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If you’ve got a car, or any vehicle really, an emergency LED strobe light can be a literal lifesaver. The most obvious use of a strobe light is visibility, both for flagging down help and alerting others that you’re coming through. On a dark night with bad weather, a bright, flashing strobe can be a beacon to let tow trucks, emergency services, taxis and other drivers to clearly know where you are. The bright LED strobes can cut through fog, dust and darkness, signaling that help is needed, and are visible from far away.
Most lights will plug right into your car’s cigarette lighter port, and have a switch that lets you operate it from inside your vehicle. Securely sticking them to the roof of your car is simple too, as they’ll most likely include strong magnetic feet covered in a material like rubber to avoid damaging the car’s paint, and can hang on even during low-speed driving, generally under 45 mph.
Keep the cord in mind too if you’ll be using this on something bigger than a car, like a boat or truck. A longer cable lets you comfortably run it from the dashboard out to the most visible and central part of the vehicle’s roof. And since each unit has multiple modes, you can comfortably control the flashing patterns from the driver’s seat while it blinks above, or stays solid, bringing much-needed brightness to a dark and desolate area.
Since these will be exposed to the elements, make sure it’s got a high IPX rating if you know you’ll be in extreme weather conditions. The higher the IP (Ingress Protection) rating, the better, with IPX4 protecting from splashes, and IPX8 being able to be submerged in over a meter of water.
But these go beyond just breaking them out in an emergency, as they’re instantly usable for storm chasers, snow plows, security, even golf carts too.
Check your local laws before buying and installing these, as some states don’t allow varying colors and patterns of strobe LEDs. Also note that while these definitely enhance visibility, and can secure themselves to your vehicle’s roof, they’re not meant to be driven with at full highway speeds.
1. Zmoon LED Strobe Flashing Light Bar
With 30 high-intensity LEDs, the ZMoon will get you noticed when you want to be. A 16-foot cord makes it great for cars, trucks, boats or trailers, and corrosion resistance means it’s built for tough conditions. Seven flash patterns, all controllable by an independent switch, let you select the right lights for the situation, and it’s built for the long haul – up to 50,000 hours. This is IP67 waterproof, meaning it can handle being caught in the rain, and is even designed to combat condensation, overheating and water vapor inside the unit.
2. Xprite 12″ Roof Top Mini Strobe Light Bar
With 15 different light patterns to choose from, all of which are controllable from the cigarette lighter adapter switch, this footlong LED is convenient, durable and ideally sized for almost any vehicle. The clear unit features 36 high-intensity LEDs with a lifespan of over 50,000 hours, according to the company. An IP66 rating means it can hold its own during wet weather conditions, and 10 total magnets with a suction cup hold it in place even during driving up to 45 mph and high winds, which is perfect for ATVs and snow plow trucks.
3. AURELIO TECH Strobe Lights for Truck with Magnetic Base
If brightness is what you’re going for, give this unit a look. With 15 strobe patterns, the Aurelio’s magnified lens increases intensity and visibility whether in day or at night. At only 4 inches tall, this casts light far and wide with 36 LEDs, and recalls the memory of the last light pattern you used — a handy feature so you won’t have to reset it each time. And it’s all controllable from the cigarette lighter plug, easily stretchable from the roof to the interior with a 10-foot cable.
4. OVOTOR Dual Side Shooter LED Lights
These Dual Side Shooter lights look a bit different than the rest of the bunch, both in design as well as the colors of their LED lighting. Red lights shoot out of the sides, easily visible during the day or night, and the curvature of the lighting provides a wider field brightness. These are also designed to work in some seriously nasty weather. They’re 100 percent sealed and prevent water from entering, as well as being shockproof, shatterproof and rated IP67 waterproof. The company offers a whole host of other colors too.