Articles and Education for Safety Lights and Signals

Why Many Customers Choose LED Revolving Beacons Over All Others

The classic look of a revolving beacon light is iconic. From old school black and white police cars with the “cherry” on top to the sleek light bars of police cruisers today, rotational warning lights are a sure fire attention getter.

The traditional revolving beacon light is constructed of an electric motor attached to one or more reflectors that rotate. Within the reflector are light bulbs usually of an incandescent or halogen variety.  Today there are many more revolving beacon light options thanks to the advent of Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. Most rotating beacons with LED lights operate without motors of any kind. They use a series of LED lights that fire in a successive pattern to simulate rotation.

What are the benefits of using an LED revolving pattern beacon?  First of all, the life expectancy of an LED beacon is much longer since there are no moving parts to wear out. Secondly, because LEDs never need to be replaced, you don’t have to worry about finding and installing replacement bulbs. Last but not least, LED beacons operate on a fraction of the power that a traditional motor beacon consumes saving energy and money.

To see our full selection of LED beacons, please visit our LED Beacon Page.

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What you should know about light emitting diode lighting.
“LED”s, short for Light Emitting Diodes, have become a hot topic of discussion in the world of light.  Why is that, you may ask?  What is it about these lights that make them so much more intriguing than other lights?  Surely, you may suppose, it makes little difference which type of bulb one would choose.  We’re here to teach you something new!
First off, LEDs are nearly indestructible.  Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but let’s face it; any other kind of light bulb can be frustratingly fragile.  An inadvertent jostle can disengage the filament inside an ordinary incandescent bulb, rendering it completely useless.  Halogen bulbs are potentially more dangerous considering their high operating temperature and sensitivity to contamination.   And, for the sake of comparison, Compact Fluorescent Lights (“CFL”s) aren’t much better.  Each of them contains potentially hazardous quantities of mercury if they were to break, and disposal is a pain.  LEDs on the other hand are most commonly made of plastic, and are therefore much harder to break!  Furthermore, they do not use a filament, so it cannot break from a simple jostle, and if indeed it does break, there’s no leak of hazardous chemicals such as in the case of the CFLs.
We must then consider the energy efficiency of LEDs.  Some LED lights boast an impressive 50,000 hour lifespan, which dwarfs the miniscule 1,200 hour lifespan of a conventional incandescent.  I think such a statistic makes it a no-brainer to choose which one to use.  That means that you’ll burn through 42 incandescent bulbs before your first LED burns out!  With that in mind, not only are LEDs electrically efficient, but they are also financially efficient!  In terms of industrial beacons, it means that you’ll likely never have to replace a single light in your entire lifetime.  In terms of personal use, such as the SpotLit LED Caribiner, it makes for an inexpensive and long-lasting device that helps to keep you safe in the dark.
LED lights are clearly and evidently the lights of tomorrow.  They have every factor in their favor over every competing light bulb, with exception to cost.  LED lights can cost slightly more than any other traditional bulb, but over time the balance is made up in saved energy and the lack of replacement bulbs.  Quite simply, they’re the best product out there!  Save yourself from the hassles of broken, burnt out, and high-cost bulbs, and start using LED today!
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SAE Classification Explained
The Society for Automotive Engineers (SAE) has established a standardized classification system for vehicle warning lights. There is some confusion as to what the different classifications mean, and what class of product is best for a particular application. This article explains in basic terms the difference between the three SAE classifications for warning lights.

What is the difference between SAE Class 1, SAE Class 2 and SAE Class 3 Warning Lights?

The SAE classification system for warning lights is a classification of light intensity designed to help determine the best application for the lighting unit.

Class 3 Warning Lights

Warning lights in the Class 3 designation have approximately 40% of the minimum intensity of Class 2 warning lights. Class 3 products are typically used inside of buildings where there is little or no ambient sunlight. An example of a Class 3 warning light application is a forklift strobe light.

Class 2 Warning Lights

Warning lights in the Class 2 designation have a minimum of approximately 2.5 times the light intensity of a class 3 warning light. Examples of Class 2 warning light applications include utility vehicles that work along roadsides.

Class 1 Warning Lights

Warning lights in the Class 3 designation have a minimum of 4 times the light intensity of a Class 2 warning light. Examples of Class 1 warning light applications include emergency vehicles such as police, fire and ambulance.

The requirements for warning light classification requirements vary based upon the jurisdiction and application. We recommend that you consult with your local jurisdiction to determine which classification of lights is appropriate for your application.
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What Color Beacon Should I Use?
Does the color of a beacon matter? That depends on the application. In our society, different colors have different meanings. Furthermore, some jurisdictions put restrictions on what color light you can use on public thoroughfares, for example. So how do you know what color is best to use for your application? The list below can help you decide.

Amber/Yellow -- This color is popular beacon color for a variety of applications. In particular, amber and yellow beacon lights are used as warning lights for slow moving or stationary service vehicles on public thoroughfares. They are also commonly used for public and private road construction, visibility on construction sites and vehicle visibility on interior airport thoroughfares. Amber and yellow beacons are also appropriate use for building warning light applications to encourage caution or heightened awareness of potential hazards.

Red -- The color red is usually associated with emergency situations and is widely accepted as appropriate for emergency workers and vehicles, especially fire fighters and police. In some jurisdictions, use of a flashing or revolving warning light on vehicles using public thoroughfares is restricted to fire and police departments. In buildings or at industrial facilities, red beacons can be used to warn of the presence of a hazardous process or condition. Red is also used to warn people to stay away from an area that poses a risk or hazard.

Blue -- In many jurisdictions, blue lights are only allowed to be used by law enforcement personnel in certain public places such as streets and highways. Blue beacon lights may also be used in some cases by EMT's and firefighters, depending on the particular jurisdiction. Use of blue lights in buildings or on properties where the blue light is not visible to nearby public thoroughfares may be permissible. If you are not certain about the appropriate use of blue warning lights in your particular locale or application, we recommend that you consult with local officials.

Green -- The color green is often associated with safety or in some cases, security. Some facilities use green beacons on the vehicles used by safety representatives. Other common uses of green beacons are for those who respond to emergencies in their communities such as Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT).  Green beacons are also used on mobile command posts by fire chiefs to denote that a command vehicle is on the scene. In some jurisdictions green beacons are used by vehicles guiding funeral processions.

Purple/Violet -- In some jurisdictions, purple or violet beacon lights are used to denote vehicles guiding funeral processions.

White/Clear -- White is often used as a secondary light color in light bars on vehicles. This type of beacon is considered to be general purpose in its use with little or no restriction on the application. Some jurisdictions require the use of flashing white beacons on school buses or other forms of public transportation. Some railroad companies used white or clear beacons to add visibility to railroad service vehicles.
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Don't Become a Pedestrian Statistic

According to the CDC, in the next 24 hours, an average of 324 people will be treated in an emergency room for pedestrian related injuries. In the next two hours, one pedestrian on average will die from injuries sustained from being involved with a motor vehicle crash. Walking and jogging are great ways to stay in shape and enjoy the world around you, but walking near vehicle traffic involves serious risk. Increasing your visibility as a pedestrian is a smart way to reduce the risk that you will become a statistic. Here are a few tips to help keep you safe while walking or jogging.

  • Cross streets at designated cross walks or intersections
  • Never cross between parked cars
  • Don't assume that a vehicle will yield and give you the right-of-way
  • Use sidewalks if possible
  • When not on a sidewalk, walk facing on-coming traffic
  • Wear reflective clothing and personal safety lights to increase visibility at night
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The Popularity of our PL-300 Battery Operated LED Beacon
Our most popular safety light is the PL-300 battery operated LED beacon. Why is this particular beacon so popular? For starters, it is battery operated lasting for more than 300 hours of use. It is also popular for the ease of installation on vehicles. For those of you old enough to remember the old Starsky and Hutch TV series will remember the "slap on" magnetic beacon which can turn any street vehicle into a lit up flashy pursuit vehicle. Our customers use the beacons to increase the visibility of vehicles, hazardous industrial processes and so much more.
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Motor Driven Siren has distinctive air raid siren sound

There’s nothing quit as distinctive as the wail of a motor driven siren. We are happy to announce that our popular electric motor driven sirens are now back in stock for a limited time. These motor sirens produce their easily recognizable sound using an electric motor which turns a rotor that spins inside a slotted drum. The siren pulls air into the drum using centrifugal force. The rotors force the air out of segmented slots producing bursts of air. The frequency of these air bursts determine the pitch, and produce the characteristic wail synonymous with motor driven sirens.

Our particular motor driven siren (Model S-290W) produces 110 decibels of sound output which is equivalent to the sound output of an ambulance siren. Depending on environmental conditions, the siren can be heard for miles around.

The S-290W motor driven siren is easy to use. Simply plug it into a standard wall electrical outlet with the two pronged plug. Then, activate the siren with the inline rotary switch in the cord of the unit. Some customers put the siren on a switch controlled circuit as a security alarm. Some customers use the unit to signal emergency evacuation event or drill.

We are one of the few places in the world where you can buy an electric motor siren. The availability of these sirens is limited. We’ve carried these sirens for years, and experience tells us that demand will likely outpace our supply of this product.

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Scrubbing Bubbles’ New TV Spot Uses Beacons From Safety Lights & Signals!

Scrubbing Bubbles, a product of SC Johnson, recently aired a new TV Spot dubbed "Let's Bubble" in which they use beacons from Safety Lights & Signals. The spot, which features four bubble VW Bugs wrapped in Scrubbing Bubbles creative and named Scrubby, Mindy, Sudsy and Poppy who are the "busy front line in mankind’s epic battle against grime."

We love seeing our products in use, and the beacons in the new Scrubbing Bubbles TV advertisement are a perfect example of how a product can be used in creative ways.

The beacons featured are our revolving light Blue LED Police Beacon. Check out the TV spot below! #LETSBUBBLE

Disclaimer: Use of police style beacons (particularly blue ones) on civilian vehicles is not lawful on many public thoroughfares. Check with local authorities if you are uncertain about the rules in your area. For more information, please read our article on the significance of the various colors of beacons.

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Hockey Goal Light Hard Hat
One of our enterprising and loyal customers has spawned a cottage industry making hard hats with flashing red police beacon lights on top. These revolving red lights simulate the goal light that flashes whenever a goal is scored. If you pay a visit to the website you'll see a selection of hockey team branded hard hats equipped with battery operated red revolving lights like these below that recently came out of production for the Tampa Bay Lightning:

Each of these hard hats is equipped with a red battery operated LED beacon which happens to be one of our most popular and versatile revolving beacons on The PL-300 beacon simulates the rotating pattern of a motorized police style beacon without any motor or moving parts. The LEDs are high efficiency and use minimal battery power and produce lots of eye catching bright LED light. 

While these particular PL-300 LED beacons are attached to hockey hard hats, we sell the PL-300 with a standard magnet mount which allows you to temporarily mount them to vehicles or any ferrous metallic surface.

We'd like to thank our friends at the He Scores company for letting us share this photo with you. Be sure to pay them a visit at!
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Nighttime Safety Security Lights

Of all the senses you have, perhaps the most important is sight.  How many times have you stubbed your toe on a wood furniture piece because you couldn't see that it was an inch further out than you remembered it?  Few things are worse!  On a more serious note, what about burglars?  One of the most effective methods of deterring a potential burglar is to ensure that the entire exterior of your home is well-lit.  As with all crimes, theft dwells in darkness.  Here on Safety Lights and Signals, we have a wide array of Security products that can help prevent pandemonium in the home, whether it’s as small as a stubbed toe, or as devastating as a robbery.

One of my favorite safety illumination products is the Location Marker Light.  They are wireless, easy to place, and completely waterproof.  They run on C batteries using a “low glow” technology that helps to extend the life of the batteries.  Because they are motion activated, they can last for as long as a year!  They come in three slick colors, and are great for lighting walkways, patio ledges, or staircases.

Another useful product for wall mounted security illumination is Mr. Beams Wireless Spotlight.  We used one of these in our warehouse for a long time, and it worked wonderfully!  This little guy can pack quite the punch with 140 lumens of light.  It is wall mounted, and has a 180 degree motion sensor, giving it a wide range of detection.  It uses D batteries that, once again, can last up to a year!  Because it’s completely weatherproof, it can be used both indoors and out for a complete home protection.

While a few batteries a year may not be a big deal for some, there are those that would rather not use them at all, but don’t want to go through the hassle of hard wire installation.  For that, we have the Solar-Powered Security light!  Compared to its other security light siblings, this variant is definitely the biggest brother.  It runs entirely on solar panel, and activates at night when motion is detected.  The solar panels charge inbuilt batteries that can go for quite some time without any sunlight at all.  It’s one of the only perfectly self-sustaining light products out there!  It’s perfect for high traffic areas, like the front door or back door or patio.

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Don't Become a Pedestrian Statistic


For those out there who love night-time boating, these Marine Navigation Lights for you!  Additionally, if you are in fact a midnight maritime maniac, you likely also know that such navigational lights are more than a good idea; they are required by law (For those of us that are more earth-bound, it’s sufficient to know that both a red and green light are required side lights near the bow (er, that is, the front) of the boat).  These marine navigation lights fulfill the requirements for side lights, and when used in conjunction with a 360 degree light located near the stern, it drastically improves your visibility.  Each light also has an optional flash mode to add more attention-grabbing power.

                Boaters also know that there are many different varieties of side lights out there.  Most of them are permanently mountable, and can be a considerable investment of time and money to install.  These particular LED lights are incredibly durable, and are easily mounted on to any surface, and just as easily removed.  They run on 3 AAA batteries, which last quite a long time thanks to the LED lighting.


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