halogen version is, with a magnetic base. The Whelen RB series also falls into that category.
 

pdk9

Member
May 26, 2010
3,834
New York & Florida
whelen makes LED beacons, but u'd have to modify them b/c they are only perm surface mount or pipe-mount...how bout the sho-me 360 LED beacon? it comes with mag mount
 

Newberry13

Member
May 21, 2010
613
SC, USA
For LED use the Code 3 LSS 222, or use the Fed Sig Fire Beam. I ave personally used a firebeam as a throw light, and it held at 75+ MPH.
 

rwo978

Member
May 21, 2010
5,196
ND, USA
Firebeam. nuff said.
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
NPS Ranger said:
The mag mount FedSig 100 is nice cause it lifts the light beam up above the crossbars on an SUV roof rack.

That's good to know - the low-dome Whelens almost get lost in the grooves, ribs and GPS/sat radio antennas on my truck roof. But it is sort of neat to just shove them out the sunroof.
 

nerdly_dood

Member
Jun 15, 2010
2,312
Georgia
I don't much like the look of the FedSig Firebeam - what were they thinking, making a SQUARE rotating light? But it's pretty effective and small, and you can use it with one of those mirror things if your dash is big enough. I figure the most bang for your buck is a magnet-mount FedSig Sentry in 175 FPM for the roof and either a dual-speed Firebeam without the mirror, or a switchable (steady or flash) halogen Code 3 DeckBlaster for the dash.


My all-time favorite light has to be the Sentry - it would look better with a chrome base, rather than no visible base at all, but it's amazingly bright, and relatively small too. For a bigger light you might want to look into a Whelen RB6 - my preference would be the dual-beam version.


SVP doesn't make their full-size beacons in a magnet mount, but they do make a pretty competitive set of smaller beacons - my preference would be the Hotshot 2 since it's more of a normal-shaped light that fits in a reasonably-sized mirror mount.
 

Solvarex

Member
Jun 2, 2010
561
Canada
I don't know who thinks the Whelen Cadet is not bright. That thing throws an incredible amount of light for its size. I keep one as a throw light for various purposes and have never been disappointed with it.


As for the Sentry, Model 100, RB6, I hope you guys are kidding. Hardly convenient to keep in the car, OR throw!
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
If each of them uses a 55 watt halogen bulb, and each bulb is about the same age, and the domes and reflectors are equally clean, how can one be "brighter" than the other? It might be bigger, or smaller, but there's a trade-off for everything.


I think "throw light" is kind of a misnomer. The only people I have seen actually reach out and stick lights on their roofs have been on TV, or they have stopped doing it as soon as the light slid off the roof and bashed a dent into the newest unmarked in the fleet, or figured out that it didn't impress the babes when you rolled up, bailed out and strangled yourself on the light cord through the window frame, which caused it to slide off the roof, bash a dent into the newest unmarked in the fleet, with an added bonus of whacking you in the head on the way down, requiring 3 stitches.
 

VolEms

Member
May 24, 2010
2,112
NY, USA
Take the Whelen Cadet and the Code 3 put them side by side like I have and you will see the result.


About the throw light. Some of us Volunteer for FD or EMS and can respond in my case from 5-12 calls a day using our lights. A lot of Vollies dont want to put a lightbar on their POV. In NYS you have to be visible 360. If you get into an MVA and are not 360 you will not have a leg to stand on. If Im using a slicktop car I will ALWAYS put a light on the roof before I start responding. I put it through the door or sunroof not the window so it wont come off when I open my door.
 

tnems7

Member
May 21, 2010
407
USA Nashville Tennessee
Stendec,


I have a difference of opinion, and I normally have similar opinion to your responses. Instead of a throwlight, I think of my roof light as a temporary roof beacon.


I did 120 MPH with the small domed Federal FB1 centered on my roof, on white 1974 Pontiac. But instead of "throwing" it on the roof, I used the keyhole bracket (furnished on the light) and installed a small set screw. Painted the set screw whte and Never had a problem. Trying it with the larger profile lights, OOPS!


we evaluated the magnetic versions of the Federal Model 14, and they didn't work out so well. The Sentry would probably work out the same. Since 85 MPH is about my top speed anymore, I can tell you the Firebeam has also worked in that application.


When I think of the meaning for a "throw" light among elightbars members, I believe we are discussing a light that can be placed on the vehicle for 360 degree warning after the vehicle is stopped on the scene. For that purpose, these smaller lights are great.


tnems7
 

VolEms

Member
May 24, 2010
2,112
NY, USA
The throw light in NY is used for responding not to put on while on scene. I have seen a Green throw light for On Scene Command.
 

grfd711

Member
Jun 23, 2010
1,546
Sherwood, AR
Regarding the subject matter of what light to use, I'd say go for the FedSig Firebeam or SVP Hotshot II. Got a local guy who uses the HotShot II and it had been a while since I'd seen on in use, and it did fine during the daytime. Either one you go for, they're common, so that means getting a used one, if funds are tight, will be an easy task. Also, if parts are needed (new dome, magnet, etc), will be easy to find. Maintenance will be easier, too, if that's ever an issue.


Regarding the subject of using a throw light, some folks have to have 360 degree visibility. I remember some folks having elaborate lo-pro setups and just keep a cheap throw light to be compliant. Regardless of if it's your main warning or just giving you that compliance with a law, I'd say do the halogen throw light. If something happens to it, you won't be out as much compared to if it was an LED beacon.


Good luck with whatever you use.
 

Richard P

Member
May 23, 2010
1,031
Sudbury, On
I can safely say the "new" hotshot 2 is very bright and a great light, mine just came in. Its a tiny bit larger than the previous generation with the black lens retaining ring, bigger reflector and the domes are not interchangeable between the 2 styles unfortunately. Ill post a comparison video of the new hotshot, old hotshot, dashlaser and firebeam, maybe others... once youtube stops giving me upload errors.
 

NPS Ranger

Member
May 21, 2010
1,989
Penn's Woods
Just to see if it could be done, I bought a used permanent mount Model 100 off Ebay for a couple bucks, put a new 100 watt H1 bulb inside to replace the 55 watt bulb, cemented 4 ceramic ring magnets to the base (almost total base coverage by magnets) and wired it up with zip cord and a cig plug. Have had it up over 100 MPH and it never moved a millimeter, plus it's wicked bright. Just a thought.


And they now make Model 100's in 3 speeds, 95, 120 and 175 FPM.
 

Mike L.

Member
May 21, 2010
261
Everett, WA
VolEms said:
The Code 3 Dashlaser is pretty bright. The Whelen cadet is not that bright. I just put in some vehicles the new Code 3 LED beacon bought on sirennet.com http://www.sirennet.com/c3lss222.html . Whelen also makes the L31 or L32 LED beacon Magnetic mount. Then you can go with the old teardrop light thats bulky and heavy but vintage. I like to go only led with all my new installs.


Who says the Whelen Cadet isn't bright? I have 2 of them one red the other amber and both worked just fine. In fact, until we got the Liberties on our trucks I used to use my red one for emergency response all the time even responding on the freeway. If it works use it, though there will never be a perfect light.


I am not sure if I will need my red one ever again but my amber one will see use when I start my new company.
 

Abacus

Member
May 24, 2010
432
Sydney Australia
SVP Pancake for me - the long duel flash in red still packs a punch . whelen cadet gears gave up so Im not a fan. nearly as bad as the earlier generation slimlighter pattern switch failing out of warranty
 

Richard P

Member
May 23, 2010
1,031
Sudbury, On
Abacus said:
SVP Pancake for me - the long duel flash in red still packs a punch . whelen cadet gears gave up so Im not a fan. nearly as bad as the earlier generation slimlighter pattern switch failing out of warranty

Didnt svp make a mirror assembly for the pancake light? i know I saw one in a movie, similar to the dashlaser mirror.
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
Richard P said:
Didnt svp make a mirror assembly for the pancake light? i know I saw one in a movie, similar to the dashlaser mirror.

That might have been the Five-O light, but I have seen normal SVP or S&W pancakes on generic mirrored mounts.
 

Richard P

Member
May 23, 2010
1,031
Sudbury, On
Stendec said:
That might have been the Five-O light, but I have seen normal SVP or S&W pancakes on generic mirrored mounts.

this was an svp pancake in a perfectly fitted mirror, Ive seen it elsewhere too.
 
May 21, 2010
1,030
LKN, NC
There seem to be some mixed feelings here about driving a vehicle with a magnetic light on the roof. I've never thought that one would actually come off (maybe if you were doing 100mph+), but is that a real possibility?
 

Richard P

Member
May 23, 2010
1,031
Sudbury, On
vonirkinshtine said:
There seem to be some mixed feelings here about driving a vehicle with a magnetic light on the roof. I've never thought that one would actually come off (maybe if you were doing 100mph+), but is that a real possibility?

Ive had my dash laser on my roof with the tiniest magnet and no issue doing 120 km/h
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
vonirkinshtine said:
There seem to be some mixed feelings here about driving a vehicle with a magnetic light on the roof. I've never thought that one would actually come off (maybe if you were doing 100mph+), but is that a real possibility?
I'm guessing road conditions, or lack-of-road conditions have a lot to do with it. The only time I've lost one was a a chase down a very rough logging road. On the other hand, I'm positive I'm not the only cop who's started down the highway with a portable radio or clipboard just sitting on the roof and had it there for a couple miles before we figured out why other drivers were pointing and laughing.
 

nerdly_dood

Member
Jun 15, 2010
2,312
Georgia
I do like the SVP Hotshot 2, but I know for certain that the FedSig Sentry is EXTREMELY bright, even in bright sunlight. I figure that if a light has at least a 55-watt bulb it should do extremely well. I also like the Whelen Responder Cadet but people seem to have mixed feelings about it.


Has anyone tried the Code 3 275? http://code3pse.com/productdtl.jsp?grp= ... d=7&id=194
 

RJ*

Member
May 21, 2010
346
Finland
vonirkinshtine said:
There seem to be some mixed feelings here about driving a vehicle with a magnetic light on the roof. I've never thought that one would actually come off (maybe if you were doing 100mph+), but is that a real possibility?

I've had it happen.
 

NPS Ranger

Member
May 21, 2010
1,989
Penn's Woods
nerdly_dood said:
the FedSig Sentry is EXTREMELY bright, even in bright sunlight. I figure that if a light has at least a 55-watt bulb it should do extremely well. I also like the Whelen Responder Cadet but people seem to have mixed feelings about it.

The Sentry and Model 100 use the same 55 watt bulb/reflector assembly as the Streethawk. The Cadet uses a 20 watt bulb.
 

nerdly_dood

Member
Jun 15, 2010
2,312
Georgia
My reason for liking the Cadet is just the shape - I've never actually seen it used. (I've seen one vehicle with an amber one on top, but not turned on)
 

Forum Statistics

Threads
54,082
Messages
450,238
Members
19,150
Latest member
arnold gonzalez

About Us

  • Since 1997, eLightbars has been the premier venue for all things emergency warning equipment. Discussions, classified listings, pictures, videos, chat, & more! Our staff members strive to keep the forums organized and clutter-free. All of our offerings are free-of-charge with all costs offset by banner advertising. Premium offerings are available to improve your experience.

User Menu

Secure Browsing & Transactions

eLightbars.org uses SSL to secure all traffic between our server and your browsing device. All browsing and transactions within are secured by an SSL Certificate with high-strength encryption.