Perimeter security lighting is the first defense against theft, vandalism, and harm. Since most mayhem of this type happens in the dark, perimeter lighting should play a significant role in any organization’s security plans. However, until recently, fence line lighting was limited to the same legacy technology used to light roadways, parking lots, athletic fields, etc. Then came the first low-voltage, fence-mounted security system designed with security as its focal point: the CAST Perimeter™ Security Lighting System. In this article, we will look at perimeter lighting as a whole, as well as CAST Lighting’s one-of-a-kind security lighting system.
Perimeter Security Lighting is Vital
The importance of security lighting is evident. It is used to keep intruders out, detect them if they are in the area, and detain them if they breach the perimeter. According to the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), a security lighting system must:
- Deter crime against persons and property
- Deny potential hiding places along frequently traveled foot routes
- Provide a clear view of an area from a distance, allowing movement to be easily detected
- Allow for facial recognition with CCTV systems and on-site security personnel
The items listed above sound relatively straightforward; however, they have everything to do with how the human eye and a security camera register light. The everyday pole lights we are used to were never explicitly designed for security cameras or an on-site security crew. They were intended merely to provide light. Unfortunately, they give too much light in most instances, causing blinding glare and deep shadows where troublemakers can hide. To understand this, we need to take a quick look at how the human eye works.
The Human Eye
The human eye works a bit like a camera lens. If you go out into the daylight, the iris of your eye automatically constricts to optimize your sight. In their e-book, entitled The Evolution of Perimeter Security Lighting, CASE explains:
More light is not necessarily better when it comes to night lighting. When illuminating for optimal security, it is important to understand how the human eye works and design around these parameters. The iris of the human eye—just like a camera aperture—widens or narrows depending on the amount of ambient light. In the daytime, the iris constricts to limit the amount of light into the eye, adjusting for optimal vision. In the evening, the iris naturally widens to its maximum opening, allowing for the greater amounts of light allowed in, giving the optimal light to see at night. As a result, the security lighting goal now becomes twofold. The first objective is to create the perfect interaction with the human eye for optimal performance; the second is to create the right light setting for CCTV camera operation.
Many of today’s lighting designers are still designing to 1990s specs of outdated lumen (the total amount of visible light) and lux (the total amount of light falling to the ground) values. This traditional lighting provides way too much light, which not only uses unnecessary energy and equipment and creates light pollution but is also, ironically, unsafe. Simply put: conventional lighting systems are sufficient for parking lots and roadways. They are not okay for security lighting.
CAST Perimeter states:
The solution is to match the optimal and natural light level for the human eye to the onsite camera systems. Providing an evenly distributed, lower-level, glare-free lighting system is the goal of any optimized perimeter security lighting system.
Types of Security Systems: Passive vs. Active
The first step to take when selecting a security system is to determine if it should be passive or active. Here is the difference:
Passive Security System
Passive security systems are designed to discourage intruders. The goal of this type of system is to make threats difficult and to delay them. Should a breach occur, you will become aware of it only after it takes place. You will need to replay the video to determine what happened, then call the police and insurance companies for help.
Active Security System
Active security systems react to intrusions as they happen, allowing action to be taken immediately. One example of an active system is a CCTV surveillance system that sends a signal to the owner, monitoring company or the police.
CAST Perimeter says,
When coupling lighting with these proactive solutions, you gain a tactical advantage slowing down the threat and exposing the intruder, causing him or her to pause or retreat. Intruders don’t like to be seen. The ability to disorient intruders when they are first detected will usually cause the perpetrator to think twice. This is done by dimming lights or turning them on or off repeatedly. A good security plan will contain layers of security features and will not rely on any one single security measure for success.
What Makes CAST Perimeter™ Security Lighting Different?
This first-of-its-kind security lighting system has many unique features. This system uses light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which can be custom made or purchased in ready-to-install kits that range from 800 to 1200 feet. The benefits of this LED lighting system are:
- Low Voltage: 24-volt power is safe and easy to install. Because of the low voltage, there is no need to hire an expensive electrician. Instead, this system can be installed by a certified low-voltage technician.
- Low Maintenance: With this lighting system, there is no need for large concrete footings, cranes, bucket trucks, or yearly maintenance. It is fast and easy to install, and care calls for one worker, a truck, and a step ladder.
- Safe: All CAST products are:
- UL listed (1838 and 8750 standards)
- IP66 ingress protection rated
- CE listed
- FCC Class B certified
- Dark-Sky Friendly: CAST’s lighting system adheres to the nonprofit Dark-Sky Association, which advocates against light pollution, the Modern Light Ordinance of North America, and meets the IESNA standard for “full cutoff” optics.
The Bottom Line
The CAST Perimeter™ Security Lighting System boasts the following benefits:
- 50 to 80 percent less material cost than traditional lighting systems depending on the fixture selected
- 50 to 80 percent less labor cost than traditional lighting systems depending on the fixture selected
- Safe low-voltage 24-volt power supply
- Low 7 to 28-wattage consumption models available to save ongoing energy costs
- Excellent L70-life expectancy of 65,000 hour LEDs
- Simple, fast installation
- Mounts easily to a fence, post, pillar, or wall
- Great warranty
A Word About Us
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