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PostPosted: September 17th, 2017, 10:29 am 
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Joined: October 20th, 2015, 6:57 am
Posts: 604
Location: Northern NJ
So I was thinking of modifying my vehicle lighting, perhaps putting two amber light bars on either side of the top front, and a single solid red light bar across the top rear. Wanted to go for a futuristic look.

First I looked up local NJ vehicle light laws. Well, durn, some things are not allowed (although interesting, here any front position lights can be either white or amber). Then I realized they were mostly copying the NHTSA standards, so I looked those up.

Although I had often heard of "clearance", "marker", "parking" and "indicator" lights, I really had never given much thought to what each one really was. Heck, I thought they were mostly interchangeable terms. I thought that the number and placement of upper body lights was mostly up to each maker. And that clearance lights had to do with height.

Turns out the names refer to very specific types of lights, each with their own location requirements. I was especially surprised that the three top center indicator lights were a standard wide vehicle requirement, as my Chinook was made without them in front. So much for my one solid light idea!

Here's what each light type means:
File comment: Vehicle lighting nomenclature
chinook-lights.jpg [ 63.76 KiB | Viewed 201 times ]

Indicator - wide vehicle flag. Three lights in a row in the center of the top front (amber) and rear (red), indicating a >80" wide vehicle. Six to twelve inches apart. High as possible or top of cab.

Clearance - width. Lights at the widest edges of the front (amber) and rear (red), indicating the width. Mounted as high as possible. On our stepped roof Chinooks, that means where it's widest, one or two steps down.

Side Marker - length. Lights at the frontmost (amber) and rearmost (red) sides, indicating the length. If the vehicle is > 30' long, more (amber) are placed in the middle. 15" minimum above ground. Side reflectors are also required but are often built into side marker lights.

Parking - front and rear facing lights & reflectors used to indicate a parked vehicle. 15"-60" above ground.

Headlamps - front facing illumination (white). 22"-54" above ground.

Stop - two (red) at rear. 15"-72" above ground.

Turn - two at front (amber) and two at rear (red / amber). 15"-83" above ground.

1994 Concourse dinette, Ford 7.5L, wood & tile floors, tin ceiling, custom lighting

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