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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 170762 Find in a Library
Title: Light to Remember
Journal: Security Management  Volume:41  Issue:7  Dated:(July 1997)  Pages:38-43
Author(s): R W Mellard
Date Published: 1997
Page Count: 6
Type: Report (Technical Assistance)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: An effective security lighting plan should understand and use the known psychological effects of lighting to bring attention to suspicious activity through unexpected light and intimidating shadows instead of relying on continuous illumination.
Abstract: Movie directors such as Hitchcock have routinely used varied lighting to evoke emotions in the viewer. In contrast, security has long assumed that installing big, bright lights on a property would stop nighttime crime. However, the results of a study of security lighting and crime and vandalism at 12 public schools indicated that constant light may work against security by causing witnesses, private security, and the police to stop paying attention to a facility. Two ways to make lighting bring attention to suspicious activity are to use demand lighting that turns on only when motion is detected and to place luminaries around a property strategically to create shadows from criminals and make them easier to detect. Introducing shadows can also disorient intruders and thus make it easier for officers to apprehend them. The security manager must use enough light to cast a shadow, but not so much light that shadow projection begins to fade. The effective use of shadows and sudden changes in lighting encircle the criminal and grab the attention of observers. Illustration
Main Term(s): Crime prevention planning
Index Term(s): Facility security; Human factors engineering; Lighting; Security management
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