Upgrading Beacons

richmond

Member
May 25, 2010
25
USA - East Coast
This topic may have been addressed already, but...


Is there anyway to convert a standard halogen beacon into a LED Beacon? Is there anyway I can retrofit it to work with a LED diode instead of a halogen?
 

kadetklapp

Member
May 21, 2010
1,568
Indiana
This has been beat to death, but there actually is no definitive answer.


I've been fiddling with it for a couple years. I want to take a classic old-school beacon (Powerlight, Unity spitfire, Federal 174, Grote, Yankee, the list goes on) and convert one to effective LED PAR36 modules in place of the incandescent bulbs.


Someone on the old, old, old board did this with a pair of I think 174s and linear whelen LED par36 bulbs. It looked awesome, but there wasn't really the right "snap" to the beams as they cross your visual path. I've not seen this done with TIR type LEDs. Soon as I get some extra cash and a clear 184 dome I want to give this a try.
 

TangoDown

Member
May 22, 2010
96
Montana
Somewhere in the old boards there was a link to a tutorial where some Scandinavian genius created an array of LEDs that flashed in a rotary pattern. He put them inside of an old beacon housing and made himself a pretty nifty LED beacon light for fairly cheap. You could also program in various patterns and flashes because it was all based off a PIC microchip (I think, or maybe it was an Arduino?)
 

VolEms

Member
May 24, 2010
2,112
NY, USA
MSP Goes LED: Traditional Patrol Light Receives Modern Upgrade


Under Red "Bubble" Cover (Old): The old MSP beacon used motor-driven technology from the 1950s.


Since the 1950s, Michigan State Police (MSP) patrol cars have been adorned with a unique rotating red light on the roof. As the only state police department in the country to use this design, the single overhead red light is unmistakably identifiable to both Michigan residents and other law enforcement agencies. Many people often inquire about the "bubble" or "gumball" light and usually assume it is used today solely as tradition.


While the department is accustomed to this look, the benefits go beyond tradition. The single overhead light has been proven to enhance acceleration and performance. The nationally recognized Police Vehicle Evaluation, conducted by the MSP Precision Driving Unit, has found that vehicles with a full overhead light bar accelerate slower than vehicles with a single overhead light. Additionally, the reduced forward-facing surface area of the single light provides greater fuel savings when compared to the larger surface area of a light bar.


Just recently, the MSP "bubble" light underwent a makeover to improve its energy efficiency. Working with Whelen Engineering, a Brighton, Mich.-based firm, a prototype using Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) was developed. After nearly four years of research, development and testing, Whelen Engineering and the Precision Driving Unit produced a light kit that fits in the existing overhead light shell.


Under Red "Bubble" Cover (New): The new LED-based MSP beacon provides enhanced performance and has a longer lifespan.


The new LED overhead light produces an intense, wide-angle red light in all directions that only requires three amps to operate. Each kit uses 12 light heads, nine LED bulbs per head, for a total of 108 lights in each car; far more than most standard light bars. The LED bulbs have an 100,000-hours-of-use rating and a five-year warranty from date of service.


To reduce installation costs, current MSP patrol cars will be fitted with the new LED overhead light kits when there is a light failure. Since the LED lights are maintenance free and eliminate the need for heavy-duty wiring and special switches, the MSP estimates this will ultimately result in a cost-savings.
 

tnems7

Member
May 21, 2010
407
USA Nashville Tennessee
You may also check the thread under "LEDs for Twinsonics" in the Vintage and Collectable Lighting section. Some good explanations of why it hasn't worked, but is still something many hope will become a reality.
 

crt6mrt-265

Member
May 23, 2010
800
Central NJ
Unless you retrofit it with led modules.... there isn't really a way other then that. I found an led H1 bulb, blue, and replaced the halogen h1 in my firebeam. The led's throw the light in different directions, versus the halogen that has a solid beam. When the reflector comes around it doesn't give nearly as good of a "pop" that the halogen does. So either purchase one that is already an led beacon, or retrofit it with led modules. Now if only the big companies and come up with a retrofit kit....... now that would be nice.
 

tnems7

Member
May 21, 2010
407
USA Nashville Tennessee
Henry455,


This looks better than the spotlight PAR36 listed under LEDs for Twinsonics. Any Whelen dealer got an idea what these bulbs will cost in the 14 VDC version, and whether either the 10 degree or 40 degree spread will do the job!


Reminds me when we used to put aircraft landing lights in our Federal and Unity beacons.
 

unlisted

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 20, 2010
7,333
NA
tnems7 said:
Henry455,

This looks better than the spotlight PAR36 listed under LEDs for Twinsonics. Any Whelen dealer got an idea what these bulbs will cost in the 14 VDC version, and whether either the 10 degree or 40 degree spread will do the job!


Reminds me when we used to put aircraft landing lights in our Federal and Unity beacons.

I would hazard a guess the 10 degree would provide more of a "pop" on the rotation.. but 40 may be better since it would both "pop" and "dwell" a tad longer..


Price? Around $ 250 ish..


http://www.aircraftspruce.com/catalog/e ... par363.php


http://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/el/ ... nding.html
 

tnems7

Member
May 21, 2010
407
USA Nashville Tennessee
I just downloaded the Aircraft price list -$475 a bulb! Now, I realize nobody pays list price, but even at $250, to replace four lamps in a lightbar would be $1,000.


Hopefully, some other manf. will reverse engineer the technology and provide it for the non-flight users light the elightbars officados.
 

unlisted

Lifetime VIP Donor
May 20, 2010
7,333
NA
tnems7 said:
I just downloaded the Aircraft price list -$475 a bulb! Now, I realize nobody pays list price, but even at $250, to replace four lamps in a lightbar would be $1,000.

Hopefully, some other manf. will reverse engineer the technology and provide it for the non-flight users light the elightbars officados.

Buy one, send it to Asia.. :roll:
 

VolEms

Member
May 24, 2010
2,112
NY, USA
It looks like MSP converted the Unity Hologen for Whelen LED's in their Beacons and they are in service. The officer in the vid seems to like them.

 

tigers2007

Member
May 24, 2010
61
Midwest
Anyone hear of the GyroLED?


When I first saw the vid I would have bet $20 that it was a rotator until they get a close look at it. I hope they make this in red.
 

tigers2007

Member
May 24, 2010
61
Midwest
Wow i've been out of the loop for a while. Appears that Code 3's LSS222 could be a good comparison. The simulated rotation just looks better on the Gyroled though.
 

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