4 Lighting Maintenance Tips

Numbering and routine surveys are just two ways campuses can keep their exterior lights shining brightly.

Proper lighting improves safety, prevents crime and improves the feeling of safety on any campus. Here are a few ways to simplify the process.

1. Number each light: Lighting problems often go unreported. This often results from the fact that maintenance personnel work during the day while the problems are generally seen at night. Make it easy for all staff members by numbering all exterior lights with tags that are visible during the night at ground level.

This simplifies the process of reporting problems. Light numbers and locations can then be indicated on a map that provide the lamp type, wattage, model number and ballast requirement, along with information on critical replacement parts.

2. Conduct routine light surveys during day and evening: Daytime surveys often reveal the cause of lighting problems, such as discolored lenses that reduce lighting efficiency or broken light fixtures.  You may be surprised at what you find. Nighttime surveys reveal the results of these problems, including burned out lights or lighting conflicts with overgrown tree canopies. 

3. Include actual light measurement at ground level beneath each exterior fixture: High efficiency exterior lights can lose up to 60 percent of their efficiency from a variety of causes, including bulb deterioration, ballast failure and dirty or discolored lenses.

This measurement process will require a commercial grade industrial light meter. Quality meters from companies such as Extech can be purchased for prices of $100.00 and above.

4. Be creative: Using a light meter while recording the results can be a challenge requiring more hands than we possess. A little ingenuity, however, can resolve this problem. The photograph below shows a golf cart that was modified to mount a light meter and writing pad for greatly simplified light surveys.  



If you appreciated this article and want to receive more valuable industry content like this, click here to sign up for our FREE digital newsletters!

About the Author


Jim Grayson is a senior security consultant. His career spans more than 35 years in law enforcement and security consulting. He worked for UCLA on a workplace violence study involving hospitals, schools and small retail environments and consulted with NIOSH on a retail violence prevention study.Grayson’s diverse project experience includes schools, universities, hospitals, municipal buildings, high-rise structures and downtown revitalization projects. He holds a degree in criminal justice and a CPP security management credential from ASIS. He is a nationally recognized speaker and trainer on a wide range of security topics.He can be reached at jimgrayson@mindspring.com. Note: The views expressed by guest bloggers and contributors are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, Campus Safety magazine.

Leading in Turbulent Times: Effective Campus Public Safety Leadership for the 21st Century

This new webcast will discuss how campus public safety leaders can effectively incorporate Clery Act, Title IX, customer service, “helicopter” parents, emergency notification, town-gown relationships, brand management, Greek Life, student recruitment, faculty, and more into their roles and develop the necessary skills to successfully lead their departments. Register today to attend this free webcast!

Get Our Newsletters
Campus Safety Conference promo