Best outdoor security lighting for businesses

Security lighting is often used to deter intruders, prevent criminal activity and create a safe work environment. However, it can be counter-productive if design flaws are present. Poorly designed security lighting can obstruct vision and create opportunities for would-be criminals.

When thoughtfully arranged, carefully shielded, and used in combination with closed-circuit television, security lighting is an effective way to reduce the risk of intrusion and attack. Here’s a deeper look into security lighting, and how best to use it in order to protect your business.

Outdoor security lighting options

First, analyse which options are best for you. Consider the overall safety of the area surrounding your offices or warehouse. If there’s a relatively high crime rate, is it enough to warrant security lights being left on throughout the night? If so, high-intensity discharge (HID) lamps are an energy efficient option. The only problem with sodium vapour lighting is that it casts a yellow light, which makes it much more difficult to detect defining characteristics of criminals.

For this reason, many businesses use high pressure sodium vapour lamps instead, which cast a whiter light. However, they are less energy efficient, resulting in slightly higher electricity bills for businesses.

To cut down on excessive electrical usage, you may consider passive infrared sensors (PIRs), which turn on when a person (or mammal) approaches. These are highly effective, as they startle criminals and encourage them to leave, fearing they’ve been detected.

Whichever lighting option you chose; don’t assume higher wattage bulbs are best. These can create a glare effect, obscuring criminals from view. Instead, use dimmer bulbs for greater visibility. This may seem counter-intuitive, but it’s a much better way to keep your car parks and entrances safe and secure. Ideal security lighting uses more bulbs which produce a reduced amount of light, instead of fewer high-intensity bulbs.

Design

In keeping with this, lighting design is important. Place a light above every entrance, angling it straight down so as not to create a blind spot. In addition, many business owners line driveways, walkways and the office perimeter with HIDs as a way to deter burglars from getting anywhere near entrances.

The key thing to remember is to keep lighting out of arm’s reach, otherwise criminals will easily breeze through your security system.

Testing

As you develop your security lighting strategy, test it in night-time conditions. This will help you pinpoint areas that need improving, what’s working, and what isn’t. Furthermore, you’ll quickly realise where blind spots are a problem, or if any lights are producing a blinding glare. Remedy the problem straightaway and replace bulbs with low-level LED outdoor security lighting fixtures or dim HIDs.

What to avoid

Avoid globe lighting as its wasteful, splashes light everywhere and creates a harsh glare. In addition, it’s not very good at illuminating a particular area.

Furthermore, don’t leave your security lighting vulnerable to vandalism. Install shields and protective covers to keep criminals from shattering bulbs. Security lighting is an investment, but it’s well worth the money. Take steps to protect your investment, and the overall safety of your workforce and workplace.