Shedding Light on Illumination

The basic elements of lighting and their impact on security operations

LED Lighting: In addition to the LED infrared lighting described above, cameras are also available with built-in, visible light LEDs. LEDs operate on low-voltage DC and very low power levels; also they can have extremely good color rendition, long service life, are shock resistant and are mercury-free. However, despite their high efficiency, LED lights require heat management since their output trails off at higher temperatures - usually a heat sink is needed - and capital costs remain high.

As with IR, separate LED light modules are available and some are now being installed for parking lot lighting. LED lighting technology is the object of high levels of research and development funding - efficiencies of production and operation are improving product performance and reducing capital and operating costs every few months.

David G. Aggleton, CPP, CSC, is president and principal consultant of Aggleton & Associates, Inc., located on New York. He has been practicing in the security system consulting and design field for over 30 years and has completed more than 500 design and implementation projects over the last 15 years. He can be reached at