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Different Australian warning beacons

A warning light is not good if the people it is meant to warn don’t understand what the light is trying to warn them off. That’s why there are policies in Australia regarding who can use warning lights, where they can be used, what for, and what colour, or type, they need to be. Their use is regulated nationally so that it doesn’t matter which state you are in, you know what the warning lights mean. If you are the person who has been entrusted to buy them for your company, then you must know what a light beacon means. So, to help you out, we will explore the different warning beacons in Australia.


There are four main types of light beacons used in Australia, they are:

  • rotary beacon – warning light beacon for non-emergency situations.
  • strobe light – warning for non-emergencies.
  • LED flashing lights – these are used in risk-to-life situations, such as emergency vehicles and can only be turned on when in hazardous situations.
  • combination light bar – police, emergency, security vehicles, tow trucks. These are often coupled with spotlights and sirens.


Although there is a crossover in the types of light beacons used, flashing and combination light bars are only for emergencies. Not only do light beacons come in different types but in varied colours as well. 


The warning light beacon comes in green, amber, red, and blue. Each of the colours have a specific meaning:

  • Amber – be aware needs human monitoring.
  • Blue – situation change requires human interaction
  • Red – danger, requires immediate action.
  • Green – all clear, systems normal

The colour has a universal meaning and creates fewer misunderstandings.


Let’s say you have a garbage truck, then, you can use an amber light beacon if your vehicle is obstructing the flow of vehicles. If it is cruising down the highway at the speed limit, the lights must be off because the truck is not creating any obstruction or hazard. It would also be illegal for your garbage truck to have red or blue flashing lights as it is not an emergency vehicle.

Get it right

Using the wrong light beacon can not only incur a fine or reprimand, but the wrong lights can take lives. To make sure you get the right advice and quality products, we recommend you buy your light beacons from a reputable team. The crew at RS can lend you their expertise and set you in the right direction. You can contact RS online, by email, or by phone. Whether you want one, ten, or a hundred RS have got the light beacons you need. They have over 1500 light beacons in stock, including different mounting styles, power supplies, and sizes.

Ensure your company follows the Australian Government regulations on light beacons and understand what the different warning lights mean and their uses. Buy your light beacons from the team at RS and keep your company running legally and safely. 

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