Lighting for alarm assessment allows security personnel to maintain visual assessment capability during darkness. When security lighting provisions are less than optimal, additional security posts, patrols, night-vision devices, or other provisions are necessary for acceptable alarm assessment.


Security lighting to be used in vital areas and along perimeter fences when the situation dictates that the area or fence must be under continuous or periodic observation during nighttime hours.


Lighting when properly used in conjunction with video cameras may reduce the number of security personnel needed for alarm assessment. It may also enhance the personal protection of security personnel by reducing the possibilities of concealment and attack from a determined intruder.




Security lighting is desirable for those sensitive areas or structures within and at the perimeter that are under constant video observation. Such areas or structures include perimeter isolation zones, vital buildings, storage areas, and vulnerable control points of communication, power supply, and utility infrastructure systems. In interior areas where night operations are conducted, adequate lighting facilitates the detection of unauthorized persons approaching or attempting malicious acts within the area. Security lighting also has considerable value as a deterrent to intruders and may make the job of the adversary more difficult. Lighting is an essential element of an integrated physical security program.


Perimeter lighting needs should be based on the threat, site conditions along the perimeter, video assessment capabilities, and available security personnel. Security lighting should be designed and operated to facilitate the detection of intruders approaching or attempting to gain entry into protected areas and to discourage unauthorized entry.


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Example of lighting with hot spots, dark areas, and dirt ground cover.


Security lighting enables security personnel to observe activities using alarm assessment and surveillance cameras around or inside a facility while minimizing their physical presence throughout the facility. Having adequate illumination levels at all approaches to a facility does   not necessarily discourage unauthorized entry. However, adequate lighting improves the ability of security personnel to visually assess intrusion alarms with the use of video cameras and intervene in the event of an unauthorized access attempt. Lighting is implemented with other security measures, such as intrusion detection sensors, video assessment equipment, and alarm control and display systems as part of an integrated facility security system.


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Assessment visibility improved with even lighting and a regular ground surface material


Optimum security lighting is achieved by adequate, even light in perimeter isolation zones. Additionally, the use of deterrent lighting (i.e., glaring lights directed away from the fenced perimeter) can augment security perimeter lighting as a psychological deterrent to intruder ingress. In addition to seeing long distances, security personnel must be able to see low contrasts, such as indistinct outlines of silhouettes and must be able to detect an intruder who may be exposed to view for only a few seconds. Higher levels of illumination, such as that provided by deterrent lighting systems, if properly implemented, can improve these assessment abilities.