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Darker nights require bright solutions

by Geny Caloisi

Britain is facing a winter filled with challenges, with threats of power cuts, higher utility bills, inflation and the cost of living crisis. In addition, celebrations, including the Christmas holiday period, make burglaries and intruders more likely.

To reduce energy costs, many people are talking about spending as much time as possible at the gym, working in pubs or coffee shops, or anywhere outside the house to reduce energy consumption, leaving their properties vulnerable to criminals. Even Young’s pubs started a promotion in the summer, encouraging ‘home workers’ to go and work at the pub. They will probably get more takers this winter.

According to reports, long dark evenings and shorter days result in a more than 10 per cent increase in burglaries. Most thefts and vandalism occur in unoccupied homes because they are the easiest targets. A good deterrent is to fake occupancy by leaving lights on or closing curtains to obscure onlookers’ view. With smart lighting, you can create the illusion that someone is home by turning on the light when it gets dark outside. Security solutions are the key to keeping us safe.

Benchmark magazine spoke with ADI to find secure and cost-effective ways to keep your home and family safe this winter with various intruder and smart home solutions.

On one of its webinars, ADI found that over 60% of installers are involved in projects where special lighting and cameras that can work in the darker hours are needed.

Various CCTV cameras with colour night vision are available from ADI for commercial and residential properties to help deter unwanted visitors.

“Product choice is one part of the ADI proposition, and with over 260 brands and 24,000 products, we’re certain that we can provide you with the right solution for your clients’ needs. Our product range features the latest technology in night-time security and intruder, ” says Kate Rose, ADI EMEA Marketing Director.

CCTV solutions for big and small

CCTV systems in larger retail and business establishments have been a common practice for many years. Car parks and other public places, such as shopping malls, hospitals, and schools, are usually covered by CCTV, security lighting, external detectors, and sensors.

But these solutions are no longer just for larger organisations. Security solutions have become a lifestyle choice for some homeowners due to increased suburban crime. Fortunately, people adopting the Smart home concept makes integrating security solutions easier.

Lighting and image definition

Lowlight areas in residential buildings, such as narrow walkways, stairwells, and other outdoor areas, are often difficult to monitor in the dark and can pose a risk to people.

While most major camera manufacturers now offer lowlight models that are susceptible to light and are designed to capture images at night, these are low-light cameras, not no-light ones.

Lighting has been identified as one of the biggest challenges for security installers, system integrators and end users when installing security cameras.

Cameras must perform well under challenging light conditions since many applications, such as intruder detection and facial recognition, run 24/7. If the illumination is inadequate, a high-performance camera can underperform. In the darkness, noisy images create false alarms and impact video analytics. Conversely, having no light can mean having no video analytics.

Whether we are talking about a security camera, a photographic camera, or a smartphone camera, any camera needs light to function. Having good lighting and a noise-free image also allows for a higher frame rate and lower bandwidth usage. Lowlight cameras can produce great results with significantly less light.

Using a lowlight camera without professional surveillance lighting is not advisable. LED illuminators make it possible to deliver a broader security coverage with a more basic lowlight camera, hence reducing costs.

Overlook the perimeter to your peril

Creating alerts and notifications as soon as anyone approaches a property allows users to see exactly what’s happening to respond appropriately to a delivery or a potential intruder.

This approach effectively removes blind spots with carefully placed detectors and sensors. From driveways to gardens, entrances to gates, walls, fences and much more.

How are these solutions used?

An excellent example of a security application is a bespoke IP security solution carried out by SMC for a Grade II-listed Manor House in Shropshire, UK, to deliver outstanding night-time surveillance images and actively combat crime.

This estate had no CCTV system, relying instead on halogen lighting with inbuilt PIR detectors.

A 24/7 monitoring solution was needed for the property’s security team to respond immediately to any security breaches, particularly at night.

SMC designed an IP surveillance system, fully integrated with Raytec White-Light IP Illuminators installed around the estate perimeter and the Manor House. IP addressability and connectivity were crucial to the system design, ensuring that the IP lighting could be automatically triggered by any network device to provide an instant visual response to any incident in real time.

A bespoke integration with a Crestron Control System also allowed remote control over the lighting at any time and was designed in-house by SMC using Raytec’s network lighting API.

OPTEX PIRs were installed to detect the first signs of an intruder and automatically trigger the Raytec Network Lighting as the first response line to deter potential intruders. Simultaneously the system sounds an internal alarm in the estate office and the manager’s apartment. An overall synergetic install.

To find out more, click here.

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