Understandably, one thing most commercial or industrial users want to know when buying outdoor lighting systems is if security lights deter burglars. This is arguably the main purpose of most security lighting setups and the reason why many people consider installing them.
Unsurprisingly, studies show that well-lit areas tend to be less vulnerable to crime in general. This goes for streets and outdoor public areas, as well as private property and places of work.
As such, the short answer is yes, security lights can certainly help to deter burglars. The longer and more accurate answer? You will need to think carefully about where, how and why you install security lighting in order for it to be optimally effective.
Crime prevention reports and initiatives agree that security lighting can be an effective deterrent. However, it is not equally effective at all times, or in all use cases. For instance, coupling security lights with camera technology will always be more effective than lighting alone.
There is also some evidence to suggest that leaving security lights on 24 hours a day isn’t always that useful against intruders. Poorly considered security lighting can even have the opposite effect, and end up attracting unwanted attention. This is particularly true if it is left on at all times, as it can begin to look unnatural or unguarded.
Security Lighting Location is Key
The benefits of security lighting will be limited if its placement offers little practical benefit. For any given location, it is important to think about how useful a light is going to be. This applies to security staff, outside observers, and even the intruders themselves.
For example, it is not always helpful to install security lights in a dark area that can’t be seen by onlookers or cameras. Simply illuminating an intruder who knows they are still out of sight isn’t considered a very effective deterrent. In the worst-case scenario, you could even be helping them to see their way around more easily.
With that said, security lights can be a highly effective strategy for deterring burglars. However, they are best used as part of a coherent and well-planned approach to security. This means installing them in areas where anyone triggering them is likely to be observed as a direct result.
Security lighting should always be set up to alert any intruder to the fact that they are now visible. This is particularly effective when floodlights or wall lights are used alongside visible CCTV cameras and surveillance devices.
In the following sections of this guide, we will look at some of the different setups available for outdoor security lighting.