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Security Lighting

Often linked to outdoor lighting, security lighting is used indoors as well. Lighting for security or safety does not imply bright lighting. Effective security lighting allows building occupants to see the faces of visitors at the front door, allows police officers to see inside a store from the outside, and provides sufficient illumination to deter potential criminals. Emergency lighting is used to illuminate spaces and guide people during emergencies.

Effective lighting should be an important part of any security strategy. Lighting cannot prevent disasters or attacks or guarantee human safety if such events occur. Used wisely, however, lighting is a valuable tool that can increase security and safety. Used unwisely, it can waste precious resources and actually detract from these goals.

Also see the Online Reading Room containing security-related articles from a variety of sources.

Related Publications

Light Sources Used in Emergency Notification Appliances - By J.D. Bullough and Y. Zhu, a Fire Protection Research Foundation report.

Security Lighting: What We Know and What We Don't -- By Peter R. Boyce, appearing in Lighting Magazine.

Security with a Light Touch - By Russell P. Leslie, appearing in Security Management.

NLPIP Specifier Reports: Parking Lot and Area Luminaires - A detailed report discussing critical performance and application issues for parking lot and area lighting luminaires, including an evaluation of commercially available luminaires.

How Good Are Emergency Lighting Systems? - By Mark S. Rea, appearing in Lighting Design and Application.

Exit Signs and Smoke: A Cloudy Issue Under Study - By Mark S. Rea, appearing in Canadian Consulting Engineer.

NLPIP Specifier Reports: Exit Signs - Report covering energy-efficient, internally illuminated exit signs and energy-efficient retrofit kits for existing internally illuminated exit signs.

View more Security Lighting publications

Related Programs


Lighting Patterns for Homes: Single-Family Exteriors - A guide to creating lighting patterns for a safe, usable exterior space.

DELTA Snapshots: Outdoor Entry Lighting - Case study shows how changes to the outdoor entry lighting improved the appearance and security of a row house in a historic neighborhood.

Revising the Lighting Requirements of the New York State ATM Safety Act pdf icon - The LRC proposed modifications to the lighting requirements of the NYS ATM Safety Act that maintain a perceived level of safety at ATMs while minimizing visual discomfort and light trespass.

Shoebox Metric: A Framework for Reducing Light Pollution pdf icon - The LRC is developing a metric to quantify the amount of light leaving a lighting installation as light pollution.

Decision-making Tools Address Light Pollution for Localities Planning Street Lighting pdf icon - The LRC developed a series of documents to provide municipalities, specifiers, designers, and other lighting decision-makers about street lighting and light pollution.

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