The word cheap can have a definition of its own, as different from its literal meaning. It is something similar to saying ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’. Cheapness of an object has to be decided by the ratio between its cost and its benefits. So what may be cheap by cost may not be cheap police lights when using them. In the literal sense of the word, halogen lights satisfy the meaning of cheap lights far better than LED lights. A halogen mini light bar with two rotators and a mirror in the center, used, as emergency vehicle lights atop police vehicles, may be available for about $100. A single halogen rotator for the same purpose, with different mounting options, may have a price as low as $50. As against this, LED mini light bars will range in price from around $300 to $500.
Strobe lights, which produce regular flashes using halogen lights, can also be considered cheap police lights in comparison with LED police lights. Strobe lights basically use xenon lamps with color gels. Strobe lights that flash very frequently may set off photosensitive epilepsy in some, though strobe lights used in police vehicles generally do not have a flash rate high enough to make it conducive to PSE. Photosensitive epilepsy is a form of epilepsy that is triggered by viewing rapidly changing lights or images.
Strobe lights that are commonly used in emergency vehicles and fit the description of police lights are strobe light bars and strobe beacons. These emergency lights come in colors of red, blue, amber, and white, which are colors in which all emergency lights come, whether they are cheap police lights or not. Cost wise, these are also cheaper than LED police lights.
As different from halogen and strobe lights, LED lights, which use semiconductor devices to convert electricity to produce high intensity lights, cannot be referred to as cheap police lights in the strict sense of the term. They are expensive, but these lights are rugged and impact resistant, and are also highly durable. The energy consumption of LED lights is also low, as they require only one fourth the energy consumed by cheap police lights that use halogen technology.
LED lights light up within microseconds, and lend themselves well to constant on-off cycles. Many LED lights have a life of up to 100,000 hours and do not require frequent servicing or part replacement. The police vehicle in which they are fitted hardly ever becomes out of service for reason that its emergency lights are not functioning. All these add to its long term cost effectiveness and make them cheap police lights in the real sense of the term. Despite its drawback of being heat sensitive, for long-term use LED police lights are cheap police lights.
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