Within the discipline of physical security, security lighting is used to deter or detect criminal activity on real property. The term can be used to create a general sense of security. Crime prevention can be achieved through environmental design. A 2018 study in New York City found the provision of street lights to be associated with a 36% reduction in nighttime outdoor index crimes.
Security Lighting Uses
Security lighting can be utilized in homes, businesses, facilities, institutions, and military applications. Some examples of security lighting include high pressure sodium vapor lights and floodlights. Most lights that are intended to be left on for extended periods are high intensity discharge lamps because these are more energy efficient.
An unexpected drawback of low pressure sodium lamps is that they produce pure yellow light, making the scene seem monochromatic. As a result, high pressure sodium vapor lamps are used, possibly at the expense of additional electrical costs and increased light pollution. High pressure sodium lights work a little longer than regular lights when they lose power.
Alternative Security Lighting Options
Alternative lighting options such as LED based security lighting have become increasingly popular due to their low electrical consumption, long lifespan, and various color spectrum options. Other lighting may be activated by passive infrared sensors (PIRs) that only turn on when a person passes in front of the light.
PIR activated lamps will almost always be incandescent light bulbs, as turning them on instantaneously is less important than saving energy. The activation of the motion sensor can increase the deterrent effect, since the intruder knows that he has been detected (since a person will be attracted to the sudden increase in light).
Some PIR units can also be set up to turn on the light and sound the alarm when triggered. Typically, modern units have a light sensor so that they turn on automatically when it is dark.
Limitations of Security Lighting
A limitation that security lighting has is that you cannot effectively use it at all times. This is particularly significant for home owners because the majority of burglaries occur at night, when the occupants are not home.
Security lighting can affect a person’s night vision, causing it to be harder to see in unlit areas. Surveillance systems may also be interfered with by non-uniform illumination, as cameras may find it hard to adjust to changes in lighting. Contact us today for more information about our security lighting service.