What Color Are Emergency Vehicle Lights?

Emergency vehicle lights are essential for police cars, fire trucks, tow trucks, and more. They help to convey the presence of dangerous roadway conditions, negotiate and direct traffic, light up the scene of an emergency, and keep first responders safe. Depending on your unique needs, any of our LED warning lights would be perfect for your vehicle build. But first, it’s important to know exactly which colors you're legally allowed to use on your car or truck. State laws can vary depending on your industry, type of vehicle, and product application.

Wondering which colors you should use on your vehicle? Check out our guide on the basic color requirements for emergency vehicle lights!

Red

Red lights are instinctively associated with emergency situations, and are most often used in police vehicles, fire trucks, and ambulances. Depending on state laws, emergency vehicles can also use forward-facing red lights in combination with blue or white lights.

Blue

Blue lights are widely used by police vehicles and law enforcement personnel. However, states like Missouri¹ and Wyoming² are permitted to use blue lights on fire trucks and ambulances. In rarer cases, states like Oklahoma³ allow tow trucks and wreckers to use blue lights on scene.

Amber

Amber is one of the most popular colors used by emergency vehicles. Mandated in over 40 states, amber lights are most commonly used on tow trucks and wreckers, construction vehicles, public works, and escort vehicles. They’re also used by police vehicles to direct roadway traffic.

White

White lights are almost always used on police vehicles, ambulances, and fire trucks in combination with red or blue lights. For extra impact, white modules can be used as takedown lights, rear-facing work lights, and for flood mode.

Green

Green lights can be used by volunteer EMTs, paramedics, and first responders using POVs. They’re even utilized by Homeland Security and private security firms. Green lights may be subject to local restrictions. For example, in Indiana, volunteer EMTs must obtain an official permit before using green lights⁴.

Purple

Purple is quickly becoming the standardized color for funeral processions. Purple lights can be used in conjunction with hazard lights, and are usually used by the head of the procession. Purple lights are not mandated by all states, so check your local laws before using them.

Grab your own emergency vehicle lights today

Here at Ultra Bright Lightz, we offer a wide range of LED warning lights that are bright, powerful, and super easy to use. Are you ready to upgrade your vehicle’s lighting system? Give us a call and one of our customer support specialists would be more than happy to answer all of your questions!


Sources

¹Revised Statutes of Missouri.RSMo Section 307.175. http://revisor.mo.gov/main/OneSection.aspx?section=307.175

²2019 Wyoming Statutes. Section 31-5-928. https://law.justia.com/codes/wyoming/2019/title-31/chapter-5/article-9/section-31-5-928/

³47 O.S. Section 12-218.1. https://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/DeliverDocument.asp?CiteID=437558

⁴Indiana Volunteer Firefighters Association. “Green Light Law.” https://ivfa.org/for-members/green-light-law/

19th May 2020

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