Evolution of the
Night Scan Light Tower
Night Scan light tower technology has come a long way from its beginning in 1992. The first debut of the roof-mounted, fold-down light tower was August at the IFC show in Anaheim, California. Since then, Will-Burt has improved the design and components of Night Scan to create the leading light tower in the world. From the start, Night Scan light towers have been a hit with fire departments, EMS squads, utility service companies, towing companies, airport rescue, and other first responders.
The Finderne Fire Department in Bridgewater, New Jersey called Will-Burt to add a light tower to their newest rescue truck, replacing a 32-year-old truck. The old rescue also had a light tower on it that was installed during the build of the truck. The department did not think the light tower was a Will-Burt product or that the company that made it was still in business. A quick inspection later determined it is a pre-Night Scan branded, 32-year-old Will-Burt light tower that is still in operation.
A demonstration of longevity of the Night Scan and other Will-Burt products, this light tower is only one of many examples. As added safety during night missions in multiple industries, the Night Scan supplies light in the darkest moments. Night Scan adds capabilities of surveillance with available video camera mounting options. With vertical, fold-down, and narrow profiler options there is a Night Scan Light Tower available for nearly every application and space on a vehicle.
The evolution of the Night Scan has increased the number of options for height and payload capabilities, added different light fixtures to fit all spaces on a vehicle, along with the option to have a wireless remote controller to deploy a light tower while outside of the vehicle.
Once having external wiring and halogen lights, new technology is internal wiring and LED light options. Internal wiring adds extra protection of the wires as well as guaranteeing no snags while the light tower is deployed, meanwhile LED lights offer a low power solution with more light output to cover a larger area of the job site. Previous pneumatic systems had less control but have been improved with more precise control and faster deployments. The Auto Stow® feature is consistent with time, a part of the Night Scan since the very beginning. Auto Stow® adds the capability to deploy and stow Night Scan in about 10 seconds at the click of a button, no need to hold the controller. This feature will also automatically find the correct position needed to stow.
The height of the original folding light tower was 11 ft. With new technology, the maximum height is 25 ft. The original Night Scan gave no feedback of status and position to the operator with the relay-based system. The current system is regulated with a PCB and controller with LCD screen for feedback to the operator – allowing the user to know what functions are available for use and displaying function messages. Originally, no light positioner was included on the tower, to next adding a single tilt positioner, and finally leading to the current dual tilt positioner, Night Scan allows for 360° light coverage of the scene.
Adding an extra level of safety when deployed, Night Scan casts light over the area of an entire football field, protecting crews through the night during all weather conditions. There are options to add cameras to current models for surveillance of rescue missions, creating records and documents for use with insurance and investigating accidents. Thermal cameras are available for night searches and event recording is possible with the use of a DVR system. In addition, adding a camera elevated above an event allows for extra monitoring to communicate with those patrolling the event. Now more than ever it is important to have nighttime coverage of events and combining a system of lighting and surveillance creates safer and more secure scene management.
Will-Burt will continue to deploy new technologies to further increase the capabilities of Night Scan in order to help make the perilous job of a first responder safer. Over its 30-year history, Night Scan light tower has proven to be an essential piece of safety equipment in a number of life-saving operations.