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Lighting Designed For Defense

NCJ Number
Security Management Volume: 26 Issue: 6 Dated: (June 1982) Pages: 83-88,90-93
S L Lyons
Date Published
10 pages
The goals and design of an effective exterior lighting system to defend a property against nighttime intruders or vandalism are explained.
Security lighting is a means of crime prevention rather than crime detection. Effective security lighting can protect both people and property from a nighttime attack. Lighting systems should form part of a security system which also includes a secure fence around the defended area and an efficient system of guarding or patrols. The five basic techniques of security lighting are perimeter lighting, checkpoint lighting, area lighting, floodlighting, and topping-up. Perimeter lighting projects light towards the fence from within the perimeter. Light passes through or over the fence into the surveyed field outside the perimeter fence. Security guards should be trained to detect persons in dark clothing who are trying to move surreptitiously toward the fence. Guards should also experience the effects of facing the perimeter lights and should be aware of their own degree of concealment resulting from the use of the lights. Since the use of a strong perimeter fence may increase the chance that an intruder will try to use the normal entry gate, a checkpoint hut and its surroundings should be arranged to give the tactical advantage to the guards. The lighting system associated with a checkpoint should provide enough light inside the guardhouse to permit the guard to see printed materials and use the telephone. It should also provide enough exterior light to permit vehicles and persons to be inspected efficiently, to enable documents to be read, and to prevent intruders from slipping past the guard. Tables and illustrations are provided.


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