Arduino Controlled LED Police Light

Hello, I've seen various conversations about doing some of what I want, but nothing that really touches the bulk of it.

Rather than spending a bunch of money on a emergency light for my truck (i'm a volunteer fire fighter) And having some what of a technical background, I thought it might be a good and interesting solution to make a custom setup.

Basically I am wanting to build a bar, that contains 8 sets of 3 1 watt led lights, and each set of 3 can be controlled into a flash pattern like what you would see on a police car or fire truck.

A example of how they would be setup, including a video of the flash patterns is here: prestigeemergencylights.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7&products_id=6

Now I understand that Using Arduino, It may not be possible to user select multiple patterns, and I'm ok with only using one pattern.

Any ideas on where to start on this project would be greatly appreciated. Or do you think it would be better just to scrap the idea, and buy it pre-made.

Thank you for taking the time.

Now I understand that Using Arduino, It may not be possible to user select multiple patterns, and I'm ok with only using one pattern.

:-? well you can select multiple patterns :)

Or do you think it would be better just to scrap the idea, and buy it pre-made.

well it depends on what you want ! you could diy but it would miss the robustness of the original product

Well if it saves me money i'm willing to loose the robustness.

Would it be possible to change patterns with some type of switch? or be easier just to only do one pattern.

you could change the patternsd using a switch yes

or be easier just to only do one pattern

one you get it working switching patterns is not mch of a challenge :)

I was reading another post about using 1watt led's talking about if you use too many it would burn up the arduino board, do you think that would be an issue with 24 led's?

If i'm able to get one built like this, I might decide in the future to scale it up and double it to a full size light bar on the roof.

someone else did something like this, but only with 10 normal leds, then uploaded the code to a atmega328 chip, seems like doing that has removed the issues of too much power?

you'll need to be switching them using mosftes or transistors but if you first decide on the led's and provide us wiith a link we could tell you more

Also do a google search of LED drivers. I know Texas Inst. makes a few that are dedicated to High Brightness LED. They would take care of the power requirements and driving of the actual lights. Than you can just control the blinkyness with the Adruino. However,: make sure that "3" 1 watt LED's will be bright enough. Most Police and Fire vehicles using LED's now, have entire matrixes of LED's not just three. This is because you need to see the lights even in day light. Trust me, you want to be seen and heard, so you don't cause an accident , getting to the accident.

http://focus.ti.com/lit/sg/slyt349a/slyt349a.pdf

Here are some ideas from TI. Start on page 36 of the document that might be more of what you are looking for.

I was doing some research and several strobe kits use the Piranha superflux led's

?Wavelength: 615-625nm (Red) ?Lens Color: Water Clear ?View Angle: 100-120 Degrees ?Forward Voltage: 1.8-2.4v ?Current: 20-30mA ?Size: 5mm Piranha ?Luminosity: 10,000 mcd

Now obviously in each cluster using more than 3 led's would be highly desirable, but I was trying to keep things simple, and match the design the other system had.

if each module had clusters of 6, 9 or 12 led's then yeah that would be much better.

Keep in mind this would most likely be a light mounted to the dash of a vehicle, only being seen by other cars in their rear view mirror.