LED adjustable scene light for fire truck

Sigma Safety

Member
May 21, 2010
766
western Canada
Hi all,


Does anyone know of a good LED scene light to mount on the back of fire apparatus? Basically like the FRC 'Focus' lights (pull/push-up, 120vac) but instead of being halogen, the lights are LED.


Any suggestions would be appreciated.


Cheers


M
 

grfd711

Member
Jun 23, 2010
1,546
Sherwood, AR
Try Rigid Industries. The 10" E series lights are built stronger, perform better and are more affordable than Whelen's. We've sampled some on my paid dept and plan on upgrading soon. We saw the 4" and the 10", but other lengths, as well as custom, are available. The company plans on releasing more products, to include additional mounting accessories in the near future.


Here's

testing, including beaten with a 2x4 and golf club, drug behind a vehicle and driven over.
 

NPS Ranger

Member
May 21, 2010
1,990
Penn's Woods
grfd711 said:
torture testing, including beaten with a 2x4 and golf club, drug behind a vehicle and driven over.

If you're going to drive over your scene lights, you need to stop letting probies drive the trucks! :lol:
 

led0987

Member
Jul 13, 2010
34
Joplin, MO
grfd711 said:
Try Rigid Industries. The 10" E series lights are built stronger, perform better and are more affordable than Whelen's. We've sampled some on my paid dept and plan on upgrading soon. We saw the 4" and the 10", but other lengths, as well as custom, are available. The company plans on releasing more products, to include additional mounting accessories in the near future.

Here's


Ok Here we go-


1- Rigid lights do not mount to FRC or Havis poles which offers very little versatility in the fire market. And Rigid does not offer poles themselves.


2- The 10" E series you suggested only puts out 3200 lumens with a lifespan of 50,000+ hours. Whelens Pioneer PLUS which is an equivalent size to the 10" E Series puts out 14,000 lumens with a 100,000+ lifespan.


3- Rigid does not post anything about their warranty policies on their website. When I called and asked their sales department they said the LED E series lights are only warrantied for 2 years. Whelen warranties for a full 5.


I see a BIG difference!! If your only buying based off price you are going to be disappointed with what you get.
 

strobenj

Member
Jul 16, 2010
33
Clifton, NJ
grfd711 said:
Try Rigid Industries. The 10" E series lights are built stronger, perform better and are more affordable than Whelen's. We've sampled some on my paid dept and plan on upgrading soon. We saw the 4" and the 10", but other lengths, as well as custom, are available. The company plans on releasing more products, to include additional mounting accessories in the near future.

Here's


WOW! That is some high level scientific testing. :roll:


I wonder if the President of Whelen puts all of his products on his office chair and whacks it with a piece of wood.
 

Stendec

Member
May 21, 2010
816
strobenj said:
WOW! That is some high level scientific testing. :roll:

I wonder if the President of Whelen puts all of his products on his office chair and whacks it with a piece of wood.

Given the number of times that cars plow through brushy fields and that lightbars get whacked by low-lying tree branches, It probably isn't a bad test at all.
 

Sigma Safety

Member
May 21, 2010
766
western Canada
Looking at the FRC page, they now have a 14,000 lumen LED model of the "focus" light head ( http://www.fireresearch.com/product.php?id=fca100 ). Does anyone have any experience with that? It's only 12vdc but FRC says that they have a 120vac version as well. The only problem is that it's not CUL approved so it's not {yet} legal for sale in Canada.
 

grfd711

Member
Jun 23, 2010
1,546
Sherwood, AR
Stendec said:
Given the number of times that cars plow through brushy fields and that lightbars get whacked by low-lying tree branches, It probably isn't a bad test at all.

+1


Not that I'm wanting to start an arguement, but I've looked into these lately and was impressed with them overall compared against the Pioneer. Here's a couple of reasons why:


Whelen Pioneer doesn't offer combination pattern of spot/flood, only one spot next to a flood.


As far as I know, Whelen Pioneer isn't offered in amber. Rigid does, as their tests have shown it performs better in fog and smoky environments. If the Whelen Pioneer is offered in amber, please let me know.


The Rigid lights are available in multiple sizes, as well as custom. Whelen only offered two.


The fact the Rigid can sustain damage that would stop a diode, two or however many that were physically damaged, but the remaining undamaged diodes would continue to operate.


Whelen does have the nod as far as mounting, as they've been available for a while. Rigid is still a young company. I stated that Rigid is going to be releasing more products later this year, which will include mounting options, pole mounting will be part of that. Havis' name was thrown around, but no guarantees. Still, the company is exploring many options.


**Edit** Got off the phone with my buddy who's an OEM Rigid dealer. Specifically for Fire/Rescue use, the E series light from Rigid has a LIFETIME warranty.
 

grfd711

Member
Jun 23, 2010
1,546
Sherwood, AR
leftcoastmark said:
Looking at the FRC page, they now have a 14,000 lumen LED model of the "focus" light head ( http://www.fireresearch.com/product.php?id=fca100 ). Does anyone have any experience with that? It's only 12vdc but FRC says that they have a 120vac version as well. The only problem is that it's not CUL approved so it's not {yet} legal for sale in Canada.

That's pulling a lot of amps compared to the Pioneer (see, I'm not totally against the Pioneer! :p ). But, it's a great direct replacement for those that already have the FRC lights. If you find out a price for both 12vdc and 120vac (in U.S.), please post it, as that's what my FD currently has and a direct replacement would be quite convenient. Only thing to consider from there is to go for the 120vac or to change to 12vdc.
 

led0987

Member
Jul 13, 2010
34
Joplin, MO
grfd711 said:
+1


Not that I'm wanting to start an arguement, but I've looked into these lately and was impressed with them overall compared against the Pioneer. Here's a couple of reasons why:


Whelen Pioneer doesn't offer combination pattern of spot/flood, only one spot next to a flood.


As far as I know, Whelen Pioneer isn't offered in amber. Rigid does, as their tests have shown it performs better in fog and smoky environments. If the Whelen Pioneer is offered in amber, please let me know.


The Rigid lights are available in multiple sizes, as well as custom. Whelen only offered two.


The fact the Rigid can sustain damage that would stop a diode, two or however many that were physically damaged, but the remaining undamaged diodes would continue to operate.


Whelen does have the nod as far as mounting, as they've been available for a while. Rigid is still a young company. I stated that Rigid is going to be releasing more products later this year, which will include mounting options, pole mounting will be part of that. Havis' name was thrown around, but no guarantees. Still, the company is exploring many options.


**Edit** Got off the phone with my buddy who's an OEM Rigid dealer. Specifically for Fire/Rescue use, the E series light from Rigid has a LIFETIME warranty.

You made some good points. My department is finalizing our new Pierce specs now and I mentioned to the committee we should look at these; although its HIGHLY unlikely we would consider them. Just too many downsides that we can see.


Looking at Rigids diagram at the bottom of this page http://www.rigidindustries.com/product_p/rgdl10.htm they detail how their light performs at 400 feet. Both FRC and Whelen go beyond that, 180 yards or more. Also the diagram shows a relatively shallow light output left to right which is also where both FRC and Whelen do better.

Whelen Pioneer doesn't offer combination pattern of spot/flood, only one spot next to a flood.

From what I can tell looking over Rigids website, neither does Rigid. You have to order in either Spot or Flood. At least Whelen gives you one light head with both options. Please provide a link to the part of the site that states they are combo's in a single unit. Not that I'm claiming incorrect information, I would just like to see if that is true.

As far as I know, Whelen Pioneer isn't offered in amber. Rigid does, as their tests have shown it performs better in fog and smoky environments. If the Whelen Pioneer is offered in amber, please let me know.

Interestingly enough- my department did tests with the Pioneer in a smoke house and it performed very well. In a smokey environment the light coming out of the Pioneer turns yellow. So much so you can look directly at the light, but its still strong enough that the light is shining in all 4 corners of the room very well.


I cant imagine Havis, Whelen or FRC would provide an amber scene light as its not practical for the fire market. The majority of the time your operating in nighttime conditions your going to be looking for a white light. The other purpose of the scene light is to provide exceptional side to side lighting which would not be accomplished very well with an amber design.

The Rigid lights are available in multiple sizes, as well as custom. Whelen only offered two.

Why offer more? The industry standard for as long as I can remember were 6 and 12 inch designs. Applications for vehicle mounted are designed specifically with those in mind, such as recessed mounts. If FRC, Havis, or Whelen offered 10 different sizes they would have to offer 10 different mounts, pedestals, chrome flanges, etc...


Cant image a pumper with 30" scene lights running along the side of it in place of hard suction. Although a pumper with 30" recessed scene lights does sound pretty sharp.

The fact the Rigid can sustain damage that would stop a diode, two or however many that were physically damaged, but the remaining undamaged diodes would continue to operate.

Thats relatively common with most LED setups now and days. I understand some applications involve the operation of the lights in "rough" conditions but I cant image any department would drive a pumper into a heavily wooded area and risk damaging not just the lights, but mounted equipment, and a precious paint job as well.


Some might, but not us volies.


Again, this is just my opinion.


Who knows, maybe these guys will become well known in the market one day, but until that time, I cant imagine they will take a big piece of the market share between FRC, Havis, and Whelen.
 

grfd711

Member
Jun 23, 2010
1,546
Sherwood, AR
Rigid is very young and didn't even plan on designing stuff for Fire/Rescue or Military use, though they have gotten a lot of attention from both. I personally don't think they'll take a big piece of the market, either. I do think they'll earn at least an honorable mention.


Regarding the combo patterns, I haven't seen them in person but our dealer advised it's available when one wanted to order. No link available, so I'll have to ask him to clarify.


I've personally demoed the amber units and they were quite interesting. Gotta remember, these lights were originally designed for off road use (as seen on the website). So, amber would be like fog lights, just in a much bigger housing depending on who ordered it for what application. Now, would I want it to be my main lighting for the scene? Nope. If I had the cash for ancillary lighting, yeah, but I don't see that being too practical with most agency's budgets.


As far as length, I think that's up to the individual for what they like or perhaps what may look good on their rig. Sure, we could get a massive 50" bar to put across the cab/under a lightbar of a rig or along each side, but I wouldn't want it, either (though I do like your idea of a long recessed light, possibly in something like a heavy rescue body or HAZMAT unit). But, if one wanted something small to fit on the back of a rig, say, next to warning beacons (imagine the older setup of warning beacons with Unity spotlights next to each one), one could get the smaller size for that application. I just like the fact the options are there.


Regarding the durability, I am concerned about how things will hold up. If one has a cross of an urban and rural area, there are those crappy areas that could cause the damage, the most common problem being low slung trees. Of course, what may not break the actual light itself could still destroy a mount. Still, you never know when the unthinkable happens, like when you have a guy drive off with a rig's high side compartment door still open (so glad it wasn't on my dept) and start smashing stuff (barely missed my rig but destroyed another dept's roof ladder and the exterior mounts).


FRC and Whelen are taking the cake with the reach of their lights. Personally, I've never had to light up a scene more than 180 yards from the truck. Now, on large scale incidents, perhaps a high rise or HAZMAT scene where the rigs ARE a distance from the actual incident, I could see where that would come in handy and wouldn't question the need one bit.


We're considering upgrading our scene lighting to LED in the future at work, but are still exploring our options. It's a possibility some Rigid lights would be used for other purposes, but now I've seen the FRC LED, I'd want that to replace our tripod lights with those, as they're FRC and a direct replacement would make things so much more easier. Now, we may consider lights on the side of a body or on the rear of the body (similiar to the good 'ol twin Unity setup on the rear of older rigs), the door's still open for us to decide, as we're a ways from making a purchase.
 

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