If you were born during the past century, you’d know that a popular TV trope for the crime-fighting genre is ‘fighting the darkness with the power of light’. Darkness is taken as evil (or criminal), while a light is taken as good (or just). However, it is interesting to note that this can literally be true – intelligently prescribed light can be used to keep crime at bay. In this article, we will have a look at how superior quality lighting technology can be used to help make neighborhoods safer.
When Does Lighting Help?
Improving the lighting in some areas helps decrease crimes for two main reasons. Firstly, it allows for better surveillance. This means that it would be easier to detect potential offenders, and it would make them think twice about the risk of exposure. Secondly, better lit areas make people feel safer. This has the effect of encouraging activity in a location, meaning that criminals have fewer opportunities to act as they will likely be noticed. Therefore, a well illuminated, the non-isolated location will immediately give criminals pause.
It must be noted, however, that there are certain situations where it would be counterproductive to invest in bright LED lighting technology. Consider this: if you light up a more isolated area that contains an asset, you would consequently draw attention to it and may, in fact, make it easier for criminals to scope it out and commit a crime. Similarly, if you brighten up an area that should not have any activity during the night, you may instead be giving people the wrong impression and making them think it is acceptable and safe to be there. This, too, is a threat to security.
Considerations for Selecting Lighting Technology
Therefore, what should you consider when you are deciding upon a suitable lighting solution to prevent crime? Here are some prompts:
- What is the problem you’re addressing?
- Is there a pattern to the problem? When does it occur and what do the police say about it?
- Will a lighting solution be enough to tackle the issue?
- Is there any other, a more effective security measure that can deal with the problem?
- Who benefits from the additional lighting? Potential offenders or surveillance teams?
If you determine that better lighting technology will be the best option, there are other things you ought to keep in mind. They are provided below:
- A variety of standards are in place regarding lighting technology in Australia, to ensure that you only use registered electrical contractors who understand these regulations and know what they are doing
- If your lighting solution requires poles to be installed, you may need to seek the approval of your local council
- Consult with stakeholders, or those most likely to be affected by the proposed technology (such as your neighbors)
- Ensure that the lighting solution is installed at a suitable height to protect it from vandalism; protective caging is well worth considering. Furthermore, if the product itself is made from durable or smash-resistant materials like polycarbonate, that would be ideal!
- The installed lighting technology should be directed downwards to minimise light pollution while ensuring that the area is suitably illuminated. At the same time, however, place it in a way that it is not blocked by trees or plants as that would defeat the purpose of the light
- While we are on the subject of pollution, choose efficient lighting technology that is environmentally sustainable as well so that you do your bit for the environment while keeping your energy costs down
- There are a variety of lights to choose from, but keep in mind that white light is considered best for facial recognition, whether on camera or your own two eyes
In a nutshell, consider carefully whether crime will be an issue in a given area, and then consider all the preventative measures available. The intersection of these is where your lighting solution lies.
Technilux already has its own range of lighting technology that is certain to help you. Have a look through our product range. Our LED lighting products are durable, energy efficient, and top of the line! If you need further assistance on this subject, we would be happy to help. Give us a call on 03 9872 7600 or contact us here.