How Lighting Ensures our Security and Safety Part 2

Posted by Larry Cozine on 5/25/16 8:30 AM


In Part 1 of this series, I talked about how lighting can enhance overall security. In Part 2, I will discuss some of the considerations that you need to think about when designing lighting for security purposes.

  1. Horizontal versus Vertical – When designing light with security in mind, you need to change your plane of thought. Usually, we look at light levels as the amount of light in the horizontal plane, but for security lighting it is imperative to have vertical luminescence as well. You have to be able to identify approaching objects in more detail. You need to use features that will put light not only onto the ground, but also in the vertical plane. This light can be reflected off the ground, off of a nearby building or directly in the vertical from a security light.

  2. Location of the Fixture – For security purposes where you place the fixture and how you orient the light is just as important as the lumens from the light. Considering the shape of the light and how shadows impact the overall environment will help provide maximum security coverage.

  3. Glare – You have to take into account the glare of the light fixture that is being designed or recommended. A wall mounted fixture can be a good choice for security lighting, but you need to understand the nature of what the purpose is of the lighting. If this is to identify people, it is not advisable to have a lot of glare into the face of those people. By not understanding the glare factor, you can actually reduce your overall security and reduce your visibility in the very area you are trying to secure.

  4. Control – When will the lighting be activated? Will the lighting be on from Dusk till Dawn utilizing a photocell or will it be remotely activated incorporating a time switch? Will the activation be by use of a motion sensor system? All of these considerations need to be addressed prior to setting up the system.

  5. Coordination – As part and parcel of control, understanding what coordination is necessary is essential to the planning and design process. The improved quality of security cameras and sensor systems to accommodate variations of light color has opened up many of the options previously not available for security lighting, but with that comes a heightened focus on where the light pattern is coming from and where it is directed. There has to be coordination between your light source and your camera or sensors in order to reduce glare and maximize the effectiveness of the light for security purposes.

Tailored reflectors can provide real, tangible advantages to any security lighting design by helping to shape, enhance or direct the light from the fixture. RCI is the premier tailored reflector company in the World. Give RCI a call at 262-605-0500 or email us at and see what we can do for your security lighting design.


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Topics: Tailored Reflectors, Reflectors Design, Security Lighting