If you were out late at night and walking home, where would you feel safest? In a dark alley or a brightly lit street? How many times have you heard a noise in the garden and peered through the window with your faced pressed the glass trying to see what is out there? As a business owner, how safe are your premises at night? It is an ideal time for break-ins to commercial properties.
With those long dark evenings still with us we should be doing our best to deter those that want to upset our lives. You cannot make a home or premises 100% burglar proof, but we can put obstacles in the way.
Most security lighting you see on your travels will be driven by halogen bulb lighting. This is commonly used in car parks and the exterior of commercial buildings emitting a very strong white light. The downside is that halogen lighting is very expensive to run. Now, since 2002 and the introduction of LED’s the world of security lighting has improved dramatically
What type of lighting?
To cut down on running costs I would highly recommend motion sensor activated lighting for the home. You can set how long these lights remain on after they have been activated. Not only does this have the surprise element of lighting up those unwanted guests in our garden, it also has the bonus of helping you find your way about in the garden if you needed to pop to the shed to get something or you have forgotten to bring the washing in. You need enough light to alert you that something or someone is around your property.
For commercial premises there needs to be a constant source of light emission so use as many units as possible. Placement and visibility of the units provide a deterrent. A higher output of light will also help those security guards working the night shift become more effective with their CCTV monitoring. You do not have to light the premises up like a football stadium, placement is more important.
Lighting can either be LED or halogen bulb varieties, ranging in average price of £20-£40 per unit up to around £80. LED units consume between 9-50w, halogen from 120-400w. With an LED lasting around 20-50,000 hours which is 5 times longer than a bulb and cheaper running costs this really should be the route to take. LED lighting has improved vastly and can be as powerful in lumens as a halogen bulb.
Placing outdoor light in the right spot is essential, and can be more complicated than you’d think. Obviously, the lights will need to be over the height where they can be tampered with. With your home remember to consider things like glare, where people will be sitting, whether the neighbours are likely to be affected. In commercial properties, the emphasise will be on the entry points to buildings, the perimeters and any area of the premises where high value stock is held. One other thing to consider is does the unit have any protection from the elements? If not, choose something with a high IP rating as the higher the number the more water resistant and hard-wearing it will be.
My choice of lighting
When it comes to choosing the right wattage for your lighting I would strongly recommend for home use 10-50w LED’s and for commercial use 100-200w LED’s. These are strong enough to light up the property and its surroundings without breaking the bank balance.