Cameras are good after the fact for detectives, lawyers, and courts, but lighting is what deters the bad guys.

There are so many security system options on the market with different price points and a variety of installation requirements, making it is hard for the consumer to figure out what they need. When designing a security system, it’s not uncommon for people to look at security cameras first when planning their property protection system, and they think that is all they need. After all, who doesn’t want to see what’s happening on their property if a break-in is occurring? It gives owners a sense of security. But what if your camera system—even if it’s state of the art—doesn’t see what you need it to see at night when most of the crime happens? And more importantly, would a camera be enough of a deterrent to stop an intruder before breaching the perimeter?  Isn’t that what the customer really wants?

The truth is cameras work well in the daytime, but at night, they require lighting to capture great images. The right perimeter lighting can deter intrusions and enhance security camera systems, providing the owner with optimal protection. 


Click here to read more about why you should turn the lights on before the camera →

When you’re asking yourself what is more effective for your perimeter security—lights vs. cameras, here are three reasons why lighting should be the first thing to consider and at the top of your property protection to-do list.

Lights Illuminate Your Property and Deter Crime . Cameras Do Not. 

The more you shine the optimal light on your property, the less chance you’ll have intruders. Remember, cameras are good after the fact for detectives, police, lawyers, and courts. Unfortunately, after an incident, it is too late for your property. Intruders are less likely to enter the premises when there is perimeter lighting, thus limiting exposure to an intrusion in the first place.

The best perimeter security lighting requires a setup that blends with the optimal operating range of the human eye at night: opt for low intensity lighting with overlapping beam patterns from multiple sources to prevent shadows and blind spots and glare-free so that even in the worst of weather conditions you and your camera can still see what’s going on. Perimeter lighting mounted on a fence will give you complete coverage even if one light goes out.

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Lights Hinder Intruders. Cameras Only Capture Intruders in the Act.

If anyone is still brave enough to try and breach your perimeter, even with your perimeter lights on (dusk to dawn), it’s important to be able to stop them. Here’s where a “glare zone” comes in handy. This is different than the glare-free lights we talked about above. A “glare zone” is a zone created by the height of the luminaire and  a special lighting feature called “FlashGlare. When any potential intruders enter this “glare zone,” they’re quickly blinded by a glare from the light, which should stop them dead in their tracks. Here at CAST, our 3rd generation perimeter security lights have been formulated with the optimal optics, illuminance values, and light ratios, all wrapped up in a precision beam that can create an intruder-stopping “glare zone” while also making sure that security guards and those protecting your property can still effectively monitor the site and do their jobs.

Lights Help Cameras Capture Better Images. 

The #1 goal of any security system is to stop all intruders, and a perimeter lighting system can work as a stand alone solution or integrate with a camera solution to see better at night. Unfortunately, sometimes a very determined trespasser can breach your perimeter. With the optimal perimeter lighting system, your security cameras can capture precise images so your facial recognition system or local authorities can go to work to put a name to that intruder. This also means that with the proper security light setup, which includes both low voltage lights and quality cameras, the property owner can create a layered approach to perimeter security.

When you’re considering lighting vs. cameras in terms of what is more effective for protecting against perimeter intrusions, remember that both have their place, but opting for lights first, cameras second is the best way to protect against a perimeter intrusion. Shine the optimal light on your property and let the cameras do their work in the best light possible. Have questions about your property perimeter lighting plan? We’re here to help! Complete our contact form or check out our blog here.