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Vehicle Strobe Lights: Installation Tips

An Ambulance's strobe lights flash in the night.

When you’re in an emergency situation or come upon a road hazard, a set of vehicle strobe lights can alert oncoming traffic they need to slow down. These lights are used by volunteer firefighters and EMTs as well as on the job at construction sites. It can also be good to have a set on hand in case your car breaks down.

Knowing how to install these lights is an important part of ensuring your vehicle’s safety, so read on for some vital tips on setting up strobe lights on your vehicle.

Strobe Light BasicsEmergency flashing lights

Before we tackle the ins and outs of installation, let’s cover some strobe light basics.

A strobe light produces a unique type of illumination. A standard light bulb produces a steady stream of light. Strobe lights are different. Instead of a continuous, unbroken stream of illumination, strobe bulbs generate continual flashes of light.

Typically, strobe illumination is extremely bright. The flashes of light produced are quite potent and visible from great distances.

Strobe lights are excellent in emergency situations, but they aren’t just for vehicles or emergencies. A strobe light kit can also be used at home to add light or create your own custom light show.

Tips on Strobe Light Installation

Here are some tips for installing vehicle strobe lights:

  • Follow the instruction manual. If you purchase strobe lights, you’ll get an instruction manual and a kit that contains most of the parts needed for installation. You’ll also likely need a drill and other basic tools. Be sure to carefully follow the steps listed in the instruction manual if you want your installation to go smoothly.
  • Make sure you’ve disconnected your car’s battery before beginning. This is essential for safety purposes, since installing strobe lights requires you to interact with a vehicle’s electrical components. If the battery is connected during installation, you’re at risk of electrocution.
  • Mark the location where you want the lights to be placed. If you do this before you begin drilling, you can ensure that the drilling is done in the right location. When you’re selecting a location, make sure the lights aren’t placed near any moving parts.
  • Choose an easy-to-reach location when installing the switch. Strobe lights come with a switch that allows you to turn them on and off while you’re behind the wheel. This switch needs to be installed within your vehicle’s cabin. Be sure to choose a location that’s easy to access when you’re in the driver’s seat.
  • Test the strobe lights after you’ve connected them. Reconnect your battery and then test the lights to make sure they work.
  • Get professional help if you need it. Installing vehicle strobe lights can be overwhelming if you don’t have a lot of electrical experience. If the process seems daunting, don’t hesitate to have the lights professionally installed at a local NAPA AutoCare location that handles this type of work.

Strobe lights have the power to save lives if you encounter an emergency situation on the road. Still, regulations vary from state to state regarding their usage, so be sure to find out what the laws are in your neck of the woods before getting them installed.

Check out all the strobe light products available on NAPA Online, or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on vehicle strobe lights, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.


Warren Clarke View All

I'm a writer and editor who's a regular contributor with the New York Daily News and Carfax, and my content has appeared in over 20 publications. I've written content that covers industries such as automotive, medical, insurance, healthcare, real estate, plumbing, pest control, dental and hospitality.

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