Over 65 Years of Innovation
From a garage workshop in Connecticut to a worldwide leader in emergency warning equipment, Whelen continues to push the boundaries of innovation.
George W Whelen III, a pilot and engineer, realizes the need for better safety equipment on aircraft, especially at night. He invents a rotating “anti-collision” beacon for the tail of his plane in his garage in Deep River, Connecticut.
George enters the automotive market
George adapts his design to also work for Police, Fire, and Ambulance markets as well as a model specifically for police motorcycles. He also develops purple domes for vehicles used in funeral processions.
The birth of the Rota-Beam™
The Rota-Beam™, a rotating magnetic mounted automotive beacon is developed for use by Police, Public Works and Fire departments.
Whelen becomes the first in the industry to utilize strobe light technology.
Whelen began researching strobe light technology in order to introduce affordable, reliable and highly effective strobe products to the light aircraft industry and then to the automotive market.
Outgrowing his garage workshop, George moves Whelen to a larger facility on Winter Avenue in Deep River, Connecticut.
Whelen releases its first fully enclosed lightbar, the 6000 Series.
After the success of the 6000 Series, Whelen creates the 8000 Series, a strobe enclose lightbar.
Whelen launches the low-profile Edge 9000®, the first fully enclosed lightbar with an aluminum I-beam construction, setting the new standard for the industry.
Bigger and Better
Whelen moves to its current corporate headquarters in Chester, Connecticut. Located on 26 acres, this facility currently houses over 600 employees in several buildings totaling over 258,000 square feet.
A Second Home
Due to production demand, Whelen opens a second manufacturing plant in Charlestown, New Hampshire. Today, this 500,000 square foot facility sits on 56 acres. Six buildings house over 900 employees and some of our most advanced manufacturing processes.
PCDS9E Edge® Serial Communication Lightbar
Revolutionary for its time, the PCDS9E launched, providing serial communication between the control head and the Edge lightbar, enabling increased flexibility and unprecedented control.
Whelen’s first network-based vehicle warning system, B-Link, is released. B-Link houses features that would later evolve into Situation-Based Integration.
WS295HFRS Serial Communication Siren
The WS295HFRS launched, providing serial communication between the siren amplifier and the control head, enabling flexibility for installation.
Whelen releases the first all-LED lightbar, the Liberty™.
Whelen launches CenCom, the first single box control system. This greatly simplifies control system installation.
The first Pioneer™ all-LED illumination light is released. The Pioneer family will grow to contain spot, flood, and combination models in a multitude of sizes and mounts.
As technology continues to advance, Whelen creates CenCom Gold. With more advanced features and a more rugged design than its predecessor, CenCom Gold sets a new standard in control systems.
Whelen’s primary CAN-based communication system is released.
The launch of CanTrol adds user-defined Events and Situation-Based Integration to Whelen control systems. CanTrol combines a single box with a variety of expansion modules for full customization.
Whelen unveils the Legacy lightbar, the first lightbar ever to feature 360° of contiguous light. Legacy is also the first product with Whelen’s DUO+™ technology, which features two-color interleaved LEDs with independent control of each color.
Sapphire is introduced and is the first CenCom control system to feature WeCan.
Vacuum metalizing technology develops.
Within a sealed chamber, all reflectors are coated with a thin layer of pure vaporized aluminum.
The All-New Rota-Beam™
The next generation Rota-Beam is released, featuring solid-state “rotating” technology, simulating the appearance of a rotating beacon without any moving parts or motors for long-life reliability.
Keeping it in the Family
George W Whelen V, founder George W Whelen’s grandson, becomes president and CEO.
Whelen releases CenCom Carbide, a more widely available control system featuring Situation-Based Integration and several expansion modules.
A Home for Innovation
Whelen’s new state-of-the-art engineering facility opens on its Connecticut campus. This 30,000 square foot space is home to over 85 engineers and houses the environmental testing labs and everything needed to design new products and technology.
The CANport OBDII Interface is released. Using the CANport, CAN bus signals are easily applied to automate warning system functions in CanTrol and Carbide.
Whelen opens an office in Brisbane to better serve the Australian and New Zealand market.
Proclera® Silicone Optics
Whelen introduces Proclera Silicone Optics to provide less light distortion and up to a 3x brighter light output than traditional optics.
ProFocus™ LED Technology
Whelen’s industry-first ProFocus LED technology is introduced in the Liberty II lightbar. Delivering versatility with just a single optic, ProFocus can switch from spotlight or floodlight with no moving parts.
BroadBand Blue is released in several Whelen products. Broadband Blue is Whelen’s innovative solution to Monochromatic Blue, delivering a higher intensity, creating a larger optical image, and producing a more consistent blue across multiple products
Whelen’s first universal software is introduced to the market. Designed to simplify programming, Whelen Command delivers the ability to program all Whelen control systems within one application, houses advanced universal features, and provides an improved workflow.
The next generation Whelen control system is released. With the greatest configurability, speed, and expansion yet, CenCom Core enhances first responder safety with advanced automation and remote connectivity.
WeCanX is the most powerful CAN-based communication system on the market, providing true system synchronization and greater speed capabilities.
Designed from the ground up with first responder safety in mind, Arges is a revolutionary remote spotlight featuring 360° of continuous rotation, a 180° tilt range, and intuitive control.
Pushing Innovative Boundaries
With the launch of several new innovations behind them, our engineers continue to create life-saving products, pushing the boundaries to enhance first responder and civilian safety like no one else can.