Cost-saving developments in security lighting

April 2011 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

New solid-state lighting technology delivers added benefits and opportunities to the security industry.

The lighting industry is not alone in benefiting from the development of high-power light emitting diodes (LEDs). The security industry has fast come to recognise the benefits of switching to LED-based illumination. These LED platforms deliver operational lifetimes of up to 50 000 hours – 50 times that of traditional lamps and consume less than 20% of the power for the same illumination levels. This translates into dramatically reduced running costs and lower CO2 emissions.

For the lighting industry, the development of white LEDs (phosphor-coated blue LED dies) was the big driver for the changeover. Before the development of blue LEDs in the mid 1990s made the generation of white light possible, the only LEDs available were infra-red and through red to green, from which it is impossible to generate white light.

Even before the breakthroughs in white-LED technology, security system manufacturers had begun to make use of high-power infra-red LED illuminators for covert CCTV surveillance. Infra-red, which is invisible to the human eye when used with low light cameras, enables true night-time surveillance. This security lighting, specifically designed for CCTV, initially used tungsten-halogen based illuminators and later illuminators based on infra-red powered LEDs. You could say in fact that security systems manufacturers were already a step ahead of the lighting industry in the use of LED illumination.

Following the development of the white LED, security systems manufacturers were able to extend the application of security lighting to cover night-time colour imaging. This became possible thanks to the fact that the spectral output of white LEDs follows the photopic curve – describing the colour response of the human eye and of colour camera more closely than incandescent light sources – and hence is better able to produce accurate renditions of the colours in a CCTV scene. By contrast, the spectrum of high-power sodium lamps peaks in the yellow and metal halide lamps peak in the blue, neither of which are beneficial to colour CCTV, as they cause major shifting of the colours within scene.

Safety lighting goes solid state

Security systems manufacturers like Bosch are also developing white-LED based safety lighting systems, used to illuminate perimeter fencing and critical infrastructures such as power stations, rail networks and airports. To put the potential savings achievable by white-LED based systems in perspective, consider a perimeter fence of typically 50 km illuminated along its length by 1 kW metal-halide safety lights, every 40 m. This makes a total of 1250 lamps and a total power consumption of 1,25 MW. Replacing these metal-halide lamps with white-LED illuminators, which produce the same illumination level but with a power consumption of only around 35 W, reduces the consumption to around 44 kW. In real terms this is a saving of nearly 97% in electrical running costs. In addition to savings on power are the savings possible in maintenance costs. Metal-halide lamps burning approximately 12 hours a day will need replacing every six months. In contrast, Bosch’s AEGIS white LED illuminators will operate for a minimum of five years without degradation. These are potential cost-savings no administrator of a large site can possibly ignore.

Moreover, the light distribution of an LED-based illuminator can be more precisely controlled than with traditional light sources. This helps to eliminate light pollution as the light can be directed precisely on the scene instead of being thrown skyward and to surrounding areas where it will add to light pollution (as well as wasting more than 30% of the energy consumed). The safety of an area is enhanced when directional light is used as areas are more evenly illuminated with fewer shadows.

Double the cost-savings

Advances in high-power white LED technology has led to another interesting development. In the past, separate installations were needed for security and safety lighting. This was unavoidable, of course, since the spectral output of high-power sodium and metal-halide lamps (traditionally used for safety lighting) are not suitable for colour CCTV. With white LED illuminators, however, it is now possible to combine security and safety lighting in a single installation, thanks to the white LEDs spectral output which is ideal for colour CCTV imaging. The benefits are obvious and include significantly lower hardware and installation costs, since one installation can now perform both tasks and lead to further reductions in energy consumption.

End users have been quick to recognise these benefits and all predictions point to a thriving new market developing for security systems manufacturers.

Extreme performance

LED lighting technology not only provides better economy and longer operational lifetimes than traditional lighting technologies, the products are intrinsically more robust with better shock resistance. They are therefore better suited for use in areas prone to vibration such as road bridges, poles, pylons, wind turbines, ships and rail networks. A disadvantage, however, is that like all semiconductor devices their performance is temperature sensitive and the output will degrade over time. The ageing effect is rather dramatic as LEDs output can degrade by around 10% in the first six months of operation and then continue to degrade over the rest of the units lifetime.

This disadvantage is overcome by Bosch’s AEGIS infra-red and white-light which have been specifically designed to combat LED degradation and temperature fluctuation. AEGIS features a feedback circuit that compensates for any degradation in light output caused by increasing temperatures and ageing. This patent-pending technology is known as Constant Light. The system continuously measures the light output from the LEDs and automatically adjusts the drive current to maintain light output at a constant level. With Bosch’s Constant Light technology, the light output of the AEGIS illuminator is guaranteed to remain constant at temperatures of +50° Celsius.

AEGIS also features 3D diffuser (Black Diamond) technology which delivers uniform illumination to a scene. This ensures that all radiant energy emitted by the LEDs is directed at the scene with no leakage skywards as happens with circular emitting illuminators. What is more, the illumination is evenly distributed between the foreground and background, eliminating hotspots and foreground overexposure and allowing the camera to operate correctly within its dynamic range. The net effect of this technology is increased dynamic range and better CCTV imaging.

For more information contact Bosch Security Systems - South Africa & Sub-Sahara Africa, +27 (0)11 651 9818, elaine.ogorman@za.bosch.com , www.boschsecurity.co.za


Credit(s)




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Securing Savannah Hills Estate
August 2019, Rhyco Risk Projects , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection
Savannah Hills Estate in Midrand planned a security upgrade which was awarded to Rhyco Risk Projects. The project started in March 2019 and was completed in May 2019.

Read more...
10 things to consider when shopping for a VMS
August 2019, Genetec , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Integrated Solutions
Today’s video management systems (VMS) provide a wide range of tools and capabilities that help make security personnel more efficient by allowing them to focus on what really matters.

Read more...
How far are we really at with artificial intelligence?
August 2019, Axis Communications SA , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, IT infrastructure, Residential Estate (Industry)
Justin Ludik unpacks exactly how far AI has come and what it potentially can do for society and more importantly, surveillance.

Read more...
Enhancing security with AI
August 2019, Hikvision South Africa , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
Hikvision explains how residential estates can revolutionise their security strategies and outcomes with artificial intelligence.

Read more...
More than simply a camera
August 2019, Forbatt SA, Secutel Technologies , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Residential Estate (Industry)
With the human element being the weakest link in all security solutions, Hi-Tech Security Solutions looks at the pros and cons of using body-worn cameras in estates.

Read more...
The importance of effective perimeter security
August 2019, Elf Rentals - Electronic Security Solutions, Stafix , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Residential Estate (Industry)
Protecting the perimeter is critical for any residential estate; how does one go about making sure your perimeter is as secure as possible?

Read more...
Security playing speedcop
August 2019, Axis Communications SA, Hikvision South Africa , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Residential Estate (Industry)
Estates now have a legal precedent to manage their traffic and fine people in the estate for violations of the rules; all they need do is find solutions that will support them.

Read more...
CathexisVision video management software
August 2019, Cathexis Technologies , Products, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
The CathexisVision IP video management software (VMS) helps clients get the most out of their surveillance investment and reap rewards for their companies.

Read more...
Capture every detail with Smart PIR kits
August 2019, Longse Distribution , Home Security, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Residential Estate (Industry)
Longse Technology offers DIY smart security kits that are easy to install and offer a Wi-Fi range that can reach up to 300 metres.

Read more...
Future-facing cameras
August 2019, Bosch Building Technologies , Products, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
All FLEXIDOME IP starlight 8000i cameras feature built-in Intelligent Video Analytics, making them intuitive, and elevates their importance far beyond security alone.

Read more...