Evaluating Your Business Outdoor Security Lighting

If your facility was constructed more than ten years ago, chances are good that your outdoor security lighting is inadequate. For many years, lighting in car parks and other outdoor areas was a low priority in terms of security. In many cases, the purpose of outdoor security lighting was to enhance the architectural appearance of the facility rather than to provide lighting for safety and security. It is recommended that every business owner or manager conduct an evaluation of the exterior security lighting at the facilities for which he or she is responsible. The adequacy of outdoor security lighting is an important factor in maintaining good security in business car parks and other commercial outdoor areas.

Basic Considerations

While it is unlikely that most business owner will ever become lighting experts, there are a few fundamentals of lighting design that are important for every business owner to know. Knowing these fundamentals will allow you  to accurately assess the security lighting system in use at your place of business or facility.

There are five basic considerations when evaluating a lighting system:

Intensity of the lighting: how bright is the light?

Uniformity of lighting: how consistent is the light level from place to place throughout the lighted area?

Color of lighting: how accurately does the lighting render colors?

Efficiency of lighting: how much light per watt of electricity does the lighting system deliver?

Lamp life: How long do lamps last before they must be replaced?

Outdoor security lighting plays a crucial role in how well closed-circuit television (CCTV) systems will work in the outdoor environment. While most modern CCTV cameras will work at relatively low light levels, uniformity of lighting is extremely important. If the lighting uniformity ratio is too high (greater than 5:1), then the image viewed by the camera will be of poor quality, having both "hot spots" (bright areas of glare) and "cool spots"(areas of darkness where details cannot be seen).

Outdoor security lighting fixtures require regular maintenance. Lamps tend to produce less light as they age. Replace lamps at scheduled intervals - not just when they burn out. Dirty light fixtures also produce less light. Arrange to have fixtures cleaned both inside and outside on a regular basis. The growth of trees and other types of landscaping can have a significant effect on outdoor lighting. Often times, a well-designed lighting system becomes ineffective as trees grow to a point where they block out large portions of the light. Arrange to have trees and landscaping regularly trimmed so that the lighting system is not adversely effected.

Have additional questions about outdoor security lighting? Contact us today