L.P.A.G. – Security Lighting (Chapter 3)

Much outdoor lighting is operated for the purposes of security. This is understandable and acceptable but just as with other forms of security should be restricted to the property itself.

  • Security lighting is exterior lighting installed solely to enhance the security of people and property.
  • Security lighting should especially be designed to control glare and direct view of illumination sources, and to confine illumination to the property on which the fixtures are located.
  • Lighting fixtures that are aimed at a building are much more effective for security than fixtures that are mounted on the building and that can blind observers of the property (police, neighbours or others).

Security lighting should be High Pressure sodium (HPS) or Incandescent, unless PIR sensors are used (right).
Passive Infra Red detectors (PIR) should be used whenever possible. For domestic and small-scale security lighting, a 150W (2000 lumen) tungsten halogen lamp is more than adequate. Higher wattage lamps create too much light, more glare and darker shadows.

Motion detector-activated lighting uses less energy and provides better security than constant light. Encourage low level lighting which works better with closed circuit television cameras (CCTV). Encourage alarms and other security measurers – more successful than constant lighting.

A security light that trespasses over the property line with glare is highly counter-productive. It creates a situation that discourages people such as police and others from looking in that direction because of the discomfort it causes. Poor security lighting creates deep dark shadows in which criminals may hide and blinds those off the property, who might notice them.