Outdoor Security Lighting

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Today, outdoor security lighting is a universal feature for buildings and homes. It comes in many different forms — wall packs, floodlights, step lights, strip lights, etc. — and it’s more popular than ever thanks to energy-saving LEDs. And, as the most energy-efficient option on the market today, outdoor LED lighting is a functional necessity for both retrofits and new construction.

Longer lifespans, reduced maintenance, improved energy efficiency, and cooler light temperatures for better visibility are just some of the reasons for LED’s popularity in the outdoor security lighting market. Add in less dead space, smart technology capabilities, and just a safer building overall, and you have plenty of reasons to bring your outdoor security lighting to the next level.  

Better visibility & security

First off, here’s the main reason for outdoor lighting: when there’s better visibility, quality light can actually increase feelings of safety and security. We’ve all seen parking lots or streetlights that are too warm, offering low visibility in even the best conditions. LED lights are more precise, allowing you to point the light exactly where you need it to eliminate dead zones.

The reason for that? The cooler light temperatures improve visibility. Instead of a yellow backdrop that casts distorted shadows, LEDs with white light cast better directional lighting with little to no uplight.

The improved lighting can also help prevent accidents around entrances, exits, and even commercial delivery spaces where deliveries are loaded or dropped off.

Smarter security lighting

Lighting integrated with sensors is not a new development, but rarely are they integrated for outdoor lighting. Instead, steady-state lighting is the norm, leading to wasted energy consumption.

However, it’s possible to get the best of both worlds. Steady-state lighting ensures that a building has the right amount of illumination to deter potential crime. Some facility managers are isolating their all-night lighting fixtures to a few key areas such as entrances, exits, and around a building’s perimeter or windows.

Install motion sensors in less important areas that only need power when in-use, such as pathway lighting. With motion sensors, you can ensure that the lights are only on when you actually need them, improving your bottom line.

Not to mention, motion sensors are an important deterrent that startles potential intruders. For commercial spaces, this can indicate a security patrol is looking after a property.  

The best part? Motion sensors and time-sensitive light programming can be integrated with virtually all outdoor lighting. Yes, that includes parking lot lighting, street lighting, exterior building lighting, pathway lighting, and more. Lighting schedules can be programmed automatically or monitored remotely for total control. 

Efficient outdoor security lighting

Next to better security, efficiency is at the top of the list of outdoor lighting benefits.

Flat out, LEDs use 60%-70% less energy than their traditional counterparts. Add in the longer lifespans, and now building owners and managers can also cut down on maintenance costs.

But the better performance doesn’t just stop there. Because LEDs consume less energy to cast higher quality light, it doesn’t emit as much heat, improving ambient temperature. For outdoor lighting, heat emission may not seem like much of an issue. However, heat emission from indoor lighting can have a real impact on a building’s HVAC system. It only gets worse if the building doesn’t have efficient insulation installed.


Commercial building energy codes can be quite demanding, requiring automatic shutoff or light reduction depending on the time of day. With adaptive dimming, LEDs can not only save you more money, but they also don’t shift color when they’re dimmed.

While traditional incandescent lamps shift toward a warmer color temperature when dimmed, LEDs do not. Even though it’s dimmed, the better light quality from LEDs will remain constant. You’ll have optimal illumination while reducing energy consumption during off-peak hours.

Residential applications

We talked a lot about commercial applications, but what about residential outdoor lighting?

Whatever you’re looking to install outside a home, it’s best to go with warmer temperatures. From floodlights for illuminating large spaces to ground-level pathway lights, warm temperature lighting is much softer. While warmer temperatures don’t work in commercial spaces, it still casts enough light to properly illuminate a smaller space. Plus, it has a better aesthetic appeal for homes.

As for the type of lights, that depends on the homeowner’s lighting plan. For entertainment purposes, string lights and pathway lights might account for most of the budget. For security purposes, motion sensor outdoor wall lights with replaceable LED flood light bulbs should do the trick. Just make sure outdoor security lighting is hardwired into the home.

Got an outdoor lighting project on your hands?

If you need to find outdoor security lighting for commercial or residential properties, we have over 500+ branches nationwide with a knowledgeable staff ready to assist you. If you already know what you want, shop us online and get free shipping on all orders $75 and up.

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