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Spotlight on the Night

NCJ Number
Security Management Volume: 32 Issue: 3 Dated: (March 1988) Pages: 91-94
T McGhee
Date Published
4 pages
When it comes to the design of an exterior Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) security system, light can make the difference between good and bad results.
When planning a CCTV installation, it is wise to assume supplemental lighting will be necessary to get the best performance. An analysis of the camera viewing requirements should give a fairly accurate idea of the camera lenses needed to meet the field of view demands and provide the image size wanted on the monitor. The next step should be a test of the camera system under a worst-case scenario. The lighting goal should be to present the camera with the most evenly lit, contrast-free scene possible. Once it has been determined that additional light is needed, the choices are limited as to how to proceed. They are to add more visible light, use cameras capable of seeing in the reduced light, or add near-infrared lighting. A recent trend in both the private and public sector has been toward less-visible site profiles. Two reasons for this are a growing crime and terrorism threat along with the improved ability of CCTV cameras to give quality pictures in lower light levels. Reasons for use of covert surveillance are listed. Infrared floodlight design and layout is approached in a fashion similar to that for visible lighting, except for the problem of neighbor nuisance caused by spillover of visible light. 3 exhibits.