Emergency Vehicle Lights are battery-backed lighting devices that are used on the
road. They are often installed in police cars, fire trucks, tow trucks, EMS vehicles and
more. They can be mounted on a car’s roof, on the body or inside.
Emergency Vehicle Flashing and Warning Lights
• Many emergency vehicles have flashing lights in order to communicate with drivers
• Most often, emergency vehicle lights signify that the vehicle is on the way to the site of an emergency
• Vehicle flashing lights also warn other vehicles of potential hazards
• If you see an emergency vehicle with flashing lights, immediately pull over to let it pass.
• It is very important to allow the emergency vehicle to reach its destination as soon as possible.
Emergency Vehicle Lighting Options
Emergency Lighting can also come in many different shapes and sizes, including grill lights, light sticks, dash & visor lights and light bars. Light bars are a popular option for a variety of reasons:
• Emergency vehicle light bars offer a lot of customization: they can be purchased in a half or full bar
• They are also available in a variety of colors and options
• They come with rotating, fixed, strobe or even LED lights
• A good example of a light bar is the blue and red lights on top of a police car
Strobe lights and LED lights are the two most popular options for emergency vehicle lighting.
• Strobe lights, or stroboscopic lamps, flash on and off
• Because of their low initial cost, they are popular in the law enforcement/ emergency lighting industry
• Scuba divers also utilize strobe lights as an emergency signaling device
• LED, or light-emitting diodes, lights are also becoming quite popular in emergency vehicles, due to their brightness and efficiency
Recognizing the Colors of Emergency Vehicle Lights
• Police Lights are the most common emergency vehicle lights—and the best well known
• Police cars use red and blue lights, accompanied by a siren, when they need to communicate with other vehicles on the road
• Police cars use these emergency lights often to tell other motorists to slow down or to pull over to the side of the road
Police cars, however, are just a one example of emergency vehicle lights. Other groups to use red and blue lights may include EMS drivers, security agents and volunteer firefighters. They are part of a comprehensive color system used throughout the United States.
• Colors are a way that emergency vehicles express the nature of the emergency
• Red lights are used in medical emergencies; an example of this is an ambulance
• Amber or yellow lights are used with utility vehicles that move slower than usual; for example, tow and construction trucks, security patrol cars, funeral escorts or snowplows all use these colors
• Blue lights are generally used with law enforcement vehicles, as well as by tow trucks or even volunteer firefighters in certain states
• Green lights can be used by a fire chief’s car, a mobile command post, a volunteer’s firefighter’s truck or private security guard vehicle
• Purple vehicle lights are used by funeral vehicles in some states