The primary purpose of security lighting is to provide enough light to prevent and deter crime as well as provide security for workers, visitors and other people in the area. Unfortunately, all too often, security lighting simply addresses the task of “feeling” safer rather than “being” safer. And there’s a big and important difference between the two. Feeling safe can actually place you at greater risk for crime since you’re operating under the illusion that you’re safe, when actually the lighting might be just bright enough to offer a criminal a clear view of what he or she is doing, but not enough to keep them away. Being safe, on the other hand, ensures the types of lighting in use as well as their placement and design maximize visibility for everyone, providing a major deterrent to criminals.
If you haven’t upgraded your lighting lately, the new year is a great time to review your needs as well as some of the new design and fixture options that can help boost security for your property, your employees and your loved ones. Here are four tips to consider when deciding whether your security lighting needs an upgrade:
- Safe lighting does not mean blindingly bright. One of the biggest mistakes people make when installing security lighting is to opt for the strongest lighting available. Instead of providing extra security, lights that are too bright can make it more difficult for eyes to focus and see clearly, making it more difficult to see potential dangers. Plus, super-bright lights can cause problems with neighbors and may even result in “light trespass” or nuisance charges, which means your effort – and cash – will be for nothing.
- Safe lighting doesn’t mean saving money by installing poor fixtures that only “look” safe and bright. Good, effective security lighting isn’t always cheap, but many people try to cut costs by opting for the least expensive fixtures they can find, a move that can result in inadequate lighting and shadows that actual favor criminal activity. Invest in high-quality fixtures that offer direct lighting without glare and without the risk of burnouts or breakage that often go hand-in-hand with cheap fixtures.
- Safety lighting and security lighting are not the same thing. Safety lighting for use on steps and other areas where hazards can be a problem should not be confused with security lighting, which is typically brighter and covers a larger area. Don’t think that because you light up stair treads, that’s enough lighting to make stairwells safe and secure from criminal activity.
- Take care with positioning. Not only do you want the area to be properly lit, you also want to be sure there’s enough light in areas where security cameras are in operation. A combination of visible cameras and good lighting is often enough to make even the most committed criminal turn back.
The take-home message: Good lighting can significantly increase security; poor lighting always compromises it. To learn about all the lighting options we offer and how they can help your property stay safe and secure, give us a call.