Traditional Incendiary Road Flares vs LED Road Flares

Traditional Strike Flare vs LED Road Flare

For decades, traditional incendiary road flares have been relied upon as a vital tool for drivers and emergency personnel to warn of potential road hazards. These “strike flares” and “emergency flares” have their limitations, however, which have led to the introduction of newer, more effective products such as LED road flares. Two such products are the BEACON-4-LIFE and EMERGI-SAFE, both of which offer several advantages over traditional flares. By using LED technology, these flares overcome the drawbacks of incendiary flares, such as fire hazards, toxic fumes, and short burn times. Keep reading to learn more about the significant differences between traditional road flares and these LED flares.

Incendiary Flares Are A Fire Hazard & Contain Toxic Fumes

One of the more significant dangers of using traditional road flares is that they are a fire hazard as they burn at nearly 1,500° F. If not used properly, road flares can easily start a fire that could spread quickly if left near fuel sources, ignitable materials, dry vegetation, etc.

Traditional incendiary flares also produce toxic fumes when burned. These fumes can be harmful by causing respiratory distress, nose and eye irritation.

An LED Road Flare is completely safe to use and does not produce any toxic fumes. In fact, LED flares barely emit heat due to the efficiency of the small but bright light emitting diodes (LED) used in the flares.

A traditional flare 10 minutes into it's initial use.

A flare 10 minutes into it’s 30 minute operating duration.

A Strike Flare’s Short Operating Duration

Although effective, traditional incendiary strike flares leave a lot to be desired when it comes to the operating duration. A standard strike flare can burn for a maximum of 30 minutes. Typical emergency and roadside situations last 90 minutes on average. An average emergency would require you to use multiple sets of strike flares per scene to ensure a safe and visible emergency scene.

Battery operated LED Road Flares like the BEACON-4-LIFE can operate continuously up to 500 hours and the EMERGI-SAFE which can operate continuously up to 100 hours on a single set of replaceable batteries ensuring that you are constantly protected during the unexpected.

BEACON-4-LIFE LED Road Flare used at a scene with emergency responders.

BEACON-4-LIFE LED Road Flare used at a scene with emergency responders.

Flare Visibility & Flexibility

While incendiary strike flares can be effective tools to provide visible warnings to incoming motorists when used and placed properly in optimal conditions, they can also be limited in their effectiveness due to the environment and characteristics of a road which can limit their effectiveness. If used in humid, rainy, or snowy conditions, their smoke tends to stay low to the ground and does not dissipate easily. Their smoke can create scene obscuring visibility problems for motorists and emergency responders alike as well as causing breathing difficulty and eye irritation for emergency responders and the victims they are there to help.

LED Flares are typically brighter than their strike flare counterpart because the brightness of the strike flare rapidly fades in the minutes after they are ignited . Premium brands of LED Road Flares such as the BEACON-4-LIFE and EMERGI-SAFE sustain their brightness over many hours and are even more visible due to their taller profile (remember that the strike flare is getting shorter and shorter by the minute as it burns) and their high intensity LEDs emit light visible from any direction and in various colors and flash patterns.

Why Buy an LED Road Flare?

While traditional road flares have been used for many years, there are many disadvantages to using them that you should be aware of from a standpoint of safety and visibility. If you need a road flare, we recommend opting for an LED variant instead as they are not only more reliable, but are also reusable, safe, and much more visible. 

The BEACON-4-LIFE and EMERGI-SAFE Road Flares are easy-to-use alternatives to the traditional incendiary flare while providing more features and benefits with their high intensity LEDs and continuous operating times of up to 500 hours on a single set of batteries.  Learn more about the BEACON-4-LIFE and EMERGI-SAFE here.

From the shop

With Next Generation Super Bright LED Module. Includes base plate, traffic cone ring, and Duracell batteries.
Body worn personal safety light for anyone who needs to be seen in low light situations.

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