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  #1  
Old 08-11-2005
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Need professional Strobe lighting for a truck, advise?

alright, i was with my friend last night, and he told me he wants me to work on his truck as soon as possible. he is going to an auction today to get a snow plow, plus some other stuff for plowing. all of the controls, etc.. will be installed by a shop right up the street within the next month. once they're in, i get to start to go to work on the truck. i need help with a little bit of it though!

first off, it's an 03' f250. im tearing out all 4 speakers, and the stock h/u, and replacing them with whatever i tell him to get basically. that part i got down fine. after that, ive got to build a sub box, and maintain the rear seating, i have that part down too. the part i need help with is lighting. last year he plowed for a guy with a black 04 f250, it was loaded with strobes in the tails and headlights, it was a beautiful truck. my friend wants me to replicate the lighting for him, plus add more that any of you might mention. these strobes would only be used while plowing of course, so using them on a normal day while driving wont be an issue or anything.

does anyone know of any strong kits out there?? i dont want the 30 or 40 dollar piece of **** kits from autozone or pepboys or anything like that, im talking professional grade (if there is any such thing). thanks guys!!
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Old 08-11-2005
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Ah, this is mine and Matts departments.

First of all you need to determine how many bulbs you plan on running, if you look in my siggy, i have 2 bulbs in each taillight for a total of 4 bulbs. I have a Whelen 90w 6outlet strobe pack, i got it for 250 all together (Pack, Bulbs, and Cables)
its a great pack, it is what we use here at work.

Be warned, you DO have to drill a 1 (one) inch hole where ever you want to put these.

Also, i see that you want "more" than strobes. again, check out the link in my siggy and look at the LED heads inside of my grill. These are Whelen TIR3 Lightheads. They are around 60 a piece and VERY easy to install. I hightly HIGHLY HIGHLY recomend these lights, it says in my whelen dealer catalog that we can get amber TIR3's *Drool*

If you have some more questions man, ill PM you my cellie and i can talk to you as i work on this altima.
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Old 08-11-2005
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i just did a search on google for the hell of it, to see what i could find on my own, and ran across that same pack. i found a site that sells 2 outlet kits, 4 outlet kits, and 6 outlet kits. i guess i could do the same to his as you did to yours, with the 6pk. i was unsure of the wattage though. is 90 alright? i didnt know to go with that, or the 60 they have. i have to keep in mind that, these lights will be on during the snow storms, and bad weather, when theres barely anyone out there as it is- so i guess 90 wouldnt be bad then.
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Old 08-11-2005
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Id highly recomend the 90 wat pack.

If you want a good site to get them, check out http://strobeguy.safeshopper.com/

My boss has his own side buisness also, and can prolly beat or match that guys price.

I would Deff go with some TIR3 LED's also dude, they are effin BRIGHT!
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Old 08-11-2005
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awesome. i got your pm thomas. im on my way out in a few minutes, so ill save your number. i probably have close to a month before i'd be installing these, so hopefully by then ill learn alot from you guys! thanks again for the help!
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Old 08-11-2005
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if i dont know it matt prolly does, or if we both dont know, i have more i can call :-)

also, with the LED's you can leave them powered on for a day or longer, and it wont drain your battery! they have very LOW current draw, simply amazing little lights they are, we have a cabinet FULL of blue tir3's for our agent's vehicles.
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Old 08-11-2005
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Old 08-11-2005
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galls is a good place, but some of there stuff is way to expensive!

I only have Whelen and Sho me in my truck,

and her at work, we only install whelen and federal stuff
we have some galls headlight flashers, but they arnt worth a poo
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  #9  
Old 08-11-2005
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If it has the word GALLS within 100 feet of the product, don't buy it. Crap crap crap and overpriced if isn't crap!

All the undercover hide-away strobe lighting works great. Grill LED's work great. However, there is one inherent flaw here (and I've done several plow trucks to realize this)... putting all these lights in the grill and corner lights is pointless when you attach a giant steel plow to the front of the truck. The plow and plow lights will block grill mounted lighting. Strobes in the corner lights can be useful as long as they have good side-facing coverage. If the corner lights have 90% of their reflector facing forward, you are wasting your time. In any case, grill mounted strobes for snow plowing are always a waste.

For the rear, you can put amber strobes in the reverse lights. There is nothing to get in the way of that luckily. In any case, you want a minimum of 15 watts per strobe head, preferably 20. Watts per head = Power supply wattage divided by the number of strobes. For two strobes, a Whelen CS-240 is perfect. For 4 or 6 strobes, a Whelen CSP-690 power supply will do nicely.

The ONLY way you are going to get reliable 360 degree warning not blocked by the snow plow and visible to people that aren't practically in front on top of you is to put something on the roof. You can be really simple, or you can be really fancy.

I put this on a dump truck and a pickup truck both used for landscaping and plowing and it is a killer light for the price ($80). This is a Whelen Guardian mini-bar.



I've also used the Whelen 2022 stobe beacon on another pickup and another dump truck. Again for $77.00, it's a killer light.


The fancy stuff for the roof gets pretty expensive. A mini strobe bar such as the Whelen Mini-LFL is around $430.00


A Mini-Edge bar with front and rear work lights will be pushing $550.00


If you want a full-size bar with front and side work lights, you're looking at about $1,000. Picture this in amber.



These are some pictures from a few plow and landscape trucks I worked on this year. I'll get some more of the other trucks later on.


Guardian mini-bar and two-way radio antenna on the roof of the dump truck.


TIR3 LED's on the back of the dump body. I used the "brush guard" mounts so they don't get wacked. There is one on each side of the dump and they are synced.


Added Whelen 500 Series halogen reverse lights and stop/tail/turn LED's. Those stock lights on the chassis SUCK, these things make a world of difference.
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  #10  
Old 08-11-2005
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I have a show-me 6 outlet supply in my truck. I have 2 bulbs in each tail light and one bulb in each of the front corner lights. I have had it for a lil over a year now with no problems.




Vic
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  #11  
Old 08-11-2005
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thanks so much for all of the info already!

and yeah, i figured the grill mounted lights wouldnt be worth it with the plow there. i was planning on doing either a 4 or 6 pk kit from whelen for the 4 corners. he already has a roof mount light (it may even be that same exact one in the first pic, that Whelen Guardian mini-bar), but its getting put on his other truck, so i'd have to get another one of those too.

im getting a rough price list together off of that site, strobeguy, to see what the total would be around-

90 watt 6 head SuperPak Kit- 249.99
Whelen Guardian w/ Magnetic Mounts- 114.99

so for all of the lighting, it would be about 365+ s/h...

hey matt, do you know where you saw $80 for that light bar? the site says 115, i dunno of any other site, but the cheaper, the better, obviously.

also, i plan on building my own switch panel in the dash somewhere, to make it look like part of the dash, as stock as possible for him.. what all is involved with their switch panels.. i dont want to spend 70 bucks on a few switches in a metal box, only to rip it apart to make my own better setup.. do you suggest just getting one from them, or getting the switches on my own and making them. i read about one, and it says its fused, and has a circuit breaker, etc.. do you guys use their switch panels, or do you just make your own??
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  #12  
Old 08-12-2005
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Guardian Bar http://www.vlsusa.com/cgi-bin/vlsusa/G1PA.html

All those pre-packaged strobe kits come with CLEAR STROBES. If you are putting them in a light that has an amber lens already, that's fine. But for the reverse lights and other clear lensed housings, you will need to modify the order for AMBER strobes.

The taillights are not an options either because those would be red.

Cheaper switch box:
http://www.sirennet.com/switmodab205.html
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  #13  
Old 08-12-2005
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i've seen the clear strobes before on construction vehicles, etc. in the reverse lights. they were clear/white, not amber. same with some in the headlights/ clear corners. why would i need to switch to the amber bulbs?
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Old 08-12-2005
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hey tom school me on stroped i kinda want some
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  #15  
Old 08-12-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider0O0
i've seen the clear strobes before on construction vehicles, etc. in the reverse lights. they were clear/white, not amber. same with some in the headlights/ clear corners. why would i need to switch to the amber bulbs?
Because it's against the law. Red, blue, green, and clear are for emergency vehicles and the personal vehicles of volunteer fire/ems agencies. Snowplow, construction, utility, news media, etc etc etc are authorized ONLY for amber flashing or revolving lights. This is per the PA state motor vehicle code.

Redneckstone, what do you want to do?
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Old 08-12-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger
Because it's against the law. Red, blue, green, and clear are for emergency vehicles and the personal vehicles of volunteer fire/ems agencies. Snowplow, construction, utility, news media, etc etc etc are authorized ONLY for amber flashing or revolving lights. This is per the PA state motor vehicle code.

Redneckstone, what do you want to do?
ehhh stupid laws....you think my kc's are legal no...o well...

i dontk now what i want to do thats why i was wondering like say how the indepenant led's or maybe the acual strobe bulbs or anything i never really dug deep on them
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  #17  
Old 08-12-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FireRanger
Because it's against the law. Red, blue, green, and clear are for emergency vehicles and the personal vehicles of volunteer fire/ems agencies. Snowplow, construction, utility, news media, etc etc etc are authorized ONLY for amber flashing or revolving lights. This is per the PA state motor vehicle code.
i figured there'd be some restricttion for color, thanks for clearing it up. with that said, i've still seen many work trucks with the clears in them. ill of course tell my friend that it is technically against the law to have the clear, and amber is only permitted on construction vehicles, but knowing him, he'll insist on clears anyway (maybe not, who knows).the thing is, is that its only him and other plow guys out there all night/day whenever they get called out. cops like to stay out of the way so they can keep working, i don't know that they'd bother him over the lighting like that. i've never heard of any of the other guys gettin busted on.. then again though, there's always a first i guess. either way, thanks for the info, ill make sure to let my friend know about the law, then let him decide on his own what he wants to do from there. lol, ill also then have to tell him that it's another 13 dollars a bulb to substitute an amber bulb in for a clear in that package.
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  #18  
Old 08-12-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Redneckstone
ehhh stupid laws....you think my kc's are legal no...o well...

i dontk now what i want to do thats why i was wondering like say how the indepenant led's or maybe the acual strobe bulbs or anything i never really dug deep on them
Yea, but your KC's aren't flashing to request the right of way from traffic and I suspect they aren't ablaze when you have traffic around you.

What purpose are the stobes going to serve. I can't recommend anything until you tell me what you want them for.
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Old 08-12-2005
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Originally Posted by FireRanger
Yea, but your KC's aren't flashing to request the right of way from traffic and I suspect they aren't ablaze when you have traffic around you.

What purpose are the stobes going to serve. I can't recommend anything until you tell me what you want them for.
no i wouldnt use them for that reason at all. hmm i'll figure it out. i wanted to know what the different styles are. like led or other thats all
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  #20  
Old 08-12-2005
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I just bought 8 more TIR3's :)

I have my system out of my truck and sitting in my room right now. I have to get my truck through NC inspection and then they will be going back in. Not to mention the big Trucklite graphics that are being made for the bedsides :)
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  #21  
Old 08-12-2005
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Alright, now you're going to get me going in vehicle lighting and warning systems design. I was hoping to not have to do this until we start specing our new engine next year. Oh well. Lets say someone handed me a Ford Ranger and said "Make this an emergency vehicle". You have basicly three horizontal levels of lighting. They are:
Lower (Grill, corner lights, headlights, taillights bumpers, fenders, etc)
Mid (Windshield and back window, tool box in the bed, etc)
Upper (Above the rear view mirror and on the roof)

For the lower area, you can put wig-wags in which alternate flash the high beam headlights and is perhaps the most effective attention getter. You can put hide-away strobes in the corner lights, tail lights, and reverse lights. You drill a 1" hole and the strobe tube pops into it. You need a pretty big light housing to not melt the lens.

You can put strobes or LED's behind the grill. There are several types that range from round to rectangular and all have different mounting devices. The Whelen TIR3 that myself and Thomas use lots of are awsome. They are $60 each, they sync themselves and only require 12 volt direct power. There are several brackets available for them, or you can fab your own, I've done both on many different vehicles. LED's are almost always cheaper than strobes because you don't need any external power supplies to run them, plus they last forever.


There are several strobe models that come with bail or pedistal brackets. Some such as the Whelen GRL grill strobes will fit right into the 90's style ford truck grills. Strobes require the use of a power supply. Powers supplies come in 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, & 12 outlet models. They also range in wattage from 20 to 180 watts. You always want at least 15 watts per strobe head. Devide watts by strobe heads. If you have 2 strobes, you want a 40 watt pack. If you have 4 or 6, you want at least a 90 watt pack. If you have 8, you want the big **** 120-180 watt packs. Needless to say, the more outlets and watts, the more $$.
[img]http://a248.e.akamai.net/f/248/5462/2h/strobeguy.safeshopper.com/images/g15ho33.jpg[img]



For the Mid level, there are all kinds of dashmount lights out there. For LED lighting, there is basicly no rival to the Whelen Talon. It is the most retina busting dashlight out there today. They run about $230 new. These work great in the windshield or the back windows.

The same TIR3 LED's you can put in the grill also go well in the back windows. Strobe dashlights are obsolete when you concider their price and how dim they are compared to the LED model. Halogen rotating dashlights such as the Federal Signal Firebeam are good economic lights. Whelen makes strobe and LED lights that affix to the side mirrors for intersection angles. This is something you put on a cruiser, not a personal vehicle as they are ugly but effective.

For the upper level, you have more lightbar options than there are people on earth. The current king in this department is the Whelen LED Liberty and the LED Freedom bar. They will kick anything's butt.


There are several other smaller models that I noted in the above posts.
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  #22  
Old 08-12-2005
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SONICEDGE03
I just bought 8 more TIR3's :)

I have my system out of my truck and sitting in my room right now. I have to get my truck through NC inspection and then they will be going back in. Not to mention the big Trucklite graphics that are being made for the bedsides :)
8 MORE? Good god man, are you escorting airplanes when the runway lights go out
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  #23  
Old 08-12-2005
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wow good write up. I think I think i need to dive into this more
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  #24  
Old 08-12-2005
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THere ya go zach, sorry i havnt posted, im home on lunch right now, unable to get on at work.
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  #25  
Old 08-12-2005
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I'm at work eating lunch wishing I was at home..

Actually, I wish I was sleeping. 3 hours of sleep after sweating twice my body weight at a fire last night, I'm ready to curl up in a ball in front of an air conditioner and sleep for a week.
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