Florida Highway Patrol goes high tech with new light bars

| 8/8/2005

Some new equipment on the Florida Highway Patrol’s cars will have you seeing red – or blue, depending on what time it is.

Following a 2004 study by FHP that found that it took twice the energy for blue light to be perceived at the same intensity as red light during the day – and vice versa in the evening – the patrol has updated the flashing light bars on its patrol cars to flash the appropriate color at the correct time, according to the St. Petersburg Times.

Additionally, the new bars – the first update to the rooftop technology in Florida in 50 years – will use LEDs in place of traditional bulbs, to help minimize replacement and increase energy efficiency and brightness.

The new lights are “probably the most high-tech light bar in law enforcement today,” Larry Coggins, a spokesperson for FHP, told The Associated Press. Each computer-controlled light bar will cost about $2,100, compared to a cost of $1,700 to $1,800 for traditional lights. The state is expected to spend about $3.7 million for the new equipment, the Times reported.

In addition to the lights, FHP will also install new sirens that are designed to be heard more easily through well-insulated vehicles.