Deter Criminals With Proper Indoor Outdoor Security Lighting
This gorgeous weather for your electrical repair Tampa Florida has landscapers mowing lawns and trimming hedges, school children playing in the breeze and criminals excited about taking your possessions!
Just because it gets darker a little later than usual, doesn’t mean thieves take a break. They see relaxation as an opportunity! Security lights are one of the most practical and effective ways to prevent crime in or around your home or office. A security lighting system is a deterrent because it exposes the criminal, making them feel vulnerable and insecure. Criminals most likely look for areas with little to no lighting, for obvious reasons. Parking lots, entrances and exits should be properly lit, not only for patrons but employees as well. Effective lighting should be an important part of any security strategy. Lighting cannot prevent disasters or attacks, but it can deter such incidents. Used wisely, however, lighting is a valuable tool that can increase security and safety.
There are two main categories when it comes to security lighting: indoor and outdoor.
Indoor security lighting provides inside light. It may be used to deter criminals by making it look like people are still present, or by providing a pool of light so that passerby and neighbors can see and report questionable activity. The whole point here is to make it seem as if you are actually home. Some burglars are smart in the way they evaluate homes and if they see the same light on all day and all night, that is a dead giveaway that you are likely not home. Using clever tactics can make it nearly impossible for a burglar to tell that it is an automated system turning the lights on and off.
Outdoor security lighting is lighting which is designed to illuminate outdoor areas. Some examples of such lighting include street lights, garage door lamps, and entry/exit lights. Again, this type of lighting is designed to deter criminals, making them easier to spot. Outdoor lighting is also used for navigating around outside when dark.
Security lighting can be placed on an automatic timer. Others are light-sensitive and typically operate from “dusk to dawn”. Another tool commonly used in security lighting is Motion Detectors, or occupancy sensors. These handy devices turn the security lights on and off when motion or movement is detected, making them ideal for security lighting and energy management. Because they are constantly switching the lights off and on the lights, they cannot be used to control high intensity discharge sources. They are perfect for controlling halogen or incandescent sources. It is important to position your security lights out of arms reach so that they cannot be disabled or destroyed by intruders. Remember, the best position is a downward position, so mount them as high as possible on your house for safe, reliable operation. If you prefer to control the lights yourself, manual lighting operates with the flip of a switch or by remote. I’m personally a fan of motion detectors. I don’t care if it’s a cat or criminal…I want them to know someone is watching what they’re doing! They can be somewhat of a nuisance if they’re near a bedroom and you have a neighborhood gang of cats who prowl at night.
Halogen fixtures are designed to operate on standard house current. These light bulbs contain a carbon filament suspended on several supports within the lamp envelope, which glow when current is passed through the lamp. Referred to as floodlights, they are perfect for continuous or instantaneous use because they require no warm up period. These security lights produce a white to yellow color and are less desirable for aesthetic lighting applications. These lights do work well in combination with tree lighting or moonlighting jobs as supplemental security lighting.
High Intensity Discharge (HID) light sources are designed to operate by using magnetic or electronic ballasts in combination with a gas filled lamp. The purpose of the ballast is to convert the supply voltage to a higher operating voltage necessary to excite the gas in the lamp creating the light. Everyone is familiar with mercury vapor lighting. That was a wordy description! Let me explain it this way…These are the blue-green colored security lights you have seen way up in the tree tops, or perhaps attached to your neighbor’s house. Other types of outdoor flood lighting include metal halide, high-pressure sodium, and fluorescent. With the exception of fluorescent, all of these sources require a warm-up period and a re-strike time to return to full intensity should the power go off. They are not designed for instantaneous use and should be supplemented by other sources for panic or spontaneous lighting. High intensity discharge products are energy efficient, long lasting and very commonly used in landscape lighting.
Energy efficiency is a major concern for security lighting, and something that should be considered before making a final decision. Some lights are solar powered, which makes them very efficient, while others will pull power from the structure they are attached to. Using high-efficiency lights with good bulbs can cut down on operating expenses. Correct placement of lights is also important to ensure light is not being wasted on an area that does not require it. Photocell lights are another option for security lighting when it comes to energy efficiency. Photocells are simply resistors that have a light-dependent resistance. Photo-sensitive plates are mounted on the front of the resistor, and as more or less light hits these plates, the resistance value of the photocell changes.
Light pollution should also be a concern when evaluating lighting options. A bright, badly-aimed light can cause a lot of glare, making it hard for people to see, and contributing to overall levels of light pollution. Choosing a light with a shielded housing will make security lighting less annoying for the neighbors, and also more functional, as criminals can easily hide behind a glaring light.
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