From a security perspective, lighting can have a substantial impact on reducing the fear of crime. Sufficient lighting is necessary to see and be seen. An adequate level of lighting should allow the identification of a face from a distance of about 30 feet.
Outdoor lighting should be uniformly spread to reduce the contrast between illuminated areas and shadows. Better consistency of lighting can be achieved by using more fixtures with lower wattage rather than less fixtures with higher wattage bulbs.
The placement and types of lighting is also important. Too often lighting is obstructed by a structure, vegetation or mature trees. Maintaining lighting fixtures is as important as trimming plants to preserve visibility.
For large outdoor lights, try to avoid mercury vapor or metal halide bulbs. These types of light offer a much lower quality of light. These lights appear yellow and make identifying colors and details difficult. The modern solution is LED, which offer a better quality white light and are also efficient to operate.
Deputy Charles Skipper
Crime Prevention & Community Awareness Unit.
Deputy Skipper is certified by the State of Florida as both a Crime Prevention Practitioner and Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) specialist.