what's new in: Trailer lights

Trailer lighting has come a long way. Whether talking about exterior trailer lights, including markers and stop/tail/turn lamps, or interior trailer dome lights, you've made it clear to lighting suppliers you want longer lasting products for your truck fleets. Now you have them. Last fall, Truck-Lite introduced for the reefer market two LED trailer dome lights whose diodes have a rated life of over

Trailer lighting has come a long way. Whether talking about exterior trailer lights, including markers and stop/tail/turn lamps, or interior trailer dome lights, you've made it clear to lighting suppliers you want longer lasting products for your truck fleets. Now you have them.

Last fall, Truck-Lite introduced for the reefer market two LED trailer dome lights whose diodes have a rated life of over 100,000 hr. The first product, the 80250C, is designed with the same dimensions as current fluorescent lamps, making it easy for retrofitting or use as a new product straight from the OE. The white LED uses multi-volt technology, Truck-Lite explains, rated to run between 10 and 30 volts.

LED technology, Truck-Lite points out, is an excellent fit for refrigerated trailers since LEDs work extremely well in cold temperatures. The manufacturer also states it has given the LED dome light a low profile design so drivers loading/unloading the trailer won't have a problem with insufficient overhead clearance.

The company says another advantage of the LED design is its “instant-on” technology. As soon as the operator turns the switch on, the LED is on and as bright as it will get, according to Truck-Lite, meaning the driver doesn't have to wait for the dome lights to warm up before unloading cargo.

The second product from Truck-Lite is the Model 84 Series LED Super Strip light. It has all the benefits of the first dome lamp, but offers fleets flexibility in where they can mount it inside the trailer. The strip lamp has a low-profile design and comes in 2- and 4-ft. lengths that can be mounted in the upper corner at a 45-deg. angle or surface-mounted flat against the ceiling.

Truck-Lite says that with the introduction of the two new white LEDs it now has LED lamps available to cover any lighting application on a trailer a fleet could want. The company adds that the trend among fleets toward the use of more LEDs continues and most are spec'ing them in one position or another on their trucks.

For trailers that operate in non-refrigerated and other higher-temperature applications, Phillips Industries offers its fluorescent Permalite dome lamp. The manufacturer says that for safety, the light is designed to withstand higher temperatures than other similar units.

Late last summer the company launched another product called Permalogic, which is designed to control the trailer's dome light. According to Phillips, fleets can save on energy and voltage by having these lamps switched off when the trailer is moving down the road. They can also prevent overheating of the lights and subsequent problems from that.

Since the dome lights run off the same blue wire as the ABS, Phillips reports that Permalogic can also avoid service problems in a panic situation by making sure there's enough power reserve to activate the ABS when needed. The controller unit in Permalogic shuts the lights off automatically if voltage gets too low, or at pre-determined elapsed time intervals, Phillips explains.

And as an added safety feature should a driver forget to turn the lights off after loading or unloading the trailer, Permalogic will turn them off for him/her the first time the driver steps on the truck brakes. Permalogic works with Permalite and competitive makes fluorescent and LED dome lights.

Phillips says its next step will be to develop a whole system — through the use of newer electronic technology in lighting products — capable of conserving the most power so fleets can run lights and other accessories longer without having to recharge the batteries.

Power conservation is a huge issue, with dome lamps and lift gates both drawing a lot of current, says Phillips. Anti-idling laws also mean that the company must be especially observant of the power being drawn from those units. Truck operators simply won't be able to start their trucks if they overuse the available power. But, according to the manufacturer, the good news is truck fleets have been very receptive to new technologies that have a definitive cost-value benefit, even if they do cost more up front.

Grote Industries has a new addition to its Hi Count line of LEDs. The oval, 56-diode stop/tail/turn trailer lamp features Grote's Plug & Go design that allows use with existing harnesses for female lamps, for a fast and easy LED retrofit from incandescent lamps, the company reports.

Peterson Manufacturing also released a new product last fall — the Great White LED Back-Up light for working trucks and trailers. The 4-in. round back-up light features the latest white diode technology and is rated for 100 hr.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, VISIT THESE WEB SITES:

GROTE INDUSTRIES www.grote.com

PETERSON MFG. www.pmlights.com

PHILLIPS INDUSTRIES www.phillipsind.com

TRUCK-LITE www.trucklite.com

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