Location is not only important when buying real estate but also when designing a lighting package for your new patrol or traffic unit. With the huge variety of vehicles on the road today a fleet manager’s duty is to make sure officers are seen at all angles to keep not only the officer, but the public safe as well.
I recommend fleet managers divide each unit’s side into three zones:
After that I recommend the following approach for each zone:
Most agencies use a roof mounted exterior light bar to cover the high zone on all four sides. However, depending on the size of the vehicle that might not be enough to safely highlight the vehicle, especially in the rear of say a SUV.
For a SUV I highly recommend a rear “stick” with 6 or 8 light modules mounted on interior rear hatch window or multiple lights mounted under the rear spoiler.
Note: Light bars that are not SAE Class 1 or California title 13 rated are not recommended for your build. See my former posts.
For the front I highly recommend lighting mounted in the top bar of a push bumper. You can get 2, 4 or 6 lights installed and wired from your preferred manufacture but I highly recommend Setina. Getting dual colors that include white LEDs gives you the ability to have additional scene lighting when using SoundOff’s bluePRINT™ control system.
For the rear of the unit I would recommend mounting lights on either side of the license plate. Again, I recommend dual or tri color lights so with bluePRINT™ you can use red LEDs to augment braking and white LEDs for reverse.
The sides are more interesting. You can use lights mounted inside of the rear door window in front of window bars (Setina will custom cut them for large orders if you ask them.) or with the new mPOWER™ quick clip you can install them on either the front, or rear door seams. Mounting the Quick Clip/mPOWER™ combination on the outside gives a brighter light than trying to pushing the light through window tint. Also mounting the mPOWER™ on the outside SoundOff can match the mPOWER™ housing to the vehicle exterior color so it blends in with the unit’s overall color great for stealth traffic units.
For the front I would recommend lighting mounted low on the bumper or if possible in the fog light area. Again if you use dual or tri-color lighting with bluePRINT™ you can create additional scene lighting. In the rear you can use mPOWER™ dual or tri-color lighting with 35, 15 or 5 degree “wedges” to again aid in backing up or braking. For the side I highly recommend the SoundOff nLINE™ which comes in sizes up to 72″ long.
Proper light placement using the three zone principal may slightly increase the initial cost of procuring a unit but in the long run it can save lives – helping the agency fleet manager achieve their goals.