Advertise Your Business Here

The ultimate yes or no to extra lights/lightbars discussion

Lights/lightbars yes or no

  • Yes

  • No

  • Don’t care either way

  • As long as it doesn’t look like ET is after me sure


Results are only viewable after voting.
Messages
26
Likes
8
Points
3
Thread starter #1
Before we get started, I would like to say be respectful, and remember the forum rules. I would like this to be an educational thread not a bashing someone thread.

Alright I would like to see more than just a yes or no answer to this. A more detailed explanation of why you feel that way so long as it’s not condensending etc of those with the opposite opinion.

For me I don’t mind it as long as you’re not trying to make yourself look like a first responder and it’s tasteful. If you have lightbars everywhere and it looks like you’re about to abduct someone into your flying saucer we will have issues.
I had the white strobe kit for headlights and taillights for my f-150 that I never installed. Sold it before I did. Occasionally we would be in a area with poor visibility and hazards weren’t always the bright depending on whom was asked to go to that spot.

I know some got full amber lightbars because they would, if necessary haul the CERT trailer as they had the authority/permission.

What I hate seeing is someone throwing reds and blues on their cars. To me unless you are a first responder whether paid or volunteer that should be the only time your POV has emergency colors outside your work vehicle.
 

Unibob

Rain Cloud
Messages
16
Likes
4
Points
3
#2
In some, if not most states, any color other than Amber and white are in fact, illegal. In Michigan, for example, light color can only be amber. The only time you can have a red light on your vehicle, apart from the obvious tail and brake lights, is if you are a volunteer firefighter or EMT AND you are responding to an emergency call. Blue lights in Michigan are specifically reserved for law enforcement vehicles only. Also, as of last year (2017), green lights are now specifically reserved for M-DOT and County Road Commission trucks, due to the long wavelength that green has during times of poor visibility.
 
Messages
26
Likes
8
Points
3
Thread starter #3
In some, if not most states, any color other than Amber and white are in fact, illegal. In Michigan, for example, light color can only be amber. The only time you can have a red light on your vehicle, apart from the obvious tail and brake lights, is if you are a volunteer firefighter or EMT AND you are responding to an emergency call. Blue lights in Michigan are specifically reserved for law enforcement vehicles only. Also, as of last year (2017), green lights are now specifically reserved for M-DOT and County Road Commission trucks, due to the long wavelength that green has during times of poor visibility.
While I thank you for the comment on the legality of colors able to be used , what is your opinion on it. Should they be on spotter vehicles or no and why do you feel that way?
 

Unibob

Rain Cloud
Messages
16
Likes
4
Points
3
#4
Whoops, forgot about the opinion part. I blame lack of coffee! :p My opinion is that a few extra lights is alright, providing they are legal, but when the vehicle looks like a Christmas tree, it is major overkill. Just enough lights to make the vehicle more visible in dark conditions is fine, but as for the overkill...if the conditions are that poor where you need so many lights, i.e., HP Supercell, you better be either a researcher with equipment such as a DOW, RAOB, or other scientific stuff, or find another storm to track. For a lot of people, myself included, constant light flashing, especially these days with the LED lights with longer visibility, can be hypnotizing, and for that reason, almost all law enforcement vehicles, with the exception of MSP (with the gumball) and possibly other law enforcement vehicles in other states, the patterns randomly change patterns to offset this.

When I lived a few miles east of where I do now, which was "outside of town", I just had a skywarn sticker on the windshield, which, when viewed from the front of the vehicle, was at the bottom right, low enough to where it would not obstruct any of my vision, and used the 4-ways on my vehicle. It also helped that law enforcement at the time knew who I was and that I was a trained spotter. They just told me to make sure I was as far on the shoulder as possible, keep the 4-ways on, and be at the rear of the vehicle to view all coming traffic, in case of a collision.
 
Messages
7
Likes
1
Points
3
#5
The UK situation makes lights other then original fitment hazards a NO NO.
Utility services, recovery /breakdown vehicles along with civil engineering contractors can have flashing amber. All other colours are illegal.
A single amber rotating beacon in very poor visibility is acceptable but will still attract law enforcement attention.
When out and about provided you are not being an obstruction is not usually a problem but keeping all relevant documentation with you helps just in case.
 

Shawn Gossman

Skywarn Forum Owner
Staff member
Messages
155
Likes
50
Points
28
#6
It doesn't really bother me that some spotters/chasers use lights but I feel like hazards are good enough. I mean the reason that is most often claimed for the argument of using such lights is to warn people that the vehicle is stopped or may stop - hazard lights were created for that reason and most of us humans realize that.

I feel like a lot of folks have excessive sticker and lights to say "look at me, look at me". I have 'Hiking with Shawn' magnets all over my truck for marketing my brand - to me, it would be the same with stickers and lights for chasing. If you have an organization that you want to market, the 'look at me look at me' approach might be worthy, though.

In the end, it doesn't matter to me, I wouldn't oppose it nor would I really support the use of lights. I'm a fencer here :D
 

Mike C

Thunderstorm
Messages
40
Likes
14
Points
8
#7
I may not agree with the Christmas tree, UFO or any other 'whole car glowing' approach when it come to this subject but in the end it's their money, not mine.

Also its so easy to get 'bit by the bug' so to speak. Just the other day I thought about getting two grill lights and mounting them in the back of my truck so that way i can raise my back hatch (my deck light is attached to it) and still have some sort of 'flashing' light. And what made it worse was i saw a State Troopers SUV with the same set up i was thinking of doing. So when you see what you envision on someone else's vehicle or just like what they have, it's hard not to go for more.
 

kd0jzi

Rain Cloud
Messages
29
Likes
15
Points
3
#8
From personal experience I've noticed a change since I started using lights, versus just my 4 ways. (I have a set of 4 amber, two in back, two in front that alternate and also a small strobe beacon on top)
When I first started out chasing and spotting, i'd use only my 4 way/hazards, and 99% of the time I'd have people stop and ask if I was broken down, needed help, etc. And then have to explain to them what I was doing.
Since I added the ambers, only once in a blue moon do I have people stop now, and it's mostly those that are interested in weather and want to know how the storm is brewing, or local EM personal to talk about weather and share what we have heard or seen.
Also I use them for other activities as well. BikeMS events where I'm working comms and route safety to ARES work.
Just my 2 cents