The Best Placements for Hide Away Strobe Lights

Hideaway strobe lights are used regularly by police, security companies, first responders and others whose work might require emergency lighting to make their vehicles more visible to other drivers on the road. These strobe lights have the added ability to be relatively invisible when not in use, making them perfect for undercover agents.

What Are Hideaway Strobes Used For?

When used as an emergency light, hideaway strobes convey to other road users the urgency under which the driver of the outfitted vehicle is operating. Strobes can also provide additional warning when stationary. Hideaway strobe lights can be specifically designed as stock lights or be modified stock strobes. They are used in addition to any standard lighting on vehicles including hazard lights. In many cases, hideaway strobes are used in conjunction with one or more sirens to increase their effectiveness. In some jurisdictions, the use of strobe warning lights gives the user specific legal powers and may require other road users to yield the right-of-way. They may also sometimes be used by non-emergency vehicles such as tow trucks and school buses.

Strobe Colors and What They Mean


Red strobes almost always denote an emergency vehicle if the lights are facing forward. An exception to the rule is the school bus, which is allowed to use rear and forward-facing strobe lights before, during and after passenger loading and unloading.


Amber or yellow lights are generally used by utility vehicles such as construction vehicles, snow plows, security patrol vehicles, hearses and funeral escorts.


White lights are often used as an optional color on light bars in combination with other colors. In some states, its use is restricted to emergency vehicles only.


Since 9/11, green emergency lighting has been used by Homeland Security Agencies and private agencies protecting high-risk government locations and other critical infrastructures. Green strobes can be found on vehicles protecting nuclear facilities, oil/gas depots, and water storage facilities, among others. Certain states permit the use of green strobes in funeral processions and on snowplows and private vehicles of first responders.


Blue lights are reserved for law enforcement, firefighters and EMTs. In some states, blue lights are used in combination with amber for light construction vehicles, tow trucks and utility vehicles. Depending on the state, police agencies may use only blue or a combination of red and blue with white and amber. Privately owned security agencies are allowed to use the same colors as regular police if they receive their authority at the state level. Entities that uses these colors include state park rangers, wildlife conservation officers and law-enforcement beach safety lifeguards.

Strobe Light Sizes

Hideaway strobe lights are small and range from one to 1.5 inches in size. The best placement for hideaway strobe lights is often inside your headlights and taillights, or mounted on outside surfaces. In fact, these tiny lights are often called "corner strobes." Where secrecy is key, hideaway lights are the ideal way to keep your true identity under wraps until the right moment. Even if concealment is not necessary, these lights can be useful for the first responder who wishes to have an easy way to let other vehicles know when an emergency is taking place. Hideaway strobes can be installed in any emergency vehicle system as well as non-emergency vehicles.

Installing Hideaway Strobe Lights

For situations where discreet behavior is necessary, hideaway strobes permit law enforcement officers to "hide" until they are ready to act. When the time is right, hideaway lights can provide an amazing amount of light for their small size. If you are interested in installing strobes on a vehicle, you will need to find the best placement for hideaway strobe lights. Hideaway strobes are unique as a result of their ability to be used on a variety of vehicle types. The main reason drivers choose to install these lights is to create an auxiliary warning light system in addition to any other required lighting systems. Hideaway strobes are never intended to be used on their own but always in addition to other emergency lights. Before you start the installation process, you will need to choose the location of the power supply. Keep in mind that all large strobe wires will eventually run back to an electronics box. One of the most common locations to place the electronics box is beneath the driver's seat.If you choose this location, remove the seat and mark the spot. You may need to trim to carpet to create sufficient space.

Where to Place the Lights

Where to Place the Lights

After you have chosen the location for the electronics box, you can think about the best placement for hideaway strobe lights. Most people choose to place them in areas such as:

  • Inside the taillights and the headlights
  • Wheel wells
  • Trunk doors
  • Flanking the license plate(s)
  • Under the rearview mirrors

When installing strobe lights inside your headlights or taillights, be sure not to place them in a location higher than the stock bulb in your headlights. You will need a one-inch drill bit to accomplish this step. Once you have drilled the holes, the next step is to install the lights themselves. LED strobes are equipped with flanges to help keep water and moisture from entering places they should not. Running the wires takes time and patience. Be slow and careful to achieve a crisp and clean install. After the wires are correctly placed, you can zip-tie them together to keep them organized and to prevent unnecessary wear and tear. Once everything has been neatly pulled to your power supply, you can begin plugging them in and attaching them to the switches. Because different hideaway strobes can have multiple instructions for the process, it is important to read the instructions that came with the lights you ordered. If at any time you feel you cannot figure something out, don't hesitate to ask for help. Hideaway strobe lights are perfect for undercover or emergency vehicles. Consider using strobes for private security vehicles, police cruisers, first responders and any other application where they can make operations more efficient.

Where to Place the Lights