Peterson Manufacturing Company Glossary of PM Terms
Glossary of Terms
Auto Select is Peterson’s trademark name for a selected group of
imported automotive products. Unlike other imported products, Auto
Select are designed, built and quality-inspected to PM’s stringent
American Society of Agricultural Engineers. Defines industry standards
for agricultural equipment, including ASAE S279.17, Lighting &
Marking of Agricultural Equipment on Highways.
Peterson’s trademark name for snowplow and emergency lights.
BEACON See WARNING BEACON
A glass capsule containing electrodes or a filament which glows when
connected to an electrical source. Three bulb types are generally used
for illumination and vehicle safety lighting:
Incandescent—there are two basic incandescent bulb styles most
frequently used in general automotive lighting products.
Bayonet Base—a traditional, widely used metal-based bulb such as
1156, 1157 or 1895.
Wedge Base—a non-indexed, baseless, all-glass bulb such as
3056, 3157 or 193.
An incandescent bulbs is rated by the number of hours it will burn
under ideal laboratory conditions. Peterson uses 15,000 hour-rated
bulbs whenever possible to achieve maximum performance.
Halogen—commonly known for bright, intense light from a small
package. In halogen bulbs, tungsten particles from the filament
are continually redeposited back on the filament to extend its
life. Halogens are available in H1, H3 bulb and sealed beam
Xenon—a bulb type commonly used in emergency warning lights.
Xenon refers to the gas sealed inside the bulb. It serves as a starter
in order to accelerate the start up process of high-intensity discharge
See also: LED, WARNING BEACON
A standard unit measuring the amount of visible light emitted by a light
source in one direction.
A standard unit measuring the amount of light seen through a clear lens
during one second.
US Department of Transportation; a cabinet-level Federal department
which governs transportation systems in the United States.
See also: FMVSS 108, NHTSA
A front-mounted white light which produces a long-range, pencil-shaped
light pattern. Greatly increases nighttime visibility at highway
speeds. See illustration of fog and driving light beam patters on page
See also: FOG LIGHT
EMERGENCY BEACON See WARNING BEACON
Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108; Part of the Department
of Transportation’s uniform safety standards for new vehicles and
vehicle components. FMVSS 108 regulates head lamps, tail lamps, stop
lamps, reflectors, marker lamps, turn signals, ID lamps, etc. Peterson
products exceed this regulation.
See also: DOT, NHTSA
A front-mounted lamp which produces a low, wide beam pattern in front
of the vehicle to greatly increase short-range visibility. Ideal for added
driving safety in rain, snow or fog. See illustration of fog and driving
light beam patters on page 269.
See also: DRIVING LIGHT
A compound-angle refracting lens divided into prismatic sections.
Designed to collect light and concentrate output in a specific direction.
See also: LENS
Peterson’s trademark name for our white light-emitting diodes.
See also: LED
GROMMET See MOUNTING CONFIGURATIONS
HALOGEN See BULBS
A term for permanently attaching lead wires to a lamp assembly, rather
than using a detachable terminal plug. Hardwired lamps are better
sealed and have fewer connection points for greater durability and
better corrosion resistance.
INCANDESCENT See BULBS
LED (LIGHT EMITTING DIODE)
A small, solid-state, electronic light source. Some of the advantages of
LED-based lamps are:
• up to 100,000-hour rated life
• Solid state—Vibration resistant, with no filament to break
• Low amp draw—90% less than standard bulbs
• Faster response time for added safety
• Maintenance free
A transparent or translucent cover over a bulb or LED. In accordance
with FMVSS 108, Peterson manufactures lenses with two thermal
Acrylic—the most widely used material for lenses. Features moderate
heat and impact-resistance.
Polycarbonate—a premium material with higher impact and heat
resistance than acrylic.
See also: FMVSS 108, FRESNEL LENS
A standard unit measuring the flux emitted emitted by a light source in
a solid angle of 1 steradian by a point source having a uniform intensity
of 1 candela. Measured lumens is the flux emitted by a complete lighting
assembly as observed in a lab. Calculated lumens for an LED light
assembly is derived by multipying the flux of a single diode by the total
number of diodes contained in the assembly.
The perceived power or visual intensity of a light source.
A standard unit measuring energy generated by an electrical circuit. For
a strobe circuit, the figure may refer to the energy of a single flash or
to a succession of rapid flashes.
See also: WARNING BEACON
Peterson’s trademark name for our custom wire harness systems
specifically designed for medium- and heavy-duty trucking industry,
and our electrical accessory program for the aftermarket.
Peterson offers a complete line of passenger car, light truck and van,
and heavy duty mirrors and assemblies.
Convex—also known as "blind spot" mirrors. Features a fish-eye
design permitting a wider view angle than a traditional mirror.
Elliptical—features a protruding, half-moon shape that allows
driver to view a 180° area with a minimum of distortion.
Wedge Base Convex—an improved version of the traditional
convex. Allows over 50° increase in viewing area with less
West Coast—A style of rear-view mirror assembly designed for
large trucks characterized by a tall, narrow mirror face and two
or three mounting arms that attach to the door above and below
the window opening.
Peterson offers many mounting options for our vehicle lights The three
most common are:
Flush mount—a metal or rigid plastic bracket locates the light
behind or within a pre-cut mounting hole so that the light does
not protrude appreciably beyond the mounting surface.
Grommet mount—a rubber or flexible plastic collar push-fits
between the light assembly and a pre-cut mounting hole of
specific size and shape. Provides some degree of vibration
isolation. Often allows lamp removal without tools.
Surface mount— light is attached above the surface of the vehicle.
Usually prevents the need for creating large holes in the material,
but small holes may be required for routing wires and attachment
hardware such as screws, bolts, or rivets. Light assembly may
mount directly to the vehicle, or may use a separate mounting
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration; A part of
the Department of Transportation, this Federal agency oversees and
regulates many aspects of vehicle construction and highway travel.
See also: DOT, FMVSS 108
Nightwatcher® is Peterson’s trademark name for the entire line of high
quality fog, driving and off-road lights and accessories.
An industry standard size and shape for directional sealed beams. Does
not designate voltage, brightness or beam pattern.
Photometry is the calculation and measurement of quantities of light,
such as luminous intensity. This is usually measured in candela or
Peterson’s trademark name for our premium LED lights. Piranha® lights
not only use state-of-the-art LED circuitry, but are designed and manufactured
to be unsurpassed in optical performance and durability while
exceeding all applicable regulations and standards.
The characteristic of efficiently reflecting light directly back towards its
source regardless of the source’s location. Also, a surface or component
having this characteristic.
Society of Automotive Engineers; A non-governmental body which
establishes standards for the automotive industry.
Peterson’s trademark name for our exclusive microprismatic, wide
angle reflectors. 47,000 microprisms per square inch provide superior
candle power compared to conventional reflectors.
STROBE See WARNING BEACON
A submersible light allows water into the unit when submerged. The
bulb and socket are protected by an air pocket formed by the bell-jar
principle which permits only a certain amount of water to enter by
capturing a pocket of air within the lens assembly, preventing water
from contacting the bulb.
VIBAR® and VIBAR II® (VIBRATION IMPACT BARRIER)
Developed in the 1960’s, Peterson’s Vibar® was the first real shock-mounted
socket in the industry and eventually became the standard.
This exclusive, resilient socket absorbs road shock and vibration for
longer bulb life.
There are three basic types of warning beacons:
Flashing—an emergency lamp which provides intermittent power to a
stationary bulb, causing it to flash or blink on and off.
Revolving—revolving lights are available in several variations:
2-Beam—an emergency lamp with two sealed beams or light bulbs
which rotate to produce a full, 360° warning.
4-Beam—an emergency lamp with four bulbs. Compared to a
similar 2-beam unit, produces twice the light output and twice as
many flashes for a given rotation speed.
Rotating Reflector—features a stationary light source with a
revolving reflector to produce the 360° warning. This design is
commonly used in light bars and compact units.
Strobe—lamp which energizes a gas-filled glass tube to produce,
quick, extremely bright flashes.
Dual Flash/Quad Flash—a unit which flashes one strobe light
head several times in quick succession before a longer
pause. If the system is equipped with multiple strobe heads,
each head flashes multiple times in turn.
Master/Slave Units—the master unit has a built-in control circuit,
will operate independently by itself and can operate a slave unit.
The slave unit has no built-in control circuit and requires the
master unit to operate.
See also: CANDELA-SECOND, JOULE, WATT-SECOND
A standard unit measuring the amount of the electrical current delivered
Fusing plastic components together by quickly generating friction heat
to momentarily melt the mating surface and create a strong, hermetically-
sealed bond. Peterson uses three distinct plastic welding techniques:
Linear—vibrating one part against another in a single direction.
Sonic—subjecting the assembly to high-frequency sound waves which
vibrate the seams of the plastic.
Spin—rotating one component against another at high speed to create
a circular bonding surface
XENON See BULBS
Peterson’s term for a variety of retail-friendly, transparent package
designs, including clamshells, blister packs, and bags. All Viz Packs are
clearly labeled with part number and description, are pilfer-resistant and
tamper-evident, and nearly all are hangable.