Staying One Step Ahead of Crime with LED Lighting
Imagine walking down a dark street on your way home from work. It’s impossible to see what’s ahead of you, or even worse… what’s behind you. Unfortunately, crime happens everywhere, but what if there was a simple way to help prevent crime before it happens?
Shining a Spotlight on Safety
A recent study from Crime Labs, conducted in New York City, is demonstrating how LED lighting can help prevent crime. The study focused on an area of roughly 80 housing developments that suffered from extremely elevated levels of crime.Through a controlled trial, half of the developments received upgraded LED street lighting while the other half did not.
After the installation, crime rates in the LED-lit areas dropped significantly.
It was discovered that increased levels of lighting led to a 36% reduction in “index crimes” —a subset of offenses that includes murder, robbery, aggravated assault, and property crimes —and, more specifically, a 39% reduction in index crimes that took place at night. This study marks the first use of a randomized controlled trial (RCT)—the gold-standard in scientific research—to measure the impact of lighting on crime.
Surprisingly, it wasn’t solely the new bulbs, but the quality of the lighting that actually made the areas safer. Proper lighting design can change the way humans feel about their surroundings from a safety point of view.
Securing A Safer Neighborhood
The IES publishes a guide for security lighting for people, property and infrastructure (IES G-1-16) that highlights recommended light levels for security purposes. This doesn’t always mean just making the areas brighter, but making sure they have the correct level of light to achieve perfect visibility for the specific space.
Illuminating the Streets
LEDs are known for their energy-saving capabilities, long lifespan, and lower maintenance cost. But not everyone is aware of the effects LEDs can have on mood and safety.
LEDs have better color rendering than traditional lamp sources. Many area lights currently have HPS lamps, which have poor rendering and can make individuals feel uncomfortable because they cannot see distinct features or objects in the space. Improved visibility and lighting helps an individual better observe their surroundings and respond faster to potential threats.
Proper levels of light are shown to make people feel safer when walking at night. This can reduce the number of people who avoid leaving their homes at night, reduce social isolation, improve physical and mental well-being and increase community pride.
Leaving Criminals Nowhere to Hide
Lighting not only deters crime by prevention but by directly catching criminals as well. Improved lighting makes it easier to see criminal’s clothing, faces, license plate numbers, and more. With LED lighting, images are clearer, brighter, and more visible, saving surveillance cameras a whole lot of leg work.
This innovative study proves that strategic lighting design combined with new LED technology can have a positive impact on deterring crime.
If safety is a primary concern, consider upgrading to LEDs. Along with Improving the quality of light, you will also receive the benefits of energy savings. With the growing interest in lighting control systems, you have the ability to design a space that is well lit and provides an economical solution to a lighting design.