The Most Common Questions About Vehicle Emergency Lights in 2020

Automotiveby Mashum Mollah08 January 2020

Emergency Lights

Are you a new first responder wanting to learn more about emergency vehicle lighting? Or perhaps a civilian interested in installing some on your vehicle? Either way, here’s everything you need to know about vehicle emergency lights.

Emergency vehicle lighting is used in several different ways. For first responders like EMTs and firefighters, emergency lights are used to convey a sense of urgency to other motorists so they can get to their destination faster. For law enforcement officers, they use emergency lights to warn other motorists or demand a driver to pull over.

First responders are usually the ones who use emergency lighting. However, civilians can also use this type of lighting under certain conditions, which we will expound upon later.

Who can use emergency vehicle lighting?

emergency vehicle lighting

For many people, the first question about emergency lighting is this: can civilians use emergency lights on their vehicles?

The answer depends on your state’s laws and regulations. Some states can be laxer about the rules than others, while some can be very strict about the public use of emergency lights. Hence, if you want to have emergency lighting on your private vehicle, you should check with your local government first before having your vehicle fitted.

Generally, emergency lighting is allowed for off-road and private use. For example, LED light bars for trucks can be used to patrol private properties such as amusement parks, country clubs, and malls. Tractors, ATVs, and other farming vehicles can also be fitted with emergency lights, as long as they follow local laws regarding using them in public.

What are the different colors of emergency lights?

Police, firefighters, EMS, and other first responders commonly use red, white, and blue lights on their vehicles. In most states, private vehicles are not allowed to sport emergency lights with these colors as to not be mistaken as emergency vehicles.

Aside from red, white, and blue, emergency lights can also be green, white (solely), amber, and purple. Green lights are considered as courtesy lights, which means that the driver is not demanding the right of way, but rather requesting it from other motorists. White and amber lights are commonly used for caution vehicles, such as those used in construction, traffic, and utility. And lastly, purple lights are usually used for funeral processions and are not very popular for many lighting retailers.

What is the purpose of emergency lights?

For first responders, the purpose of having emergency lights is to convey urgency, emergency, and warning, while providing enough illumination at the same time. On the other hand, non-emergency vehicles (i.e., security vehicles, tractors, construction equipment) use emergency lights to increase the safety of the people around them and protect private property while providing enough light as well.

In general, emergency vehicle lights are used to provide safety and security for the occupants in the car, the other motorists on the road, and anyone or anything that is in the immediate area.

Can civilians buy emergency lights?

Emergency vehicle lights are available to the public, which means you can buy them, but you can’t use them unless it’s legal in your state. If you want to use emergency lights on your private vehicle, make sure that it is legally allowed in your area first.


These are the most fundamental things that you need to know about emergency lights. But if you want to learn more about emergency lighting and how to use it, check out LED Equipped today.

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Mashum Mollah

Mashum Mollah is an entrepreneur, founder and CEO at Viacon, a digital marketing agency that drive visibility, engagement, and proven results. He blogs at

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