Quantcast
Jump to content
  • Come join the TowForce community.

    Sign in to get started and to receive Tower Down Notices.

SAE Lighting Standards


Recommended Posts

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is a US-based organization of engineers and technical experts in the aerospace, automotive and commercial vehicle industries that develop voluntary consensus standards.  They include the design, testing and performance requirements for specific products. These standards can also be adopted by federal and state agencies in their rulemaking.  The warning lights tow operators use are based on several SAE standards.  Below are the most applicable standards that apply to warning lighting.

 

  • SAE J595 Directional Flashing Optical Warning Devices for Authorized Emergency, Maintenance and Service Vehicles. It covers any directional, single color or flashing warning lights and intended for land vehicles such as surface or grommet mount warning lights.  The standard defines how bright the lights need to be, minimum flash rates at hot and cold temperatures and the minimum lifespan of the lights.  The standard also provide the test methods for manufacturers to follow.  
  •  SAE J845 Optical Warning Devices for Authorized Emergency, Maintenance and Service VehiclesIt covers any omnidirectional and selective coverage optical warning lights such as lightbars or beacon lights. The standard defines how bright the lights need to be, minimum flash rates at hot and cold temperatures and the minimum lifespan of the lights.  The standard also provide the test methods for manufacturers to follow.
  • SAE J1318 Gaseous Discharge Warning Lamp for Authorized Emergency, Maintenance and Service Vehicles.   It covers strobe based products.  This has actually been replaced by J595 as the use of strobe tubes has greatly declined.


For each of the above standards there are photometric Classes that specify the types of usage.
 

  •  Class 1: Requests Right of Way: Minimum  primary warning devices for use on authorized emergency vehicles responding to emergency situations.  These are the brightest lights available and can be used on vehicle such as police, fire trucks and ambulances.
  •    Class 2: Warns of Hazard: Minimum primary warning devices for use on authorized maintenance and service vehicles.  These are roughly 25% the intensity of a Class 1 light and examples are tow trucks or utility vehicles.
  • Class 3: Non-Highway Vehicles: Minimum primary warning devices for use on vehicles authorized to display flashing warning lights for identification.  These are roughly 10% the intensity of a Class 1 light and examples are privately owned snowplows or fork trucks.
  • Secondary-Supplemental Warning: Warning devices of lower intensity that can be used to provide additional warning signal to supplement the primary warning device.


The State of California has their own lighting standards and are referred to as California Title 13. They are located in California’s Administrative Code under Title 13, Division 2, Chapter 2 Lighting Equipment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...