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Departments : First Look

Seeing Red

The light heads are easily removed and reinstalled into the TriCore system, saving maintenance time and money.

February 01, 2009  |  by - Also by this author

The press conference was typical of any other press conference at the annual International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) trade show last November. People had gathered into the manufacturer's show floor booth and a marketing manager or other company rep was presenting some details of the product. Two other company reps pulled a cover off a patrol car, as I snapped photos. Then they turned it on. And I saw nothing but red.

That was my introduction to Code 3 Inc.'s new Defender lightbar system with TriCore Technology, arguably one of the brightest, if not the brightest, emergency vehicle lightbars on the market.

Code 3 reps won't say what makes the multipatented TriCore Technology twice as bright as its LED, halogen, or strobe light-equipped lightbars. All the company will reveal is that TriCore is truly a departure from conventional lightbar technology. "Everything about the light head is different," says Code 3 vice president of sales Kelly Kyriakos. "It is its own new technology."

That "new technology" is not only extremely bright head-on. It's also very visible at an angle, and that's the primary benefit of TriCore, according to Kyriakos. "The TriCore Technology allows for better off-angle lighting. And that provides more safety for when emergency vehicles enter an intersection."

Kyriakos says that there are many other benefits of the TriCore system including:

  • The brighter light gives officers better takedown and alley lighting.
  • Although TriCore is very bright, it actually uses less energy than conventional lights.
  • It runs cooler than the company's conventional lightbar technology, as the intramolded lens blocks out UV rays, protecting internal wiring and the light head.

The design and construction of the Defender lightbar is also innovative. "The frame is twice as strong as our earlier lightbar frames," Kyriakos says. "The way the light heads go into the bar itself was designed in such a way that they are much easier to take out and install. And the bar is configured for different lights easily. Overall in terms of the construction and design, it's much easier to work on so the maintenance costs should be lower."

Code 3 also believes that TriCore lightbars will be more durable than conventional lightbar systems. "Because it runs cooler and uses less energy, it puts less stress on the electronics," Kyriakos explains.

Code 3 says that considering its greater durability and ease of maintenance, the Defender lightbar with TriCore Technology is competitively priced with other Code 3 lightbars . Existing Code 3 lightbars cannot be retrofitted with TriCore.

Since TriCore's introduction at the IACP show in November, Code 3 has received much praise for the new technology. "The response has been overwhelming," Kyriakos says. "At IACP, officers would walk by our booth and stop and then they would check the angle visibility on their own. Then they would come back over to us and say, 'Man, I see that thing all over the place.' It was very gratifying to see people capture the features of the system so quickly."

Code 3's Defender lightbar with TriCore Technology is scheduled to reach the market next month.

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