It’s no secret that adequate lighting gives people a sense of comfort, familiarity and safety, but it also creates an opportunity to enhance security from within the luminaire. With modern lighting design, LED luminaires are able to provide even levels of light, greater uniformity and increased energy savings, all while monitoring exterior spaces with an integrated security solution.
With so much industry talk about inherent advantages in leveraging the real estate of a luminaire, we sat down to chat with Jay Sachetti, senior marketing manager, Connected Communities for Eaton’s Lighting Division, about the reasons exterior lighting is an excellent platform for security applications.
Why is exterior lighting an ideal platform for security solutions?
JS: A traditional security solution requires some form of power equipment to supply the right type of power to the camera and networking equipment. For this to work, you need line-voltage coming into the pole, while the devices usually run on a low-voltage, or DC, solution. You also need a form of communication — some way for the camera feed to reach the cloud or server. All of this power and networking equipment has to be stored somewhere, and it’s typically in a box bolted to the pole or installed at the base by electrical contractors in a series of trips up and down the pole in a bucket truck.
Now, with completely integrated, turnkey solutions the process is simplified so that all of the power and networking gear, and even the camera, is built into the luminaire. Installation is easier, because all of the wiring is completed and pre-configured inside of the luminaire at the factory. Instead of having two separate installations in two separate bucket trucks, you only need one. The result is significantly lower cost of installation and higher ease of installation.
The opportunity to address common aesthetic issues present another reason to leverage the LED luminaire. Bulky boxes and camera mounting gear simply aren’t attractive. You put this beautiful luminaire up on a pole, but then clutter it with all of the other equipment. Solutions like LumenSafe, in which everything is integrated cleanly, make for a much more aesthetically pleasing exterior.
Finally, by integrating the two, you’re ensuring that your camera has the best lighting possible, and the two don’t interfere with each other. There’s less of a need for infrared cameras and other solutions that may cost more and not perform as well.
What is in store for exterior lighting as connected lighting technology continues to evolve?
JS: Eaton’s LumenSafe is one great example of leveraging the platform of lighting to bring more value and provide new solutions. The industry plans to continue to pursue ways to incorporate additional sensing technologies and built-in communication capabilities, such as 5G and Wi-Fi networks. We’re also looking to include other types of sensing capabilities that can feed other software applications to impact things such as analytics on traffic in your parking lot or vehicle communications.
The bottom line is, lighting will continue to be an ideal platform for the expansion of sensing and analytical capabilities.