According to the National Lighting Bureau, 90% of all crime occurs after dark. Jail-cell interviews with convicted delinquents not only reveal the motives for their behavior, but also shed light on contributing factors that may deter them. If a potential criminal is concerned that his act can be seen and he will be identified, he is less likely to continue. Security systems like barriers, guards and alarms can be surmounted or dismantled, but a potential criminal will find it extremely difficult to avoid a motion-tripped floodlight. Although lighting alone will not prevent crime, basic principles of security lighting can give a criminal reason to think twice before pursuing his derelict intentions.
Hubbell Lighting, Inc.'s recent 1996 Crime Prevention Seminar at its Western Training Center in Anaheim, California invited law enforcement officers from throughout Southern California to participate in a one-day training program on the basics of security lighting. By understanding the basic factors that hinder or enhance the vision of a potential criminal or a witness and that light levels and color rendering differences decrease exponentially with distance, these crime prevention officers have been given the valuable opportunity to increase job performance and save more potential victims' lives.
Attendees of this seminar learned to "Deter, Disable and Detect" a potential criminal with attractive, energy-efficient lighting techniques. As the essence of good landscape lighting is security lighting, a responsible Landscape Architect may incorporate economically efficient and aesthetically pleasing security lighting into each design. For clients that balk at lighting expenses, the seminar addressed the ever-increasing rates of vandalism and victimization that costs billions of dollars in losses each year; as Ted Ake, Manager of Training for Hubbell Lighting is fond of saying, a client "cannot afford not to have a good lighting system!"
Landscape Architects interested in educating themselves on the basics of effective security lighting may contact Hubbell Lighting, Inc. at 703-382-6111 or the New Jersey Crime Prevention Officer's Center for a copy of the instructional video, "Security Lighting."