Security outdoor: the importance of lighting

30 October 2019 · Category: Blog

Cameras may have the best resolution and feature the most advanced and intelligent technologies, but they are not enough to guarantee a higher level of security for companies, condos or urban areas. There is one single detail that most of people neglect, especially in outdoor facilities: lighting.

We already had the chance to talk about the importance of lighting in other articles of Arteco blog, because light alone reduces the state of neglect and abandon. There are cases in which lighting is fundamental to make the video surveillance systems work efficiently, given that bad lighting can compromise the view of cameras and the collection of video evidences from a crime scene.

In order to shed a light on this topic, you have to consider 4 crucial parameters to evaluate your lighting system.

  1. Intensity
  2. Uniformity
  3. Color
  4. Efficiency

Today standards show that the minimal intensity of lighting should range from about 54 lux (5 footcandle) in low activity areas to higher intensity for high activity areas (security concern for pedestrians and assets).

Lighting intensity naturally decreases while moving away from the light source but, for an efficient video surveillance, it is strongly suggested avoiding dark zones that criminals can use to get around your security system. Uniformity of lighting is, then, pivotal: experts recommend a uniformity ratio of 5:1 between the highest and lowest intensity spots.

Consider this example: if in a parking lot you detect an intensity of light of 300 lux (about 28 footcandle) in the closest spot to the lighting source, the minimum intensity suggested would be 60 lux (about 6 footcandle) to keep a 5:1 ratio of lighting on the monitored surface. Obviously, the light intensity is influenced by many physical factors ranging from the height of the source to the beam angle and the extension of the lighted surface.

The theme of color is widely debated too. In urban areas, the color of lights varies from cold white to warm yellow, most of time due to aesthetic and architectural reasons. White lights are the most appropriate for security reasons, because they guarantee clearness, sharpness and less variations between cold and hot spots in video recordings.

This last point leads to efficiency: it is a need for every company and today’s LED lamps are the best solution to provide low-maintenance, long-lasting, white and sharp lighting.

One last tip: always keep the monitored area clean and free from objects that may cast shades, such as trees and vegetation that, besides causing false alarms, may create dark zones that criminals can use to get around the video surveillance installation.

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