Lighting Research Center Lighting Research Center
Be Prepared With Lighting: An Online Reading Room

The Lighting Research Center believes that effective lighting can and should be an important part of the nation's security strategy.

Lighting cannot prevent disasters or attacks; nor can it guarantee human safety if such unforeseen events occur. Rather, lighting is a tool that, used wisely, can increase security and safety. Used unwisely, it can waste precious resources and actually detract from these goals. And more lighting is not necessarily better lighting. The articles listed below, published in various trade magazines, collectively emphasize that where, when and how lighting is used are just as important as how much.

As a public service, the LRC and the publishers of these articles offer the information below on effective lighting for increasing security and for responding to emergencies. They contain guidance and principles for architects, engineers, and facility managers. Most were written before the September 2001 attacks in the United States; the LRC hopes that they can play a small role in minimizing the likelihood and impact of similar events in the future.

 Sketch of a building exterior at night


 Pictures of different types of exit signs


This information is meant to augment existing recommendations for emergency and security lighting; the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America publishes recommended practices for lighting in the United States. States and localities might also have specific regulations for security and emergency lighting.

Security Lighting
Boyce, Peter R. "Lighting: The Missing Piece in the Campus Security Jigsaw." Lighting Management and Maintenance, August 1992, pp. 14-15. Used with permission of Lighting Management and Maintenance. Copyright 1992 International Association of Lighting Management Companies.
Boyce, Peter R. "Security Lighting: What We Know and What We Don't." Lighting Magazine, December 1991, pp. 12-18. Used with permission of Lighting Magazine. Copyright 1991 CLB Media.
Davis, Robert G. "Understanding Parking Lot Fixtures." Lighting Management and Maintenance, December 1993, pp. 12-17. Used with permission of Lighting Management and Maintenance. Copyright 1993 International Association of Lighting Management Companies.
McColgan, Michele, John D. Bullough, Sandra Vasconez and John Van Derlofske. 2004 Specifier Reports: Parking Lot and Area Luminaires. Troy, NY: National Lighting Product Information Program, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, July 2004. Used with permission of the National Lighting Product Information Program. Copyright 2004 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Leslie, Russell P. "Security with a Light Touch." Security Management, March 1997, pp. 91-93. From the web site of Security Management. Copyright 1997 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Vásconez, Sandra and Jennifer Brons. DELTA Snapshots: Electrodeless Lighting. Troy, NY: Demonstration and Evaluation of Lighting Technologies and Applications, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, February 2000. Used with permission of the Demonstration and Evaluation of Lighting Technologies and Applications Program. Copyright 2000 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Vásconez, Sandra, Russell P. Leslie and Carlos Inclán. DELTA Snapshots: Outdoor Entry Lighting. Troy, NY: Demonstration and Evaluation of Lighting Technologies and Applications, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, August 2001. Used with permission of the Demonstration and Evaluation of Lighting Technologies and Applications Program. Copyright 2001 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Emergency Lighting
Boyce, Peter R., Andrew Bierman and Conan O'Rourke. Specifier Reports and Supplements: Exit Signs. Troy, NY: National Lighting Product Information Program, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, January 1994, March 1995 and March 1998. Used with permission of the National Lighting Product Information Program. Copyright 1995-1998 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Davis, Robert G. "Specifier Reports Abstracts: Exit Signs." Lighting Management and Maintenance, August 1995, pp. 20, 22. Used with permission of Lighting Management and Maintenance. Copyright 1995 International Association of Lighting Management Companies.
Rea, Mark S. "Exit Signs and Smoke: A Cloudy Issue Under Study." Canadian Consulting Engineer, March 1985, pp. 34-35. Used with permission of Canadian Consulting Engineer. Copyright 1985 National Research Council of Canada.
Rea, Mark S. "How Good Are Emergency Lighting Systems?" Lighting Design and Application, September 1985, pp. 26-27. Used with permission of Lighting Design and Application. Copyright 1985 Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.

Compiled by John D. Bullough.



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