Emergency vehicle

I'm working on a display with some emergency vehicles and I'm trying to figure out what I need... I'd like headlights to be on, and the blue or orange flashlights to be... err... flashing.

The description of the headlight kit says "...purchase a 2-pack of flashing Pico LED Light Boards to add flashing lights...". In the product list I only see a LEC for 'flickering' effect. Which one should I use for flashing lights?

Your starter effect kit says it's "2-channel". Does that mean I can run 2 groups of lights, each with a different effect?

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  • That's actually an awsome starter kit - and one that wasn't around when I started shopping for "blinkys!"  (Darn the late innovation.)

    2-channel means there are two banks of lights, but only one/single effect/pattern can be selected.  In an emergency vehicle setting, think of a police or fire engine light bar - there's two groups of lights that flash either alternating (most common) or together (possible, but not my favorite).  So you'd likely want #8 or #9 (Single or Double Strobe).

    Flickering is great for candles, jack-o-lanterns, etc., more like the random candle flicker.

    The single function LEC (lighting effect controller) is what I've used for anything NOT a flicker or a radio tower beacon.

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  • Paul George Ok, I get all that. But you're saying there's no such thing as a flashing Pico LED Light Board? That's a shame... Would be nice to have one of those micro boards that just flashes the two connected LEDs in opposite  phase (if you know what I mean).

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  • Strictly speaking, no, that widget doesn't exist. 

    Not to say it can't... but the King of Lights in this Land ( Rob Klingberg ) could weigh in as to the level of effort to have a mini-LEC programmed for a single, dual whatever alternating flash pattern.  (I'm not the programmer, but seeing it exists elsewhere, in THEORY, it could be re-used on a mini...)

    As a setup, it doesn't feel difficult: power supply in (USB or battery power or whatever), split it from the single power in to a dual plug, then two PICO boards: one for the pair of headlights, a second for a pretty-please-PICO-flashing setup, and you're set.

    ... I'm wondering how well the airplane LEC would look... not as police car-ish, but it does have some strobe functionality to it that's not completely unnatural...

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  • Ronald Vallenduuk Thanks for your post.  And thanks Paul George for jumping in.  We have actually been doing a lot of work behind the scenes related to emergency vehicles, with the goal of releasing a full modular line of parts, lights, and sounds people could fit into their vehicles.

    We made a demo video awhile back of a beta version of a potential starter kit:

    Is this the type of setup you're looking for?  It doesn't have sound but I think this is more along the lines of what you're looking for.  The kit as shown in the video would cost about $45 in a "fixed" configuration (meaning, the LEDs are hard soldered to the effect board, and if you accidentally broke one while installing the kit, the only way to fix it would be to mail it back to us), or about $65 in a "modular" configuration (where the LEDs were connected to the effect board with plugs, making it easier to replace a damaged LED).

    If this is what you're looking for, we can make you one-- it should take a few weeks.  We can send a PayPal invoice for whichever version of the kit you'd like-- just let me know.

    Again, we will be making more kits like this, to work with more vehicles, in the future.

    Thank you!

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  • Rob Klingberg Thanks for sharing that. While it looks impressive it's not quite what I have in mind... I'd like something more flexible that would suit different types of vehicles. For example on a tow truck I wouldn't need that many lights; a fair of flashing lights in opposite phase would be enough. As I said in the initial post, the description of your headlight kit mentions flashing Pico LED light boards. That got me thinking; if you would have a tiny board (like the Branch04 I see in some pictures) that takes an extension lead as input and has two outputs for LEDs to make them flash, that would be great. Then maybe do an alternative version (or make it switchable) for strobe. 

    The LEDs in that video are smaller again than what I have here. Would it still be possible to solder them by hand? I've just taken some LEDs off their wire and soldered them back on to get the wires through a hole that's too small for the connector (a hollowed out bar). I couldn't see an easy way to re-attach a connector so this seemed the easiest way.

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  • Ronald Vallenduuk OK, thanks for the feedback.  We do have another option-- have a look at this video:

    https://youtu.be/6TFc4geBFDY

     This is, as you say, a basic 4-wide plate with four LEDs pre-mounted, connected to an effect board that has multiple emergency flash effects pre-programmed (the video doesn't show changing effect modes but it works the same way as in the ambulance video-- just a paperclip or other metal object will change the effect).

    The kit will ship with orange plates/slopes, but as you can see in the video, you can remove them and replace with any trans color.  The LEDs are low enough that you can get by with 1x2 tiles directly on top of the lightbar.

    What do you think?

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