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Why Is Security Lighting Important?

How Outdoor Lighting Enhances the Beauty, Safety, and Security of Your Home

Outdoor lighting adds beauty and dimension to a home. Lighting is also an integral part of an effective home security system. Outdoor security lighting discourages would-be intruders from targeting your home by increasing the risk of being caught. The best lighting design allows physical detection and facial recognition, minimizes hiding spots, and increases your sense of safety.

 

You don't have to light your home like a Christmas tree to feel safe. Over-illumination can draw unwanted attention to valuable items in your home or business. Here are some simple tips to help you identify potential safety and security risks, select the best security lights, and determine their placement to ensure your safety and security.

Security Lighting Placement Infographic

See which type of security lights work best for your home.

The Purpose of Outdoor Security Lighting

Andrew Coleman, a lighting designer for McKay Landscape Lighting in Omaha, NE, reveals the purpose of residential outdoor lighting is threefold. First, it must be aesthetically pleasing to the homeowners. Second, it must help the residents safely navigate the landscape and perimeter of the home, and allow them to identify obstructions and potential hazards such as a change in elevation. Third, it must provide security by discouraging trespassers. A well-lit home is less likely to be broken into, he says.

 

A 2007 Washington Post article found burglars search for homes that appear to be unoccupied. Lighting adds an element of surprise and establishes an occupancy pattern that deters intruders from targeting a home in the first place. Residents that use outdoor lighting as part of their security plan significantly decrease their changes of being burglarized.

 

The Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) further explains that good security lighting anticipates potential threats and predators, and increases the means necessary to commit a crime, discouraging would-be criminals from breaking into a home. This security approach is known as target hardening. In other words, the longer it takes to plan and execute a break in, the less likely criminals are to target that home. According to the IES, home security lighting must have the following aims:

 

  • Provide a clear view of the area; including people and objects such as fences, walls and barriers
  • Allow facial recognition at a minimum distance of 30 feet
  • Make tasks such as finding your keys, retrieving the mail, or walking the dog easier and safer
  • Help people avoid criminal threats and/or defend themselves when a threat is perceived
  • Enhance your sense of safety when spending time outdoors

8 LED Bulbs Leading the Way to a Bright Future

Future LED Bulbs Go Beyond Illuminating Your Home, Improving Your Health and Mood

 

Light-emitting diode (LED) technology is advancing rapidly, leaving other energy-efficient lighting technology in the dust. Future LED bulbs will cost less, consume less energy, last longer, and do much more than illuminate your home. The LEDs of the future will be able to create lights in multiple colors, stream music, and communicate alerts and data. You do not have to wait much longer to experience this technology, here are eight LED bulbs lighting the way to a brighter, healthier and more convenient future.

 

Philips SlimStyle LED Bulb

1. Philips SlimStyle LED Bulb

The SlimStyle bulb by Philips Lighting makes transitioning from incandescent lighting to LED lighting easy and affordable. The SlimStyle LED bulb is a modern, energy-efficient alternative to any 60-watt incandescent light bulb and costs about $10 per bulb. The slim light bulb features a flat A19 design with LED lights arranged in a unique horseshoe shape for even illumination. A durable rubber coating protects the bulb from shattering. The bulb turns on instantly and emits 360 degrees of soft white light similar to that of an incandescent light bulb. The bulb can also be used with most light dimmers to create mood lighting. The SlimStyle bulb lasts about 22.8 years and saves up to $136 in energy costs over the life of the bulb. This LED bulb is suitable for lamps, pendants, and wall-mounted light fixtures.

 

MiPow LED Playbulb

2. MiPow LED Playbulb

The MiPow PlayBulb allows users to easily adjusts the lighting and play music in a room from their mobile devices. The A-Type LED light bulb has 80 LED lights that emit cool and warm shades of white light equivalent to a 60-watt incandescent light bulb. A built-in Bluetooth 4.0 speaker allows users within 30 feet to stream music directly to the PlayBulb. A dedicated smartphone app controls the light brightness and music. The app also includes four advanced settings - wake up, energy saving, night mode, and sleep mode for added convenience. The wireless, versatile device saves space and is ideal for dorm rooms, home offices and other small spaces. The MiPow PlayBulb is available for purchase for $79.

Bright Idea: The History of the Light Bulb

How Inventing the Light Bulb Revolutionized Our Lives, Landscape and Economy

 

In The Beginning...
 
  1. Sunlight and fire were the earliest forms of lighting.

    The history of the light bulb is filled rivalry, failures and great achievements. The electric light bulb has been called the most important invention since man-made fire. The light bulb helped to establish social order after sundown, extended the workday well into the night, and allowed us to navigate and travel safely in the dark. Without the light bulb, there would be no nightlife. However, creating a steady and affordable source of illumination was not as easy as many history textbooks suggest. The modern light bulb is the result of many innovators' work and continuous improvements over 150 years.

  2. 1700s
    The First Artificial Sources of Light

    Before the arrival of electric lighting, people used a variety of tricks for navigating their neighborhoods at night. In The Downs, an area near the English Channel, patches of chalky soil were used as beacons known as down lanterns. In wooded areas, bark was strategically cut from trees to expose the lighter wood underneath. However, on most clear nights, the moon and starlight was strong enough to navigate at night.

     

    In the 18th century, candles and oil lamps illuminated most homes and businesses. These early sources of illumination emitted a weak light, smoked, and gave off foul odors. They were also dangerous and required constant attention. Wealthy aristocrats used beeswax and spermaceti candles to light up their lavish households. The middle class used cheap tallow candles while the poor used rushlights, makeshift candles made from reeds dipped in animal or vegetable fat and ignited, which burned for a short time.

    Rushlights, candles and oil lamps were early forms of lighting.

  3. 1800s

    During the 19th century, gas lighting replaced candles and oil lamps in many homes, businesses, and streets. Gas lamps produced a brighter and more efficient illumination. They also cost 75 percent less than candles or oil lamps, and were easier and safer to operate. By the 1850s, most city streets in the United States and Europe were illuminated by gas lamps. Gas lighting is credited with reducing crime rates and increasing literacy in many areas. As electricity became more widespread during the turn of the century, gas lamps were replaced by incandescent lamps in streets, businesses, and theaters.

    Gas lighting was popular during the 1800s.

  4. 1802
    The First Electric Lights

    In 1802, Sir Humphry Davy, an English physician, created the first electric light by passing current through a platinum strip. The glow did not last long, but it marked the beginning of the history of light bulbs. In 1809, Davy demonstrated the first carbon arc lamp at the Royal Institute in London by connecting two wires to a battery and attaching a charcoal strip between the other ends of the wires. While the scientific community and the public raved about the demonstration, the arc lamp burned too brightly and consumed a large amount of current, which quickly drained the battery and rendered the lamp impractical for commercial development and production. Several decades passed before electric generators made arc lamps practical for street and theater lighting.

    Sir Humphry Davy

  5.  

Light Pollution: The Dark Side of Outdoor Lights

How Artificial Nighttime Lighting Is Affecting Our Skies, Wildlife, Environment, and Health

 

As many homeowners, you are taking steps to reduce your carbon footprint at home. You dutifully recycle glass, metal, paper, and plastic waste each week. You replace all the incandescent light bulbs in your home with energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs. However, you may be unwittingly contributing to carbon emissions and interfering with delicate ecosystems through light pollution.

 

Light pollution, unlike other forms of contamination and waste, remains largely overlooked and unregulated in many countries. Learn the cause, types, and effects of light pollution, and how adjusting your outdoor lighting habits can reduce this form of waste.

 

What is Light Pollution?

Light pollution, also known as photopollution or luminous pollution, is the excessive, misdirected or invasive use of artificial outdoor lighting. Mismanaged lighting alters the color and contrast of the nighttime sky, eclipses natural starlight, and disrupts circadian rhythms (the 24-hour processes of most organisms), which affects the environment, energy resources, wildlife, humans and astronomy research. The threat of light pollution continues to grow as the demand for artificial lights increases each year.

 

Photopollution is not a new phenomenon. Over the last 50 years, as countries became affluent and urbanized, demand for outdoor lighting increased and light pollution sprawled beyond the city limits and into suburban and rural areas. This form pollution is now prevalent in Asia, Europe, and North America, particularly in cities like Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. In 2008, National Geographic magazine named Chicago the most light-polluted city in the United States.

 

However, the most light-polluted spot in the world is Hong Kong, China. In March 2013, the University of Hong Kong named the city the most light polluted in the world. A study by the university found the night sky in Tsim Sha Tsui, an urban neighborhood in southern Kowloon, Hong Kong, to be 1,200 times brighter than a normal urban city sky. Luminous pollution of this magnitude is on the rise worldwide. In a 2010 article from the Ecology and Society Journal, Hölker and others stated the use of artificial lighting increases by 20% each year, depending on the region, and noted there is an urgent need for light pollution policies that surpass energy efficiency to include humans, animals and the environment.

 

10 Fire Safety Tips for Kids and Adults

Learn How to Protect Your Home from Electrical Fires

According to FEMA, electrical fires end the lives of roughly 280 Americans each year, while injuring 1,000 more. The causes of these fires range from easy preventable extension cord problems to serious issues such as bad wiring in your living space. When installing and using our ceiling fans, floor fans and lighting fixtures we ask you to consider using these fire safety tips. 

 

NashuaPatch.com recently reported a fire that started in an apartment building because of a malfunctioning overheated bathroom ceiling fan. The Watertown Patch more recently reported a two-alarm blaze in a home that was caused by faulty wiring in a ceiling fan. Thankfully no one was hurt, but the fires caused hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage to the buildings and displaced two families.

 

Kids Fire SafetyFire Safety Worksheet Fire Safety Certificate

 

Electrical Fire Safety Interview with a Fireman

 

 

 

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