LED Terms 101 and colors

If it can be done right for example the newer new york state police cars they have nicely done it with color lens but on other hand if it can't be done right just stick with led color. my 2 cents.
 
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Alovebaby41 said:
If it can be done right for example the newer new york state police cars they have nicely done it with color lens but on other hand if it can't be done right just stick with led color. my 2 cents.

Uh, what?
 

VolEms

Veteran Member
I think he means the NYSP new patrol cars have colored lenses on their Liberty lightbars and they work well. I put the LED the same color as the lens. I put red vertex's behind my red turn signals in the rear. I tried out the white vertex behind red lenses it didnt look right. Strobes is a diff story. I would say always match the lens and the LED color.
 
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VolEms said:
I think he means the NYSP new patrol cars have colored lenses on their Liberty lightbars and they work well. I put the LED the same color as the lens. I put red vertex's behind my red turn signals in the rear. I tried out the white vertex behind red lenses it didnt look right. Strobes is a diff story. I would say always match the lens and the LED color.

Right, that is what this "repost" already discussed.. in depth. :)
 

hawkspringsfire

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Written by Responder PSE

When it comes to leds, what does Gen3 really mean?

Light Emitting Diodes, those magical illuminating semiconductors, have been around now for more than four decades. In just the last ten years or so, the led has undergone a tremendous evolutionary transformation. Originally only able to produce light in the red wavelength, they can now produce nearly any color in the spectrum. In addition, the achievable power levels of leds have increased exponentially. This has led to explosive growth in the emergency vehicle lighting (EVL) market.


The term “Gen1” generally refers to the traditional 5mm led which has been with us for most of the last forty years. The 5mm led typically has a light dispersion angle of approximately 10-15° but the overall light energy is relatively low. Because 5mm diodes were the only affordable option when emergency vehicle lighting began to incorporate them almost ten years ago, generating enough light to meet emergency vehicle lighting standards required using large number of these Gen1 leds to do so. This is why Gen1 products are made up of tens, if not hundreds of leds. Products based on the Gen1 led are economical to produce and therefore provide an affordable entry level option. However, it’s important to understand the inherent limitations of these lights. They have a very narrow angle of visibility and they tend to lose their effectiveness in bright sunshine.


ai233.photobucket.com_albums_ee229_hawkspringsfire_gen1.jpg


The Gen2 led, also known as the Super Flux led, is widely used in automotive applications due to its higher energy output, much wider viewing angle and stout architecture. However, it did not find its way into many emergency vehicle lighting products. This can be attributed to both its size as well as the need to group large numbers of these leds together to produce a significant light output. Currently there are very few products using Gen 2 LEDs.


ai233.photobucket.com_albums_ee229_hawkspringsfire_gen2.jpg


Today’s high tech leds come in a wide range of configurations. It’s no longer an apples to apples comparison. The reference to Gen3 is more akin to the fact that these new leds are able to operate at much higher energy levels for longer periods of time. This translates into a significant increase in light output. So it only takes a few of these high output leds to provide the required light output required for EVL. In addition, these leds have very wide viewing angles, in some cases as much as 160 degrees. Because of this, products utilizing these leds have a greater effective warning signal. The Gen3 moniker therefore, is a misnomer. A much more accurate classification of these leds is wattage. leds used in most EVL products are either 1w or 3w. Higher power levels have been developed, but the heat they generate is greater than can be effectively dissipated. This means that for the foreseeable future, this is where “Gen3” warning lights will remain.


ai233.photobucket.com_albums_ee229_hawkspringsfire_gen3.jpg


What does all of this mean? In short, Gen1 products offer generally acceptable performance at an economical price point. Products such as the Hawk I and Hawk II provide an economical entry point for the first responder. Gen3 led products are the current industry standard. These products offer the greatest performance in light output and wide angle visibility. Dash lights, such as the Titan series, and grille lights, such as the TLED04 and RECT-14 are brilliant day or night. They provide the greatest level of visibility and when you get down to the heart of the matter, being seen is the key to being safe when responding. Conspicuity is the key and emergency vehicle lighting incorporating Gen3 leds are the best performer.


© Responder PSE
 

tnems7

Member
Nice review.


Why not add information about the technologies used to focus and distribute the light from LEDs, explaining the Conical and TIR terms, mirrored backing, etc?
 

eggcarton

Junior Member
Thanks for the info. I kind of guessed what gen 1 & 3 was but I never knew exactly what it was. Could you also give an overview of linear leds and TIR - like tnems7 said.


I have seen a work vehicle around my area with a gen 1 LED lightbar - has to be almost round because you can only see what is facing straight on.


In quite a few unmarked vehicles they also use gen 1 Able 2 Visor lights - not only primary but the only visual warning, but the siren is worse. Had one sitting on out tail, not talking, no music but thought we had run over a bird or something. Anyway, will be doing some work for Fleet Management in a couple of weeks! See if I can get them to use better equipment on their unmarked cars :lol:
 

want_dem

Newbie
nice thread very informative, just a question - what kind of led do they use for lin3? and how it differs with tir3?
 

Solvarex

Banned
It should also be noted that LED colors refer to the color of light produced, as almost all LEDs produced now are clear when off. That means LED warning lights come in WHITE, NOT clear. Clear is not a color of light and no manufacturer refers to their white LED products as clear (even though Whelen product codes use C for white LEDs, the color is plainly stated as WHITE).
 

ryan

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VolEms

Veteran Member
When it comes to LED's the LED's and the lens should be the same color, including vertex's , LAW's and all HAW. This M7 is Red LED's and Red lens


ai950.photobucket.com_albums_ad345_VolEms_car777.jpg
 
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unlisted

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Well, you can always used colored LED's and a clear lens too.. ;)


and daumn do I like how that m7 looks on that mirror!
 

VolEms

Veteran Member
Thanks . You can use Colored LED's with a clear lens. I am still a big fan of colored lenses on marked vehicles. Here is a pic of the M7 custom job.


ai950.photobucket.com_albums_ad345_VolEms_M7installonsienna.jpg
 
I know vertexs look horrible in white behind colored lenses as with most. The several NYSP Patrol Cars Ive seen have the colored lenses across the back but also have the same color LEDs behind it.
 

EL1998P71

Senior Member
I have a pair of white TIR6's on the front of my truck with amber len's on it.


It looks decent, the yellow is a lighter color then a regular amber LED.


Also I now have 4 Vertex's (2 green 2 amber) and inside a small reverse light they were horrible.


So I put the clear strobes back in. But by themselves, surface mounted they are very bright.
 
Something is if you going to us color lenses you have to go with color lenses all the way around what i mean is if you have colored lenses on perimeter lights but not on a light bar, it just doesn't match. Stick with one and go with it.
 

wduda152

Member
Alovebaby41 said:
Something is if you going to us color lenses you have to go with color lenses all the way around what i mean is if you have colored lenses on perimeter lights but not on a light bar, it just doesn't match. Stick with one and go with it.
Couldn't agree more. I hate apparatus that has colored lenses and a clear lightbar. I think that with colored lenses the light shows up as a much more bold signal verses clear lenses.
 

nerdly_dood

Veteran Member
It's part of why traffic lights often have the black backing around them, and the same with flashing lights on school buses - with a dark background, lights show up better. So with clear lenses, colored LEDs don't show up as well as with darker colored lenses.
 
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nerdly_dood said:
It's part of why traffic lights often have the black backing around them, and the same with flashing lights on school buses - with a dark background, lights show up better. So with clear lenses, colored LEDs don't show up as well as with darker colored lenses.
... :roll:
 

cutiger

Member
nerdly_dood said:
It's part of why traffic lights often have the black backing around them, and the same with flashing lights on school buses - with a dark background, lights show up better. So with clear lenses, colored LEDs don't show up as well as with darker colored lenses.
If you have a dark color it will filter more light then a light color causing the light color lens to be brighter. You say that "with a dark background, lights show up better". Lenses have nothing to do with being a background.
 
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Uh, I'm pretty darn sure a coloured filter WILL diminish some light output, VS a clear (transparent) lens... regardless if its LED, halogen, strobe..


Anyways, this is starting to get a tad off topic from the Original post..
 

TnEMT1

Junior Member
I have read this time and time again and have always been too embarrased to ask, but whats the difference between a ballast type light and a passive type light. i have tried to figure it out and tried asking without looking dumb so i gave up. t thought about buying a talon but im not sure which type to buy? Help boys and girls?


Thanks Alot!!
 

JohnMarcson

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Passive is a 12 volt lighthead that can be hooked directly to automotive power. Ballast means the light heads run off a different voltage and require a power supply much like a strobe. Ballast units are an older technology.
 

JohnMarcson

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from the same faq


Q Can you place a color lens in front of a white LED and get effective emergency warning like traditional lighting technologies?


A No. While you can place a color lens in front of strobe and halogen light sources, white LEDs do not perform the same way. Strobe and halogen light sources produce a broad spectrum of light. A portion of that spectrum filters through the color lens to deliver red, blue, amber and even green lighting. White LEDs generate a much narrower spectrum of light. Only a small, ineffective portion of that spectrum will pass through the color filter. However, monochromatic LEDs (e.g. red, blue, amber) work extremely well when matched with the same color lens -- transmitting over 86% of their original light output.
 

EL1998P71

Senior Member
It's been awhile since I had a Ballast style 500 series lighthead in my hand.


But I got a LFL today, and the lightheads just have 2 wires. The ends are 12 led. with large heat sinks on the back.


How can you tell the difference between? Just put 12 volts to it, and if it doesn't light it's either dead or Ballast style?
 

EL1998P71

Senior Member
Ends are 12, rest are 8. MR 11 Alleys and 500 series takedowns work. Alleys are on a aluminum bracket attached to the endcap.


Which I've never seen before. Nothing has any dates on it. And it has a large decal on the bottom that says DEMO BAR
 

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