Ensuring that members of the community are safe at night, whether they are driving on the road or walking on foot, should be a top priority of any local government.
Installation of cameras, lights, emergency call stations, and local police patrolling are all ways in which the community can foster a safe environment.
However, there are ways to improve upon these measures. It has been shown that simply replacing older fluorescent and incandescent light bulbs with LED lights can improve public safety.
Increased Brightness and More Consistent Lighting
With advancements in LED lights out-pacing that of incandescent and fluorescent, LEDs are able to shine much brighter and will offer more consistent and full lighting.
The greater visibility and more extensive light coverage increases awareness at night with objects, people, and animals visible from a far greater distance than before.
Being able to identify possible threats earlier helps community members avoid harmful situations, and increased lighting helps in getting a clear view of their appearance. So, if anything were to happen, any citizen can give law enforcement a clear picture of the perpetrator.
This brighter lighting benefits both drivers on the road and pedestrians on the sidewalk. For drivers, the installation of LED street light fixtures helps with nighttime visibility.
This gives motorists the ability to clearly see all road hazards earlier than with older light sources. Those hazards may be anything from large animals crossing the road, fallen tree branches, large potholes, or even pedestrians in dark clothing that are crossing the road.
With pedestrians, there has been shown to be a correlation between nighttime darkness and crime; with the level of light decreasing, the rate of crime is seen to increase.
A 2018 New York City study found that switching over to brighter lighting and adding more streetlights in neighborhoods was able to reduce crime by up to 39% in many areas. This offers safer travel on foot for those out later at night as well as protects houses from burglaries.
Longevity and Durability
LED lights have superior durability and a longer lifespan than fluorescent lights and incandescent bulbs. LEDs have an expected lifespan of around 50,000 hours, which is about 50 times longer than incandescent bulbs and eight to ten times longer than fluorescents.
This kind of longevity guarantees that the increased light coverage does not come at the cost of longevity. There is no trade-off between coverage and lifespan; LEDs can assure quality all around without the sacrifice of any aspect of safety or reliability.
New LED lights also do not simply burn out all at once like older bulbs. Around the end of its 50,000-hour lifespan, the LED light begins to gradually dim as a result of the lighting inside burning out and dying.
There is no noticeable loss of light initially, but soon it will act as an indicator to the local government that the bulb is burning out and needs replacement.
This kind of built-in warning system means that maintenance can happen before the light source itself dies completely. This prevents any holes in the light coverage from sprouting up due to a lack of warning.
Decreasing the chance of lighting failures ensures that everything that needs to be lit up is kept safe. A lack of lighting will increase the probability of accidents on the road and increase the chances of crime. Having a network of reliable and long-lasting lights deters crime, violent activity, and greatly increases road safety.
Integration with Smart Technology
With the installation of newer LED light fixtures comes the added benefit of integration with smart technology. Before, lights could only truly work as lights and nothing beyond that.
But with advancements in smart technology and monitoring equipment, streetlights can now be used to identify crime and respond to it at a far faster rate than before.
What does this smart technology integration look like? Smart lights can be installed with numerous sensors and devices to monitor the surrounding area; it can monitor anything from sounds to video, depending on what would most benefit law enforcement.
In terms of sound monitoring, these sensors can be programmed to identify the sound of a gunshot. This recognition then alerts the police to the possible occurrence of a shooting and the presence of a firearm on the scene.
This kind of alert system improves on police response time and can even help the local government map out any problem areas in the city. They can chart out areas where gunshots are heard most often and increase police presence in those areas while decreasing patrols in other, safer areas.
Smart technology can also come in the form of controlling the light’s brightness. LEDs have a far greater range of intensity compared to older lights, with LEDs able to be controlled with ease to give subtle and great adjustments to light output.
This kind of control can be implemented with other smart technology features and can be installed in problem areas of the city for greater safety. If there is high gang activity in an area or if there is a certain location that draws trouble, smart lights can be installed to deter these acts of violence or vandalism.
By monitoring these problem areas, security specialists can see if there seems to be trouble occurring in these locations. The lights can then be controlled to flash until the crowd disperses. Having this kind of consistent coverage will tell the community that an area is being looked after by law enforcement, and any trouble that happens there will not be tolerated.
With these advancements now easily available and economically affordable to be purchased and installed, public safety must advance along with it. The incandescent and fluorescent lights of the past have served their purpose and have done as much as they are going to do. It is time that they need to be replaced.
LED lights can improve public safety in a myriad of ways, giving the local government an edge when dealing with crime and improving safety across the board with motorists and pedestrians.