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Thread: Are these legal/safe?

  1. #1

    Default Are these legal/safe?

    Recently the company i work for purchased a flat bed truck new from a dealership. The flatbed is made by cm truck beds. They use optronics grommet mounted led lights. The lights are extremely bright and look good (though the white reverse lights may be a bit blue for my liking) just wondering if anybody has any experience or knowledge on this as i intend to one day change out my flatbed's old and tired grommet mounted lights?

    Will they perform as rear indicator lights brake/turn/ reverse/ ect?

    Are they too bright?

    Is there something better i should look into?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Are these legal/safe?

    Optronics' stuff is OK, not great. It's not at the bottom of the heap, but it's also not near the top. You can do a whole lot better without spending much more money. The Peterson Lumen-X lamps are better, and they come in versions that include a built-in reverse lamp. Also they're made in the USA (unlike Optronics' lamps) if that matters to you.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* zespectre's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are these legal/safe?

    Peterson Lumen-X
    count me as a +1 on that.
    "Notorious collector of things that glow, shine, or blink"
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  4. #4

    Default Re: Are these legal/safe?

    If you need the 2x6" oval lamps, they're these. If you need the 4" round, they're these. Truck-Lite also has US-made lights of this nature, on this page.
    Last edited by -Virgil-; 12-02-2017 at 10:09 PM.

  5. #5
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are these legal/safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by -Virgil- View Post
    If you need the 2x6" oval lamps, they're these.
    Would the reversing lamps in them actually produce light you can see by, or are they just the bare minimum adherence to the "warning" function? Enquiring minds want to know!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Are these legal/safe?

    If you want to see, you're going to need more than two little dots of light.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Are these legal/safe?

    Thanks for the quick responses. I've known about about petterson and truck lites for some time. Was mostly curious on the forum's impression on the optronics which i will say seem on point with mine a bit generic (thats being friendly). I like the pettersons with the hardwired pl3 plug as that should make building a plug and play setup for easy bed removal and easy light replacement (while retaining a secure connection) uhm...easy.

    As my truck bed has multiple lights one for each function on the lower half and a combination stop/turn/and tail with a seperate reverse up top among numerous small round reflectors and lights. I was entertaining the idea to make the lower rear turn signals amber. Then a quick google on red vs amber with candlepower attached led to virgils excellent post on this involving the nhsta and ncap (perhaps somebody can link this as i'm a fabricating/mechanical genius "self proclaimed approved by frontier drilling" but technologicaly challenged).

    Question there would be placement: on lower half outermost amber turn signal? Inner most reverse light with brake being middle? These are pairs of 3 rectangle grommet style lights on passenger and drivers side lower rear with roughly 2" inch round group of three in the upper middle still lower portion which i would think should be all red brake maybe tail combination? This is another question. (sorry i don't know how to post pics)

    Just above the group of 3 rectangle lights is a single reflector roughly 2" i could light this if needed/recomended. Thats about it for the lower portion aside from a close to cab amber running light which i agree with and a side mounted rear red of the same size, which i wish i could do an amber turn/red tail but am not aware of any such light.

    I hope this is all making sense. Last but not least the upper involves 2 pair of oval 2x6 lights outermost being turn/tail/stop inner being reverse a pair for each side. Question is will it be silly to convert the lower to amber turn with the upper still being red? As i'm not aware of any multifunction grommet light with red and amber capabilities and no room to add lights while looking professional (i don't think i could be wrong here). As for the upper reverse lights i seen a link on here to some flood/work lights of the same style. Would this be appropriate?

    One more i have room in the upper center to add lights. Maybe some kind of chmsl or the flood work lights i'm looking for?

    Sorry for the long post just have alot to mull over and little time to do it any footwork you guys do for me is greatly appreciated regarding links and info
    Last edited by JasonOk; 12-04-2017 at 09:06 PM.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Are these legal/safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alaric Darconville View Post
    Would the reversing lamps in them actually produce light you can see by, or are they just the bare minimum adherence to the "warning" function? Enquiring minds want to know!
    I think you already know the answer to this same as me. Which is why most have separate reverse lamps, however i can see how this is still usefull to somebody with limited space or options

  9. #9

    Default Re: Are these legal/safe?

    I can't make heads or tails of your description of the trailer (upper/lower half etc) -- maybe post a picture or a link to a picture?

    If you have three-across lights, yes, you're right, inner to outer they should go reverse, brake/tail, turn. Note that vehicles and trailers over 80" wide at their widest point have to have red rear clearance lights, which must be on the rear face of the vehicle/trailer as close as possible to the outer edge on each side, but while a taillamp can be used as a clearance lamp because the light distribution requirements are compatible, the taillamp cannot serve as the clearance lamp; those two functions must be separate. This is in the law for safety's sake, the thinking being that you don't want to lose your tail and clearance light if just one lamp fails. And that's why you often see two or three red lights on each side of a trailer (though you still see that on trailers that have their clearance lights up at the top on the same level as the central three identification lights).

    If you have three lamps stacked vertically, it's probably best to go turn at the top, brake/tail in the middle, and reverse at the bottom.

    There are variations on this theme, though. A few years ago at a technical convention in Vancouver, Canada, I noticed their public buses have a very common lighting provision for three stacked 7" round lamps on each side of the bus (with a smaller 4" round reversing lamp below those), but the way Vancouver specs out the system is opposite of the way I've seen it everywhere else. It's usually, top to bottom, red brake/tail, amber turn, red brake/tail. Vancouver does the opposite: amber turn, red brake/tail, amber turn. When those buses signal a turn or a lane change, it's VERY APPARENT with two big bright amber turn signals flashing. I spent my lunch hour one day on the phone trying to talk to someone who could tell me why. Finally got someone at whatever office it is that specs the vehicles, and he said something like "Yep, we do that on purpose. We changed to doing it this way 25 or 30 years ago to try and reduce lane-conflict crashes when a bus pulls away from the curb into traffic. We saw enough of a reduction in those crashes, without an increase in same-lane rear-enders, that we've stuck with it. Every time we go to order new buses, the maker tells us we're doing it opposite of how everyone else does it. We thank them for pointing it out and tell them to do it anyway."

    That seems to go along with some research (UMTRI, NHTSA, etc) suggesting rear turn signals might actually be more important than they might seem to common sense, in terms of crash reduction. I think most people probably think the brake light is by far the most important, but that might not actually be the case...probably because there are other visual cues that a vehicle ahead of you is slowing or stopping (it gets larger in your field of view, and with severe braking it will tend to lower the nose and raise the rear) but there's much less of a visual cue if someone suddenly turns or changes lanes without a signal.

    Anyhow...food for thought!

    (And yes, there's a market for those brake lights with the built-in reverse lamps because many trailers and big trucks do not come equipped with reversing lamps -- the law doesn't require it -- and do not provide a cutout to put in a dedicated reversing lamp).

  10. #10
    Moderator Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Are these legal/safe?

    Quote Originally Posted by JasonOk View Post
    I think you already know the answer to this same as me.
    I knew; I just wanted to call more attention to reversing lamps as a signal lamp, not a seeing lamp.
    "If the solar eclipse is anything like my Mitsubishi Eclipse, it'll darken the daytime sky"

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    (stolen from a friend)

  11. #11

    Default Re: Are these legal/safe?

    I figured it would be a hard to understand as i was developing a headache just trying to explain it all.
    In my haste to explain my thoughts i left out the part about it being a 3/4 ton truck.
    Hopefully this helps.
    20171205_183319.jpg

  12. #12

    Default Re: Are these legal/safe?

    OK, that changes things, because your truck doesn't take either the 2x6 oval or the 4" round, it takes the 3x5" rectangular units. Plus points to whoever built that body structure, for trying to include all the required lamps. Possibly minus points because there might be some problems: The deeply recessed nook holding the group of three lower lights might block those lights' visibility from angles where they're required to be visible. The requirement is for 80° outward and 45° inward, relative to the axis of each lamp itself. Also, your clearance lights (the small round ones above the group of three) are angled outward. If they're not PC-rated (look for "PC" on the lens) you need to put in ones that are.

    Other than that, and assuming you check and find that the three lamps on each side are readily visible through that whole 80-out to 45-in range, this is a pretty simple swap-out. There's not a super-awesome option for the rear turn signals, less of a range of options in that size than in the others, but you could use these or these or these.

    For the brake/tail lights, these are a good bet.

    Reversing lamps, you could use these down below and these up top.

    As far as the other upper lights: these would be a handy pick. They're ECE, not SAE, but you're using them as auxiliary lights, not compliance (primary) lights. Their performance is quite good, intensity high enough to probably meet the US regs for primary/compliance lights if it weren't for the illuminated area requirement this lamp can't meet because it splits up the lens area into two different color zones.

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