Michigan State Police vehicles getting an upgrade

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) -- For decades, Michigan State Police have been patrolling our state with those iconic single red bubble lights atop their cruisers.

They're unique and have always served a logical purpose, but now they're getting an upgrade.

They've been referred to as the "bubble" or "gumball" light, a little different than the full overhead light bar that other cities and municipalities have. But M.S.P. say it's for a reason.

According to State Police, the M.S.P. precision driving unit has found that vehicles with a full overhead light bar accelerate slower than vehicles with a single overhead light.

Additionally the reduced forward facing surface area of the single light provides greater fuel savings when compared to the larger surface area of a light bar.

The "bubble" is not going away, but it is getting a face lift.

State Police cruisers will be upgraded over time with the new L.E.D. lights.

Special First Lt. David Kaiser says this update will improve safety for not only the people being stopped, but also for the officers.

"Once the vehicle is put into park, the flashing lights you see int he front, the wig wags, on the headlights that flash from side to side, that bright light that often blinds you. If you're being stopped, once the trooper puts the vehicle in park those lights will quit flashing so it enables the trooper when he's walking back to his vehicle to not be blinded by those lights as well," he says.

The new kit uses 12 light heads, 9 L.E.D. bulbs per head for a total of 108 lights in each car.

The new lights have the ability to shine light on one side of the vehicle rather than the traditional rotating bulb which covers a 360-degree area.

The lights will not be installed all at once.

As a cost saving measure, the new light kits will be installed when a vehicle has a light failure.