Whelen: 70th Year of Manufacturing in America

Proudly Celebrating 70 Years of Manufacturing in America

Each of the seven stars on our commemorative logo represents one decade in business. The beacon at the top is a nod to our original logo

2022 is a milestone year at Whelen Engineering because it marks our 70th year of manufacturing in America. We’ve grown well beyond what our founder, George W. Whelen, could have imagined when he invented a rotating “anti-collision” beacon for the tail of his plane out of his garage in Deep River, Connecticut in 1952. Who could have predicted that George’s realization of the need for better safety equipment on aircraft would grow to include over 1,000,000 square feet of manufacturing space and 1,500 employees with customers all over the world?
While a lot has changed over the past seventy years, Whelen’s commitment to innovation and safety has only grown. George recognized early on that safety was critically important to first responders and by 1953 had adapted his original beacon-design to create a model specifically for police motorcycles. And in 1956 he expanded even further with the invention of the Rota-Beam™, a rotating magnetic mounted automotive beacon, for use by Police, Fire and Public Works departments.

The development of new and better safety and warning systems has continued through the decades and still is one of our most important priorities today. You can learn more about our history and innovations in a detailed timeline by CLICKING HERE.

Vintage product literature from 1956 highlighting the Rota-Beam™

The Whelen family continues to play an integral role in the company and in fact, George’s grandson, James Whelen, leads our engineering department today. “Even as a child I was aware of my family’s commitment to safety and to our community as well,” James said when asked about what it was like to grow up with the Whelen last name. “It’s a responsibility that I take seriously,” he said. “It’s an honor to carry the torch of my grandfather’s legacy,” James added.

In 2020, 26-year veteran engineer and Chief Operating Officer, Geoff Marsh, became President and CEO of Whelen Engineering, continuing the mission of developing innovative and lifesaving products that our founder began seven decades ago. Geoff recently shared some of his thoughts about our historic anniversary.

“As we stand at our 70-year milestone, we celebrate the pioneering spirit of George W. Whelen and this idea he started,” he said. “We are proud of who we are, and we are more committed than ever to innovating and manufacturing the best safety solutions to all those who protect and serve others,” Geoff emphasized.

We are proud of the work we do, and we are especially proud to be manufactured in America. Through a longstanding commitment to our values and good ole American ingenuity, we can continue to say that nearly every part of every product we create is made right here in the United States. In fact, we never left! That means a lot to us, just like the communities we live and work in mean a lot to us. Because at Whelen, we’re proud of the work we do and where we’re from. Over the years we’ve donated time, money and our efforts to thousands of causes (you probably haven’t heard about most of them because we don’t like to brag about that kind of stuff), and we continue to look for ways to give back to the people and places we care about.

We are thankful to our customers, reps, employees, upfitters, outfitters and everyone in between for helping us reach this amazing milestone. We truly would not be here without them. We are excited about the future and look forward to the next seventy years of innovation and success!

Whelen: New Product Releases

Whelen Engineering Introduces New Products!

Pioneer Summit Series


Designed to deliver maximum light intensity, the low-profile Pioneer Summit Series is available in multiple spot, flood, and scene optic combinations. Whelen’s all-new patent-pending Proclera Optics increase clarity with 100% silicone internal optics. The Pioneer Summit Series features optional integrated warning and ICC marker lights for optimal illumination and visibility.


  • Pre-configured spot, flood, or scene optics
  • Available with White illumination, Amber ICC marker, and Red warning lights
  • Individual control of each set of optics
  • Proclera Optic Technology features 100% silicone internal optics
  • Rated IP67 for dust and water resistance
  • Extruded and die-cast aluminum powder coated housing available in Black or White
  • Bail bracket mount standard
  • Five year warranty

Hi-Way Riser Lightbar Series


Designed for optimal visibility, the Hi-Way Riser Series utilizes a robust electronic actuator to raise the lightbar arms from a horizontal to a vertical position above the vehicle, providing highly effective warning at greater distances.


  • Low profile cast aluminum base available in White or Black
  • Features ION lightheads in all locations and ION V-Series lightheads on the top of the arms
  • SOLO or DUO control to either front or rear of arms
  • Traffic Advisor option available
  • Permanent mount
  • All lightheads are purchased à la carte
  • Five year warranty

Proclera Optic

Proclera Optics are Whelen’s innovative and efficient solution to distorted optical shape and fringe lighting. Whelen’s unique Proclera Optics use the same amount of power as traditional polycarbonate optics, but with a greater intensity and better results. Silicone provides a higher transmission of light energy and optical power, providing you with the best outcome: less distortion and a 3x brighter light output, all while better directing light where it is needed most.


  • 100% silicone optic technology
  • Increased ability to harness LED output and better direct and focus light
  • Full-fill Square TIR optic increases optic efficiency compared to a conventional circular TIR
  • Internal design placement keeps optics in optimal condition and protects from harsh road conditions

Inner Edge® FST and RST Series


The newly designed, low-profile Inner Edge FST and RST Series better utilizes vehicle contours, providing higher visibility and a custom fit*. Whelen’s all-new patent-pending Proclera Optic silicone technology increases clarity and has the power to punch through tints. The Inner Edge FST and RST Series is available with SOLO, DUO, or TRIO technology.

Pioneer Series


With its structural design and innovative optic technology, the Pioneer Series has been re-engineered with a more efficient light engine to put more light wherever it’s needed. Whelen’s all-new patent-pending Proclera Optic increases clarity with 100% silicone internal optics. Available in single and dual models with flood or spot/flood combination optics, the newly designed Pioneer Series builds on the Pioneer family’s reputation for versatility and functionality.

SurfaceMax Series


Whelen’s SurfaceMax Series features the versatility and performance of the Hundred Series, with a full-fill optic and all-new mounting system, providing easy installation and a clean look. The SurfaceMax Series mounts to a variety of applications and is available in Warning, Brake, Brake/Tail, and Turn Arrow models.

Pioneer LiFe LF35


Introducing the Pioneer LiFe LF35, a revolutionary battery powered light combining an all-new Pioneer SlimLine flood optic with the portability and flexibility of a grab and go light. The first of it’s kind, the LiFe LF35 is just 7 pounds. It’s Intelligent Inductive Charger provides easy, wireless charging, and the built-in battery is lightweight and thermally protected.

Click Here for More Info

Avenger® II Series


With their compact and inconspicuous design, Whelen’s Avenger II dash lights are barely visible until powered on and are simple to transfer from vehicle to vehicle. Combination Linear/TIR optics provide high intensity warning and illumination, and a smaller profile maximizes space for optimal versatility. The Avenger II is available with SOLO, DUO, and TRIO technology.

Click Here for More Info

Whelen: Updated DOT Lighting Systems Catalog


Download it here

Whelen Engineering has been designing and manufacturing professional lighting system solutions for over forty years. Engineered to meet all demands of the heavy-duty truck market, Whelen is proud to provide lighting solutions that are designed for all operating conditions. Providing safe, reliable systems to both operators and the motoring public is at the forefront of Whelen’s mission. As an industry leader, Whelen prides itself in providing flexible system programmability and introducing innovative, high quality products for further safety enhancement. We appreciate your loyalty as we continue to drive innovation.

Panorama: Clean up your roof!

Old antenna set up. 5 Antennas

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New antenna set up.  Great White, Sharkee and the factory antenna. 3 Antennas

Aug2016 setup