One of the greatest challenges that indoor and outdoor security surveillance solutions face is lack of light. However, obtaining the proper amount of illumination for security goes beyond merely flooding a specific area with light.

Without an adequate lighting source, video cameras are ineffective. When capturing only dark, blurry images and video, they can quickly become worthless to security staff or law enforcement personnel. On the other hand, too much of the wrong type of light can create issues like ‘hot spots’ and overheating, which can diminish crucial details and eventually cause irreversible camera damage.

Fortunately, there has been a recent global shift that is sending users away from the old incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, and toward LED lighting. Regardless of the type of CCTV application, there are an abundance of reasons to stop using alternative types of illumination. Here are 3 of the most substantial.

1. Better Illumination And Clarity

You would think it would be common knowledge by now that cameras need light to see, and well-lit areas provide less cover for criminals to commit crimes. However, it is still somewhat commonplace to have sites where either not enough lighting or the wrong kind of lighting is implemented. Increasing the quality of illumination in an area has the ability to deter crime, make other accompanying safety devices perform better and even improve the accuracy of video analytics.

LED lamps are currently the
only security lighting option
that possesses a multitude
of point sources, making it
possible to  aim your light

Integrators need a lighting solution that consistently performs, and when it comes to supplying the best operation, price, and durability; external LED lighting is the only choice.

One particular aspect of external LED lighting that makes optimum illumination possible is the strategic uniformity of its design. External LED lamps are currently the only security lighting option that possesses a multitude of point sources, making it possible to literally aim your light by situating individual diodes in a specific angle or position. This type of alignment offers a more consistent and predictable light source than anything else on the market, eliminating much of the uncertainty involved in installation. This allows you to light a larger area more effectively and efficiently with nearly zero effort.

2. Faster Start-up Time

Whether you are talking about protecting a utilities facility, school campus or international border, it doesn’t take long for an incident to occur. Unlike traditional HID (high intensity discharge) lights, which can take up to a half an hour to reach full competency, LED’s spark up immediately. The colder the climate of the area, the more difficulty the HID bulbs have getting started and functioning properly. Given that there are many places in the United States alone where temperatures can sit at or below single digits, it seems almost absurd to consider anything else besides LED lighting. This sizable flaw can be especially detrimental if attempting to set up any kind of crime deterring, motion detection solution.

One of the most crucial components of a sufficient response system is reaction time. Having a sluggish start up regarding any component is much like having a 15 year-old guard dog laying in your yard. By the time the security lights get up and running, the offender has already committed the crime and vacated the premises. And as dependable as the old boy may have been in the years past, he is now just too darn slow. And with an industry that is quickly moving toward more effective real-time, situational security solutions, a hesitated response is the last thing desired.

The colder the climate of the area, the more difficulty the HID bulbs have getting started
Unlike traditional HID lights, which can take up to a half an hour to reach full competency, LED’s spark up immediately

3. Increased Life Span And Efficiency

Organizations have the opportunity to save thousands of dollars each year in energy costs, while increasing site security by switching to LED based illuminators. LED’s provide the lowest running cost currently available, with less than 100 watts needed for the most powerful of units. Not to mention, the majority of additional wattage needed for other types of lighting units is generally burned off in the form of unwanted heat, decreasing both quality and length of life. How much longer LED’s lasts when compared to the alternative is astounding. For example, the average life span of an incandescent bulb is about 1,000 hours; fluorescent bulbs last for around 10,000 hours, while LED’s can shine bright up an impressive 100,000 hours. That is 100 times longer without changing a bulb.

Furthermore, installing LED’s not only saves money in the form of lower energy and running costs, but also provides a very low rate of bulb malfunction or failure. This cuts down on maintenance fees as well as possible down time that could result in vulnerability. Inspections and servicing of lights alone can be very expensive and time consuming. LED’s radiate much less heat, reducing the chance of insect complications and helping prevent hot spot development, again saving you time, money and frustration at every camera site.

Enhancing Overall Security Solution

As time goes on, the importance of strategic lighting becomes more and more evident for the security industry. The continual growth of technologically advanced video solutions (biometrics, crowd detection, motion tracking, etc.) demands a level of clarity and consistency that can only obtained through proper lighting. LED’s not only yield a lower running cost and better performance, they provide an enhanced level of control. The most important benefit of a security tool is not always how it performs independently, but how it increases the effectiveness of the overall security solution it is a part of.

Share with LinkedIn Share with Twitter Share with Facebook Share with Facebook
Download PDF version Download PDF version

Author profile

In case you missed it

How Can Remote or Internet-Based Training Benefit Security?
How Can Remote or Internet-Based Training Benefit Security?

Internet-based training has long provided a less-expensive alternative to in-person classroom time. There are even universities that provide most or all of their instruction online. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has expanded acceptance even more and increased usage of internet-based meeting and learning tools. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How can remote or Internet-based training benefit the physical security market?

How is AI Changing the Security Market?
How is AI Changing the Security Market?

Artificial intelligence is more than just the latest buzzword in the security marketplace. In some cases, smarter computer technologies like AI and machine learning (ML) are helping to transform how security operates. AI is also expanding the industry’s use cases, sometimes even beyond the historic province of the security realm. It turns out that AI is also a timely tool in the middle of a global pandemic. We asked this week’s Expert Panel Roundtable: How is artificial intelligence (AI) changing the security market?

Moving to Sophisticated Electric Locking
Moving to Sophisticated Electric Locking

In part one of this feature, we introduced the shotbolt – a solenoid actuator – as the workhorse at the heart of most straightforward electric locking systems. Shotbolts remain at the core of most sophisticated electric locking solutions as well. But they are supplemented by materials and technologies that provide characteristics suited to specialist security applications. Here we look at some more demanding electric locking applications and contemporary solutions. Preventing forced entry Where the end of the shotbolt is accessible, the electric holding force can be overcome by physical force. That’s why anti-jacking technology is now a frequent feature of contemporary electric solenoid lock actuators. Anti-jacking, dead-locking or ‘bloc’ technology (the latter patented by MSL) is inherent to the way the locking assembly is designed to suit the requirements of the end application. The patented bloc anti-jacking system is highly effective and incorporated into many MSL shotbolts deployed in electric locking applications. The bloc technology uses a ring of steel balls in a shaped internal housing to physically jam the actuated bolt in place. A range of marine locks is widely used on Superyachts for rapid lockdown security from the helm Real life applications for MSL anti-jacking and bloc-equipped shotbolts include installation in the back of supermarket trucks to secure the roller shutter. Once locked from the cab, or remotely using radio technology, these shutters cannot be forced open by anyone with ‘undesirable intentions’ armed with a jemmy. A range of marine locks is widely used on Superyachts for rapid lockdown security from the helm. While anti-jacking features are an option on these shotbolts, consideration was given to the construction materials to provide durability in saltwater environments. Marine locks use corrosion-proof stainless steel, which is also highly polished to be aesthetically pleasing to suit the prestigious nature of the vessel while hiding the innovative technology that prevents the lock being forced open by intruders who may board the craft. Rotary and proportional solenoids sound unlikely but are now common A less obvious example of integrated technology to prevent forced override is a floor lock. This lock assembly is mounted beneath the floor with round-top stainless-steel bolts that project upwards when actuated. They are designed to lock all-glass doors and are arguably the only discreet and attractive way to lock glass doors securely. In a prestigious installation at a historic entranceway in Edinburgh University, the floor locks are remotely controlled from an emergency button behind the reception desk. They act on twin sets of glass doors to quickly allow the doors to close and then lock them closed with another set of subfloor locks. No amount of stamping on or hitting the 15mm protruding bolt pin will cause it to yield, thus preventing intruders from entering. Or leaving! Explosion proofing In many environments, electric locking technology must be ATEX certified to mitigate any risk of explosion. For example, remote electric locking is used widely on oil and gas rigs for stringent access control, general security and for emergency shutter release in the event of fire. It’s also used across many industrial sectors where explosion risks exist, including flour milling, In many environments, electric locking technology must be ATEX certified to mitigate any risk of explosionpowder producers, paint manufacture, etc. This adds a new dimension to the actuator design, demanding not only intrinsically safe electrical circuits and solenoid coils, but the careful selection of metals and materials to eliminate the chance of sparks arising from moving parts. Resilience under pressure The technology boundaries of solenoids are always being pushed. Rotary and proportional solenoids sound unlikely but are now common. More recently, while not directly related to security in the traditional sense, proportional solenoid valves for accurately controlling the flow of hydrogen and gases now exist. Magnet Schultz has an extensive and somewhat innovative new range of hydrogen valves proving popular in the energy and automotive sectors (Fig. 2-6). There’s a different kind of security risk at play here when dealing with hydrogen under pressures of up to 1050 bar. Bio security Less an issue for the complexity of locking technology but more an imperative for the effectiveness of an electric lock is the frequent use of shotbolts in the bio research sector. Remote electric locking is commonplace in many bioreactor applications. Cultures being grown inside bioreactors can be undesirable agents, making 100% dependable locking of bioreactor lids essential to prevent untimely access or the unwanted escape of organisms. Again, that has proven to be topical in the current climate of recurring coronavirus outbreaks around the world. More than meets the eye In part one, I started by headlining that there’s more to electric lock actuation in all manner of security applications than meets the eye and pointed out that while electric locking is among the most ubiquitous examples of everyday security, the complexity often involved and the advanced technologies deployed typically go unnoticed.Integrating the simplest linear actuator into a complex system is rarely simple For end users, that’s a very good thing. But for electro-mechanical engineers designing a system, it can present a challenge. Our goal at Magnet Schultz is to provide a clearer insight into today’s electric locking industry sector and the wide range of locking solutions available – from the straightforward to the specialized and sophisticated. Integrating the simplest linear actuator into a complex system is rarely simple. There’s no substitute for expertise and experience, and that’s what MSL offers as an outsource service to designers. One benefit afforded to those of us in the actuator industry with a very narrow but intense focus is not just understanding the advantages and limitations of solenoid technology, but the visibility of, and participation in, emerging developments in the science of electric locking. Knowing what’s achievable is invaluable in every project development phase.