U.S. Border Patrol | The Hunt for LEDs

border patrolThe United States Border Patrol is showing interest in LED lighting technology. With the US borders being so spread out and even inaccessible in many areas, the federal government cannot keep enough Border Patrol agents on staff to keep the border one hundred percent secure all the time. The US border is a barely discernible line in uninhabited deserts, canyons, or mountains–shared with Mexico and Canada. The Border Patrol relies on a variety of equipment and methods, such as electronic sensors placed at strategic locations along the border, to detect people or vehicles entering the country illegally. Video monitors and night vision scopes are also used to detect illegal entries. Agents patrol the border in vehicles, boats, aircraft, and afoot. In some areas, the Border Patrol employs horses, all-terrain motorcycles, bicycles, and snowmobiles; all while air surveillance is provided by unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs. With so many modes of patrol, agents need the most efficient means and equipment to perform their job effectively.

Illegal immigrants are finding more and more effective methods to avoid detection while crossing the borders. Obviously the cover of darkness is the most favorable cloaking device for migrating. Border Patrol agents are keen to even the most elusive tactics employed by these immigrants and in response are upgrading their arsenal of weapons and equipment. The first and most valuable tool for night patrols is adequate lighting and optical equipment. “Being able to spot a moving or inanimate object 150 yards away, in the pitch dark of night, with a flashlight, is more than impressive for us, it’s a pivotal necessity,” explains Border Patrol Sgt. John Miller.

LEDs are also being incorporated into NVIS or Nigh Vision Imaging Systems. Willbrecht LEDCO, Inc. has introduced new NVIS compatible LEDs for its CRM series panel LED indicators. These new NVIS LEDs are a perfect fit for variety of military, UAV, and Border Patrol applications.  Everyday, LED Flashlights, LED Headlamps, and LED Off Road lights are becoming brighter, more lightweight and durable. Having brighter lighting equipment and better optical tools has proven to aid the Border Patrol agents in way thought impossible in the past. Just ten years ago the thought of a handheld flashlight emitting 1500 to 2000 lumens seemed farfetched. However, today there are a plethora of options for lighting accessories at affordable prices. Even the implementation of LED Bike Lights has made its way onto the scene for Border Patrol agents on bicycles and motorcycles.