Beacons and lightbars
BEACONS PROVIDE SAFETY
A beacon is used for optical recognition and warning of danger points, and it emits a 360-degree warning light. This covers every viewing direction, i. e. other road users are warned of dangerous situations in good time. Basically, this also applies to all other locations where beacons are used such as machine or system use, construction sites, gate openings and alarm systems.
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Technology of beacons
How is the all-round light being generated and how strong is the warning effect? We distinguish between the following technologies:
- Halogen beacon: The light source is the halogen bulb, which is orbited by a motor-driven rotor mirror. This produces a light reflex moving through 360 degrees in a horizontal direction. By concentrating the light in the rotor mirror, the beacon is easily recognisable, especially during the day. A halogen beacon is an inexpensive solution that has proven itself for many years.
- Xenon beacon: A xenon gas discharge tube provides the warning light. Due to the very short and bright flashes (double flash), this warning light ensures a quickly perceptible risk scenario. Particularly ideal for twilight or at night due to the all-round radiation, this light source is more durable than the halogen version.
- LED beacon: The most modern light source for beacons. LEDs offer high brightness with low power consumption, are very durable and give colorful light. The luminosity of LEDs provide a sufficient warning effect also in daylight. The operating time of LEDs exceeds that of halogen bulbs by more than twenty times. Due to the coloured light of LEDs you can use uncoloured, clear lenses, which adds a modern touch to the beacon’s appearance.
Light colours and use of beacons
Legislation regulates the colours of the warning light and its areas of application quite unambiguously. Yellow beacons can be found in many locations and vehicles such as cars and trucks. In road traffic they are used by towing services, snow-clearers, refuse-collecting vehicles or large-capacity transport escort vehicles - i.e. on many trucks and tractors.
Dangerous machines, devices, gates etc. are also equipped with flashing beacons in the yellow warning colour. Regarding road traffic, the road traffic regulations specify which vehicle may be driven with which coloured light. The StVZO determines with §38, 52 and 53 the approved application colour of the warning lights yellow and blue. Yellow beacons are most frequently used in Germany. Blue is mainly used for special vehicles such as police, fire brigade, customs, ambulance, THW (technical relief), civil protection and water police. The warning colours red and green are hardly ever used in Germany. Only the colour of the beacon is mandatory, there are no regulations for the lighting technology. However, it must be approved by the appropriate authority in accordance with ECE R65. This regulation clearly defines the luminous intensity and number of flashes of the rotating beacon.
Mounting of the beacon by magnet or beacon bracket
The beacon must be mounted in such a way that the warning signal can be recognised as early as possible. For vehicles such as cars, trucks and tractors this is the highest point on the vehicle. The beacon can be mounted permanently, i.e. as a fixed installation on the vehicle, so it can be switched on immediately at any time. Alternatively, the removable version is suitable for occasional use on the emergency vehicle. In this case, we recommend the beacon bracket or the magnetic beacon. It waits for its use in the boot and is quickly at hand when needed.
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