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      • Published 17 Jan 2023
      • Last Modified 29 Aug 2023
    • 10 min

    A Complete Guide to Commercial Security Lighting

    Our guide will help you learn how security lights are effective at detecting intruders and which is best for you.

    This guide will help give you a clearer understanding of what commercial security lights are, and how they function. It offers a straightforward overview of the main types of commercial security lighting sold online.

    We will identify some different kinds of lighting for security in commercial or industrial settings. This should help you to decide which security lighting systems might be best for your needs. We will also talk about how a security light setup can be effective for deterring or detecting intruders.

    Finally, we will highlight some specific security lamp products and systems, and look at the best choices for certain environments and applications.

    Outdoor Security Lighting

    Security Light

    The majority of industrial and commercial security lights for sale online are made to be used outside. For the most part, users buy these lights to deter and detect intruders.

    There are many different sorts of outdoor security lights available. The cheapest of these tend to be basic standalone lamps, which you can buy with various bulb types. You can also find more complex outside security light systems, with advanced feature sets and a wider detection range.

    Outdoor security lighting is one of the most commonly searched types of all commercial light fittings and luminaires. Of these, outdoor motion sensor lights are among the most popular categories of security lighting sold in the UK.

    Outdoor Motion Sensor Lights

    Motion sensor technology is a security lighting feature that has become very popular in recent years. Outdoor security lights with motion sensors are often referred to as PIR lights, or sometimes PID systems. PIR stands for passive infrared. Similarly, PID stands for passive infrared detector.

    PIR allows a sensor in the lighting unit to detect infrared (IR) signals given off by warm objects moving across its field of view which emit heat. PIR signals are often described in terms of infrared light, although it is actually a form of electromagnetic radiation with a wavelength longer than that of visible light.

    IR signals are generally invisible to the human eye. However, they are detectable by PIR sensors as sources giving off heat energy. One advantage of PIR systems over alternative types of LED security lights is that they can identify warm bodies from other object types. This isn’t the case for every sort of security wall light.

    For example, outdoor motion sensor lights fitted with microwave sensors are highly sensitive to being triggered by any movement in the immediate area. They can be set off by anything crossing the path of the beam because they function on a beam interruption system. For obvious reasons, this isn’t always ideal if you are installing outdoor wall lights mainly to deter intruders.

    Do Security Lights Deter Burglars?

    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.

    Security Lighting Types

    By now, you have probably identified which areas of your commercial, industrial or other workplace premises might benefit from additional lighting for security. The next step is to plan the ideal setup for your chosen location.

    Remember that the best outdoor security lighting system for your needs will likely be a bespoke setup. As a result, it is important to make sure you have considered all the available options before making a purchase.

    There is a wide variety of security lighting fixtures and system types available online. The best security lights for your needs will depend on several key factors, including:

    • Which sorts and sizes of area you want to illuminate
    • What times of day or night you want your security lights to operate
    • Whether they should be active at all times or be triggered by intruder detection
    • Balancing your security needs with overall setup and running costs
    • Any other additional features required for better performance or convenience

    Below, you will find a brief rundown of some of the most popular types of security lighting available. We will cover various module types, lamp technologies, and power systems.

    LED Security Lights

    LED Security Lights

    LED floodlights are among the most popular types of outdoor security lighting sold online today, for many good reasons. One key factor is their extremely low running cost.

    LED lamps are highly energy efficient. They output the same lumen rating at a much lower wattage than traditional incandescent bulbs or halogen security lights.

    They also last far longer than most other bulb types and need replacing a lot less often. Initial buy-in cost is generally higher for LED security wall lights than for older standards. However, the performance benefits are immediate, and the cost savings are greater in the longer term.

    As with all security lighting systems, LED floodlights are most effective when installed at a height that prevents tampering or vandalism. In most cases, this will be on walls and above doorways. When using LED security lights with PIR motion sensors, be sure that your chosen install location gives a clear, unhindered view over the area you wish to light.

    Shop LED Security Lights
    PIR Security Lights

    PIR Security Lights

    Understanding how a PIR floodlight works in commercial security lighting applications is important as they offer several important benefits.

    Outside lights with PIR sensors are a popular solution in a wide variety of industrial and commercial settings. They are ideal for adding security lighting over doorways, windows, loading bays and other areas of entry. Always make sure to set wall lights with PIR sensors well out of reach, giving an unobstructed view over the area being lit.

    PIR LED lights can be programmed to trigger only at certain times. The advantages of this type of security floodlighting system are twofold. One advantage is that running costs will be lower than bulbs designed to be lit at all times. In addition, triggering them can alert any intruders to the fact that their presence has been detected.

    Motion-activated LED floodlights are handy in all manner of work yards, entryways and loading areas. As well as alerting intruders, they can also be useful as assistive lighting for more welcome visitors. PIR sensor technology is particularly effective for security lighting, as it is less likely to alert to false alarms. Many other sensor types can be triggered easily by normal environmental movement, such as in windy conditions.

    Shop PIR Security Lights

    A wall light with PIR sensor will typically be outdoor-rated to at least IP54 or IP65. For more detail on this, check out our comprehensive guide to IP ratings.

    View our IP Ratings Guide
    Solar Security Lights

    Solar Security Lights

    Solar security lighting is an economical and eco-friendly solution. It enables LED floodlights and external wall lights to be run at a lower cost than using either mains power or batteries.

    It is also much easier to install a solar security light than most mains-powered versions because you won’t typically need to do any wiring. In this regard, they are equally as flexible as battery security lights. They don’t need to be hooked into a standard 240V (UK) power source, so they can be positioned to work more or less anywhere.

    Similarly, don’t assume that a cloudy climate eliminates the solar option, either. A constant source of bright sunshine is not needed to effectively run solar security lights. Modern versions are much more efficient at converting solar energy into usable power and they are now a popular choice for security lighting, even where UV counts are quite low for much of the year.

    Shop Solar Security Lights

    With that said, you will, of course, need to ensure that the panel itself is positioned sensibly. You will want to make sure it receives as much direct sunlight as realistically possible, especially since most security lighting is used to illuminate darker areas.

    To make this easier, you can choose a solar security light with a separate charging panel. These models remove the solar panel from the main body of the lamp itself, instead connecting it by a wire. This offers far greater flexibility in positioning both the LED light and the charging panel for best effect.

    Security Light Bulbs

    Most security lights for sale online will come with a suitable security light bulb supplied as part of the unit. However, it is always worth checking to make sure that this is the case.

    Today, the majority of modern wall-mounted security lights and floodlights are powered by LED bulbs. They are more economical to run, better for the environment and need changing far less often than most traditional types. This is the case regardless of whether the security lighting has a PIR unit fitted.

    LED versions are also better suited to applications such as solar security lighting and battery-powered wall lights. As LED lamps draw much lower power for the same brightness and intensity of light, they are better in these roles than older, less efficient incandescent models.

    Some dedicated security lighting systems for larger-scale commercial or industrial illumination run off alternative lamp types, such as security lights with halogen bulbs. Just as with LED floodlights, these usually tend to come with one bulb supplied. In most cases, it will already be mounted in the floodlight housing when you buy it.

    When it’s time for a replacement bulb, you can easily source many different types of LED bulbs and halogen lamps online. Just be sure that you are buying the correct size and type for the wall light it will be mounted in. This information will always be in the manufacturer guidance or specification sheet for your product.

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