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Emergency Vehicle Lights

Red & Blue Emergency Vehicle Lights - What’s The Psychology Behind Its Use?

by Abrams MFG 25 Apr 2022
What do you get from seeing red and blue alarming LED lights on the roads? Of course, you know it’s a police vehicle at work. Color recognition has been embedded in our minds for a long time with its specific use by different departments. And for red and blue strobe warning lights, it is so definite. Isn’t it? But have you ever wondered why only red and blue lights are used? 

We will help to make this simple for you. We have gone through extensive research to know the psychology behind this. 

So let’s start without any further ado. 

Strobe Warning Lights, led emergency vehicle lights, emergency vehicle lights

Why Are Red & Blue Warning Light Bars Used For Police Emergency Vehicles?

It is very common to see red light bars and blue lights for most emergency response vehicles. But it is interesting to note that the standardization of light alerts was not put into practice until the 1970s. Making it trivial to use the red and blue combination has been somewhat steadily made acceptable to the American police. If you get a look at other countries’ practices, you will acknowledge they use either one of the two. Nevertheless, white LED strobe light bars are also followed with a combination of any bright color. But mainly for the off-road emergency vehicles as visibility becomes critical to them. 


Psychological Facts For The Versatile uses

There are plenty of psychological studies to estimate the overall impact of different colors and their wavelengths on momentary mood and night alertness. In research where measurements were recorded before, during, and after the exposure of the red and blue lights, it was observed that these lights show elevated electroencephalographic beta power along with diminished sleepiness and boosted positive effect on alertness and mood with its stimulation of the melatonin pathway. 

In simple words, red-light bars and blue light bars exude a wavelength that affects the vigilance as well as the mood. 

Keep reading to know more about the standardized uses of red and blue warning strobe lights.

emergency led light

Red and Blue Strobe Warning Light Bars Emit Greater Visibility 

The main highlight to hang on for their specific use is the greater visibility that it provides irrespective of the hour of the day and night. For many years, red and blue emergency vehicle lights have been a familiar choice for most police emergency vehicles. On-road responders need to balance the visibility of their lights to make way for other road users, unlike off-road emergencies vehicles. Hence, using blue and red light bars become essential for first responders. 

Moreover, blue strobe warning lights allow excellent visibility both day and night time compared to other emergency vehicle lights. The color emits a greater wavelength and thus, is more readily seen. 


Color Association With Different Strobe Warning Lights

Another background that depicts the versatility of the colors is their association with different emotions. For instance, blue is tuned with tranquility. To elaborate, there are fewer crime instances and suicide commencement in the presence of blue street lighting. One can find some anecdotal evidence of this background. This is highly favored in some cities of Japan as well. 

On the contrary, red-light bars are associated with something in action, which is the total opposite of the blue color’s symbolization of serenity. Red has always been a color for warnings which clears the point of its versatility in traffic lights or stop signs.

Thus, the superconscious is influenced by the color association of one’s interpretation. 


Red and Blue Strobe Warning Lights Are Easily Differentiated 

For a fact, red and blue LED strobe lights are easily distinguishable, which adds to the factor of their all-pervasive uses. Both these colors can be differentiated quickly and, in fact, from a distance. Why?

Because both of them have different contrasts and have discernible tones, the difference in both colors in an emergency light can be seen from up to 1 mile away.


Let’s Wrap Up

Abrams MFG is the most reputable dealer offering a wide array of emergency vehicle lights. Whether you are looking for red strobe warning lights or blue LED warning light bars, we can provide them with an assurance of high quality. Visit our website today for all your emergency lighting needs.
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