As honest, law-abiding citizens, nothing probably gives us a greater sense of security than seeing policemen and police women patrolling our neighborhoods to make sure we are kept safe. It’s the same when we are driving on highways. The all-too-familiar sight of powerful police cars zooming past, sirens wailing and red police lights atop them glowing serve as a reminder that we should be more mindful of the rules and drive safe. But for those who have jumped a signal, violated the speed limit, or have simply downed a drink too many, the sight of red and blue police lights in their rear-view mirrors can become a source of worry. As indeed it should, for these police lights for cars show that the long arm of the law is active.
So what goes into making good police lights for cars? Clearly, what’s a no-brainer is that they should be bright and easily visible, so that people can cooperate by not crowding a crime scene or providing information to the policemen on duty and so on. A bright light mounted on police cars also serves the purpose of deflating the perpetrator’s confidence. This is important because it can lead to an error or mistake by the perpetrator, leading to successful pursuit and capture. But what’s less obvious is the ease and speed with which these lights need to be fixed. Usually, these lights are attached to the top of the car. But often, it may be necessary to fix the lights inside, on the dashboard. That brings us to the question of their size. Clearly, there is less room on the dashboard of a police car than on top of its roof. Therefore, the light must be compact enough for use inside.
Then, as with all such devices and gadgets, there’s the question of their longevity. Good police lights for cars must ideally function for several hours at a stretch. This requires them to have their own batteries and power back-up that runs for several hours without having to be recharged or requiring a new set of batteries. Of course, it goes without saying that these lights must be capable of being powered by electricity drawn from the mains as well. These features become especially important at times when there are no other power sources at hand.
We live in an era where most of us are becoming more environmentally conscious. The government and the police are no exceptions. So police lights for cars must also be miserly in terms of the energy they consume. This is easily possible if an array of LED lamps is used. Equally key principles of sustainable development are to reuse and recycle. Police lights must be reusable. By which we mean that it should be easy and affordable to make minor repairs and extend their life, rather than utilize them on a “use and throw” basis. Of course, the repair must not compromise brightness or energy efficiency. And once their useful life comes to an end, police lights too must be safe to dispose of. They must not contain toxic material. Indeed, it would be good if they can be made from bio-degradable plastic.