There are many storied companies manufacturing products for public safety personnel, but there may not be one with the kind of history Star Signal has. In one way or another, the company has always led the way in developing and manufacturing lighting equipment and technologies, for several industries. Today, two of the areas that Star Signal focuses on are law enforcement and public safety, where it can provide an impressive range of vehicle lighting and siren systems.
Founded in 1889 by George Washington Jacobs, Star Headlight Company spent several decades manufacturing lanterns for many industries, including the railroad and automotive industries. Its engineering prowess was noticed at large early on, and during World War II, the U.S. government made the production of the company’s lanterns an AA-1 priority. In the decades that would follow, Star Signal would continue to innovate, always staying ahead of its competitors and growing all the while. In 1997, the manufacturing stalwart moved to its current location in Rochester, New York, a sprawling 70,000 square foot factory that originally accommodated 120 employees. Now it accommodates many more.
In 2000, Star Signal would acquire Signal Vehicle Products Company out of Florida, thus beginning its foray into the police, fire and emergency lighting market.
Many businesses call themselves family owned, but when Star Signal makes the claim, they mean it. Star Signal has been owned and operated by five generations of Jacobs, and remains under the leadership of Christopher Jacobs to this day. Every Jacobs president has worked in the company’s facilities prior to taking over the family business, so there is an incredible amount of learned wisdom guiding Star Signal. It’s this wisdom, expertise and willingness to innovate that has gotten Star Signal this far. And it’s why its clients keep coming back for their lighting needs.
Star Signal’s Light Bars, LED Beacons & Sirens
Star Signal maintains a highly capable factory, sporting turret presses, punch presses, surface mount placement equipment, insertion equipment, aluminum extrusion, machining, cutting, drilling and tapping machines, pad printing, polycarbonate and polyurethane molding, photometric tunnels for SAE validation, and even an anechoic chamber for sound output testing. There may not be another facility in the industry that can match those capabilities. Unsurprisingly, Star Signal adheres to the ISO 9000 series of quality management and assurance standards. It would be fair to claim that there is no weak spot in Star Signal’s manufacturing processes. So, what are the products of those sterling manufacturing processes? They include:
1. Star Phantom Light Bars – The Phantom is Star Signal’s primary lighting option for police and emergency vehicles, and runs on efficient LED technology. The company manufacturers several Phantom models, including the ULB34-1 for rear windows, the ULB14 for passenger side mounts, the ULB24 for overhead console mounting, the ULB18 and ULB28, which are both for overhead console mounting and the ULB44, which is mounted under the center visor. All Phantom models are designed with an ultra-thin profile that keeps noise down and stability up. The ULB14 comes with 12 Star Generation IV LEDs, while the ULB24 contains 24. Fleet managers have 35 flash patterns to choose from with the ULB14 and ULB24, and both can be built with an adjustable baffle to prevent any flash back from the window.
The ULB18 and ULB28 are designed with the company’s Lineum X technology, which comes with a dual color interior undercover bar, and are intended for interior applications only. Both come with 31 selectable flash patterns that can be activated in up to five phases. Both can be dimmed for power efficiency and are available in five color presets, including red, blue, green, amber and dual red/blue.
2. Halo LED Beacons – Star Signal produces more than a dozen LED beacons that can be used to supplement lighting on police, fire and emergency vehicles. There are minor differences between them, mostly concerning construction materials and LED configuration.
The 258HTDL is a model worth spotlighting, so to speak. It is made with a lightweight polycarbonate base and can be mounted using a three-hole flange permanent mount, a 1-inch pipe mount or a magnet mount. According to Star Signal, it is the first line of light beacons to offer full image dual-color capability, and can be configured to emit amber/white, amber/blue, red/white, amber/red, red/green or amber/green lighting patterns.
Star Signal’s Led beacons draw very little power and all circuitry is fully encapsulated, which offers maximum weather and shock resistance. That it exceeds SAE Class I J845 standards is a given.
Finally, they are highly controllable, as each color can be tied to its own pattern and personnel can switch between colors by simply flipping a switch.
3. Sirens – Star Signal also manufacturers more than a dozen sirens, each of them designed for particular roles. The LCS771 is a strong example of what the company can do in this area, as it comes with a bevy of features.
The LCS771 can run at 100 or 200 watts for long lengths of time and its LED speaker diagnostics allow for rapid troubleshooting. It is easy to retrofit over existing sirens as it does not require a special terminal and it comes with a built-in siren fuse. The siren is designed with a push button on the back and 10 dip switches for excellent customization, and it comes with 26 programmable siren tones, including a pair of yelp tones, mechanical wail and manual, and eight air horn tones. Radio rebroadcast and PA is also available and come with their own volume knob. Finally, the LCS771 enables horn ring transfer and hands free tone cycling.