How to buy EMS ambulance lights

Here are a few important considerations for selecting the lighting package for your next ambulance

Selecting the correct exterior lighting package for your next ambulance is more involved than simply meeting the federal ambulance specifications. One important consideration is selecting an LED or a halogen bulb package. Several ambulance sales professionals explained to me important features of LED lighting packages that include lower power consumption, no moving parts, longer warranty, multiple flash patterns, and greater visibility — especially at night.

Here are a few important considerations for selecting the lighting package for your next ambulance:

1. Compliance with current federal standards, as well as any state-specific standards for emergency vehicles.

2. Cost comparison that factors in the length of light bulb life and cost comparisons. Kevin Pomasl advises his customers that the higher initial cost of LED lighting — "much less now than five years ago" — will result in significant savings during the life of the ambulance.

3. Roadside visibility is especially important when parked at an emergency incident. Choose a light package that includes high visibility lights and multiple flash patterns that will attract the attention of drivers well before they are passing the incident.

4. Ensure power system capacity to run the lighting package. The vehicle electrical system needs to have the amperage to run the lights. According to Mr. Pomasl, a LED system can draw 10 times less than a comparable halogen lighting package.

5. Select and install recessed or low profile scene lights. If lights protrude too far from the side of the patient care compartment, invariably those lights will be damaged or even ripped from the side of the vehicle when passing through a narrow alley, tree-lined driveway, or dirt road.

Finally, consider a configuration of seven lights across the front of the ambulance instead of a light bar. Using a set of lights instead of a light bar will have a lower initial cost, fewer maintenance costs, and easier cleaning.

Any other suggestions? Anything we missed in the list above? Leave a comment below or email with your feedback.


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