LED Warning Light 12V: The Ultimate Buying Guide

LED Warning lights 12V are low voltage warning lights. The standard vehicle battery in the market is 12V.

Therefore, making LED Warning lights 12V the best option as they do not require any additional power supply.

The use of LED Warning Light 12V has gained traction over the years. Mostly, it is because of its efficiency and affordability.

However, many people have scanty information concerning the LED Warning Light 12V.

For this reason, we have come up with this guide to help you make an informed decision before purchasing LED Waring Light 12V.

Marine LED Warning Light 12VMarine LED Warning Light 12V

Best Uses For LED Warning Light 12V

Below are some of the day-to-day uses of LED Warning Light 12V.

Vehicle LED Warning Light 12V

The standard vehicle battery has a 12V system. This makes the LED Warning Light 12v the best option for vehicles as it does not require a transformer to convert power.


Marine transport opts for low voltage lighting systems to reduce potential hazards such as electrocution.

LED Warning light 12V is low voltage, making it the best choice for ships, boats, and other marine transport.

It also saves power which is an added advantage for waterborne transportation.

Mining Operations

LED Warning Lights 12V are often small in size and mobile. These are desirable features in mining operations.

LED signal bar and helmet lights are examples of LED Warning lights 12V. They consume minimal power, which is ideal in mining operations.

Security Lights

For homeowners who have safety concerns, LED Warning light 12V can come in handy. It offers visibility throughout the night without draining a lot of power.

LED Warning light 12V, therefore, is used in typical landscape lighting.

Railway And Train Lights

LED Warning light 12V is commonly found in trains. Headlights and taillights typically utilize 12V lighting systems

Types Of 12 Volt LED Warning Light In The Market

There are several 12 Volt LED Warning lights in the market that serve different purposes. They include the following;

  • 12V led dash indicator lights
  • 12V led panel indicator lights
  • 12 Volt incandescent indicator lights
  • 12V flashing led warning lights.
  • 12V LED pilot warning lights.
  • 12V LED Light Strips
  • 12V LED Recessed Lights

12V LED Pilot Warning Light

12V LED Pilot Warning Light

How LED Warning Light 12v And LED Warning Light 24v Compare

Before choosing the voltage specification, several factors should be taken into account.

The price, type of LED Warning light, and purpose of the warning lights are some of the factors that should be considered.

In addition, the 12v and 24v are suited for different applications and are therefore have various advantages.

Both the 12V and 24V LED Warning lights have a similar light output. This is because the voltage does not determine the output. Instead, they produce the same amount of light.

The 12V has a higher voltage drop compared to the 24V LED Warning lights. The 12v LED Warning light strip is, therefore, shorter.

On the other hand, the 24V is usually longer as it has a lower voltage drop. The length limit for a 12V LED Warning light is 5 meters, whereas the 24V LED Warning light limit is 7 meters.

The cut point for 24V is usually twice that of the 12V LED Warning lights. The 12V and 24V have the same lifespan.

The 12V requires twice the amperage needed by the 24V LED Warning light making the 24V superior in gear control.

How LED Warning Light 12V Works

LED Warning Light 12V has accessories that are used when setting up the lights. The 12V has electric cables that are used to connect it to the car the battery.

The 12V LED Warning light has current limiting resistor which comes in handy when the LED Warning light is driven beyond its capacity.

It also has a built-in dropping resistor. This comes in handy when the 12V LED Warning light is connected to a power source with high voltage output.

Material Considerations For LED Warning Light 12V

Some of the most common materials include:

Shell Material

The shell should be made using high-quality materials. High-strength materials such as brass alloy shells and stainless steel are examples of materials used.

The surface can also be treated to provide increased protection, for example, electroplating chromium.


The housing case is usually made from aluminum. Aluminum has many desirable features that make it a popular choice.

It has a high thermal conductivity which is advantageous to LED lights sensitive to change in temperatures.

When To Choose Single LED Vs. RGB LED For Warning 12V

The type of LED choice depends on what you require luminance for. If your goal is increasing the brightness of an area or your vehicle, the single LED is the best option.

They offer consistent visibility without the distraction caused by changing colours—for example, landscape lighting, beacon spotlights, taillight, and headlights.

If your aim is to attract attention with your lights, then the RGB is the best option for you. The changing lights attract attention offering increased visibility.

For example, they can be used in law enforcement vehicles, construction vehicles, traffic lights, and utility vehicles.

Factors Influencing The Choice Of Driver For LED Warning 12V

For your LED Warning light 12V to function correctly, the correct drive is required. An LED driver is an electric circuit that assists in regulating the power supply.

It does this by providing enough power to light the LED light but limiting the excess current that might cause damage.

There are a couple of factors that should be taken into consideration while selecting your driver. These factors include;


Before selecting a driver, it is essential to verify the number of watts your LED Warning Lights use. If multiple lights are required, you should calculate the total watts that will be consumed.

You must get a power source that can power supply enough power for all your lights.


Compatibility is vital when choosing a driver. Therefore, you should first ensure that you know your LED Warning light 12V output current to select a suitable driver.

This information is usually indicated in the specifications of the device.


If you wish to purchase LED Warning lights 12v that can be dimmed, you require a dimmable driver. There are different types of dimmable drivers; they include; triode for alternating current dimming, Pulse-width modulation dimming, and Resistive Dimming.

Temperature And Weather Resistance

The environmental conditions also influence the type of driver you want to buy and the power source.

Other factors such as the size of the LED Warning lights, efficiency, and class should also be considered.

Recommended Wattage For LED Warning Light 12V

Wattage is the amount of energy use by your LED Warning light 12V. Although LED Warning Light 12V is a low voltage system, it requires a lot more current than the average high voltage system.

The wattage differs according to one’s needs and the type of lighting fixture. The recommended wattage usually is indicated on the specification of the products.

It is therefore essential to ascertain the required wattage before purchasing your LED Warning light 12V.

Suitable Brightness Level For LED Warning Light

The suitable level brightness for LED Warning lights is dependent on various factors. For example, the LED warning light’s location is important because interior lights are generally dimmer than exterior lights.

In addition, several state laws limit the type of warning light a civilian can have on their vehicle. This is because high-intensity lights could distract motorists and other road users, leading to road accidents.

In most states, emergency responders who require maximized visibility use high-intensity LED Warning lights. Off-road vehicles and other heavy-duty vehicles also require enhanced visibility, especially during the night.

However, drivers on well-lit roads do not require very bright lights. Most manufactures provide brightness charts that help you determine the level of brightness you need.

12V B LED Warning Light

12V B LED Warning Light

Why IP Rating Is Important For LED Warning Light 12V

Ingress Protection (IP) ratings rate the level of the physical casings and electrical housing against water, intrusion, dust, and any accidental contact.

The IP ratings indicate the level of protection accorded to your device. The most sought-after ratings include IP65, IP66, and IP67, indicating that the casing is, among other things, waterproof and dustproof.

Benefits Of Waterproof LED Warning Light 12V

Waterproof LED Warning Light 12V ensures that your lights remain functional even during harsh weather conditions such as during the rainy season.

Waterproof LED Warning Light 12V has a longer life span. They can withstand frequent exposure to water and moist conditions that generally damage non-waterproof LED Warning lights.

Difference Between 5050smd And 3528smd For LED Warning Light 12V

The 5050smd are named so because of their physical dimensions in millimetres. Their chips are 5.0mm by 5.0 mm.

They normally contain three LEDs in one housing. As a result, they are brighter than LED Warning lights with single LEDs like the 3528smd.

Also, the 3528smd gets its name from the dimensions of the chips, i.e 3.5 mm by 2.8mm. Compared to the 5050smd they have fewer LEDs thus less heat emission.

They produce significantly less heat. The 5050smd requires a larger PCB to conduct the heat away from the chips.

The 5050smd have a tri-colour variety. Meaning, they have RBG LEDs that permit the colour change.

In addition, the RBG 5050smd offers more visibility. The 3528smd has single LEDs and can therefore not change colour.

The 3528 are more affordable compared to the 5050smd.

When To Consider 12V Flashing LED Warning Light

12V Flashing LED Warning lights are low voltage lights. They are suitable for cars with 12V batteries, which is the standard battery voltage for most vehicles.

Flashing LED Warning Lights have various uses, although they should not always be on, especially on roads.

When buying a 12V Flashing LED Warning lights, it is important to ensure that the flashing lights are legal in your state. The most common flashing lights are emergency lights.

Flashing headlights are, however, permitted to signal other drivers. Other flashing lights such as car door LED Warning lights are also used in various vehicles.

Required Certifications For LED Warning Light 12V

The common certification found in lighting products includes the Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and the Electrical Testing Laboratory.

These labels indicate the LED Warning Light 12V have undergone safety tests per standards set by the Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory


The UL is recognized by OSHA as approved quality certification. Products with the UL mark are categorized into three main categories.

These categories include; UL Listed, UL Classified, or UL Recognized.

UL Listed

These are products that have been tried and have met UL’s set safety standards for fire and electrical risks and other risks. There are three categories under the UL listings. These clearances are for the following areas;

  • Dry; The products categorized under Dry are cleared for interior locations with no water exposure.
  • Damp; The products categorized under Damp are cleared for locations where there is exposure to condensation
  • Wet; The products categorized under Wet are cleared for exterior locations with water exposure.

UL Classified

These products have been tried for particular characteristics, risks, or their performance under unique conditions.

UL Recognized

This mark is found on components. This is to certify that the individual parts have met the UL requirements.


The ETL, which comes from Intertek’s Electrical Testing Labs, is OSHA approved. They provide services such as quality assurance, inspection, testing, and certification.

Products that bear their logo have met the approved safety standards.

How LED Warning Light 12V Are Used In Vehicle Applications

LED Warning Light 12V has wires that connect the warning lights to the car battery for power.

You can install LED Warning Lights 12V on almost any part of the vehicle.

Some of the uses of LED Warning Light 12v in vehicles include:

  • For interior lighting,
  • On indicators and signal lights
  • Backlighting
  • Taillights
  • Turn signals
  • Brake lights
  • Fog lamps
  • Center high-mount stop lamps
  • Parking lights
  • Daytime running lights.

Uses of Car LED Warning Light 12V

Uses of Car LED Warning Light 12V

Best Length For Car LED Warning Light 12V Strip

During the Car LED Warning Light 12V Strip selection, determining the length of the strip that will be powered is important.

Thus, measuring the dimensions of the places where the strip lights will be installed is essential.

You should also take into account irregular areas such as dips, turns, and gaps.

These considerations will help you choose the best length of the LED light 12v strip you need.

There are various set lengths available, and you can customize the light strip to suit your needs.

Also, the maximum run of your LED strip light determines the length of the strip. Maximum run is the longest length of an uninterrupted strip that can be powered without a voltage drop.

If a strip exceeds the maximum run, the brightness will lessen at the end.

How To Avoid Voltage Drop In Vehicle LED Warning Light 12V Strip

The length limit or maximum run for a 12V LED Warning light is 5 meters. This is the length of an uninterrupted strip that can be powered without the voltage drop.

Meaning, past 5 meters, the voltage will drop and the LEDs beyond the 5-meter mark will have low light intensity.

If you plan to pass the maximum run, there are a few steps that you can take to avoid voltage drop.

Wiring Additional Power Supply

Wiring an additional power supply can help ensure a consistent current distribution eradicating voltage drop.

This method is mainly used for single-color LED strips that need an on and off functionality.

The new power source is wired after the maximum run is exceeded. If you require an exceptionally long LED light strip, you can have multiple power sources to power the different sections.

It is possible for you to connect the wire from each strip to the power supply. You can also use a single connection of higher gauge wire and join each strip into it with “T” Tap Wire Splice Connector.

Placing The Strips Close To Each Other

Placing the strips close together to appear as if they are connected is another method. If the power supply is attached to a switch wall, the strips will power on and off simultaneously.

If it is not connected, you should join them to the controller connected to the power supply.

Options For Controlling LED Warning Light 12V

There are several controlling options for LED Warning Light 12V. The main controllers include:

  • Dimmers; that control the brightness.
  • Wireless remote controllers; used to manage the colours, speed, modes, and brightness.
  • Motion sensors; that regulate the LED Warning Light 12V in response to a movement.

There are various single colour controllers, including; remote-controlled dimmers and controllers, in-line dimmers and controllers switch, and knob dimmers.

Examples include; Single-color controllers that allow you to adjust the mode, speed, colour, or brightness of your LED Warning light 12V strip. In addition, single-colour dimmers will enable you to change the strip’s brightness.

Tunable White controllers allow you to change the colour temperature of your LED Warning light 12V.

RGB/RGBW controllers will enable you to adjust the color, the color-changing mode, the speed, or the brightness of the light.

Examples include; the Dream-Color controllers, which allow you to choose colour-chasing/changing patterns, speed, or brightness. In addition, the WI-FI controller affords you control using your device.

Difference Between 12 Volt And 24 Volt For LED Warning Light Strips

12 Volt and 24 Volt for LED Warning Light are the most commonly used voltage systems for LED Warning Light Strips. They are relatively low voltage systems compared to others in the market.

There are several differences between the 12 Volt and 24 Volt for LED Warning Light Strips. These differences include;


The higher voltage value could misdirect one into thinking that 24V LED Warning lights are brighter than 12V LED Warning lights. That is, however, not the case. The voltage does not determine the output.

Instead, they produce the same amount of light.

Longest Run

The 12V has a higher voltage drop compared to the 24V LED Warning lights. The 12v LED Warning light strip is, therefore, shorter.

On the other hand, the 24V is usually longer as it has a lower voltage drop. The length limit for a 12V LED Warning light is 5 meters, whereas the 24V LED Warning light limit is 7 meters.

Cut Points

The cut point for 24V is usually twice that of the 12V LED Warning lights.

Life Expectancy

The 12V and 24V have the same lifespan.


The 12V requires twice the amperage required by the 24V LED Warning light making the 24V superior in gear control.

How Panel-Mount Vs. Snap-In Vs. Threaded Bushing For LED Warning Light 12V Compare

Panel mount LED Warning Light 12V can be tied to a flat area or panel. This is generally carried out by weaving the light through a hole in the panel and securing it into place.

However, they can sometimes come pre-mounted.

Snap-in LED Warning light 12V has a simple design that makes it easy to install. In addition, they have a merged construction and snap-in design, which erases the need to have a recessed can or junction box.

Threaded bushing LED Warning lights have inserts in addition to the threaded holes. This helps in reducing friction, vibration, and noises while improving the efficiency of the lights

Snap-In Flush Panel Mount LED Indicator Light 12V

Snap-In Flush Panel Mount LED Indicator Light 12V

How To Install LED Warning Light 12V

The very first step before installation is to determine the number of lights you need. This is dependent on the size of the area where you intend to install the LED Warning Light 12V.

The next step is to determine where you want to put your lights and the most efficient power source.

Depending on the type of LED Warning light 12V you purchase, drilling may be required for proper installation.

You then proceed to purchase the light kit after you have done adequate research. There are several factors to consider, including the price and purpose of the lights you are buying.

Pass positive and negative wires through the space where the LED will be placed.

Pull one of the wires through the place where the electric harness passes through to the positive node on the battery.

Tie the end around the positive end so that the wire does not get dragged back into the car. It is to power the LED light.

Next step is to tug the other wire across similar route through the firewall and tie it around something close to battery’s negative terminal. It is to ground the wire of the LED.

Then remove the insulation off both ends of the wire that connect to the battery’s positive terminal using electrical pliers.

Next is to solder one end of the wire to battery’s positive terminal and the other to longer lead on the LED. Know that LEDs have two leads.

This is followed by removing the insulation off both ends of the wire that connect to the battery’s negative terminal using electrical pliers.

Next, you solder one end of the ground wire to the shorter lead on the LED

You then cut the ground wire an average of 16 inches from the battery’s negative post. Then, remove the insulation from the two ends of the wire.

Soldering one end of the ground wire to each end of the resistor will follow next. Solder the remaining end of the ground wire to the negative terminal on the battery.

Force the LED light into its place and set the mounting parts according to the directions given.

Secure each light using zip ties or Velcro to ensure that they stay put and do not get in the way. It is essential to also secure the wires.

Wiring Requirements For LED Warning Light 12V

The wiring requirements for LED Warning Light 12V include,

  • Power source
  • Controller
  • 5 wire 22 ga low voltage cable
  • Solderless wire clamps
  • Aluminum Channel
  • Drills
  • Zip ties or Velcro

When To Consider 12 Volt LED Strobe Light Instead Of LED Warning Light 12V

12 Volt LED Strobe lights are mainly used to attract attention to the object bearing the light. They are primarily used as emergency lighting for first responders.

They are also used for tall immobile structures such as cell towers to ensure that they are visible to prevent any accidents.

There are hideaway strobe lights that offer private cars the option of having strobe lights installed in their vehicles.

However, because of how they attract attention, there are strict laws concerning having strobe lights in one’s car.

It is therefore essential to familiarize yourself with your state laws.

12V LED Strobe Light

12V LED Strobe Light

Difference Between SAE J595 And SAE J845 LED Warning Light 12V

SAE J595 comprises of flashing visual warning lights that are directional.

That is, they can illuminate a set direction, for example, a car’s headlight.

On the other hand, SAE J845 comprises of visual warning lights that cover 360-degree or are omnidirectional, for example, first responders vehicles

How SAE Class 1 Vs SAE Class 2 Vs SAE Class 3 Specifications Compare For LED Warning Light 12V

Class 1 are the most intense warning lights and are mainly used by first responders.

They are an indication of an emergency situation or for vehicles working on roads with a lot trafficked.

Class 2 comprise of warning lights mainly utilized by utility trucks. They can are used to signal the presence of the trucks.

They can also be used both on roads and off roads.

Class 3 comprise of warning lights that are mainly used to recognize vehicles. They are the least bright of all the three classes.

They are commonly found on forklifts, industrial trucks required for work, among others.

In case you have any questions or inquiries, contact GoldMore now.

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