Good night lighting allows one to see well and be clearly seen, and thus assures the security of all those who work or are active at night. It is wrong, however, to associate intense illumination with safety and moderate lighting with danger. Unfortunately, over-illumination often arises from this widespread but incorrect belief!
Strong artificial lighting only creates a false sense of security and does not increase safety levels. Poorly designed lighting systems actually diminish visibility and increase the risk of accidents! Recent studies have shown the following:
- most thefts occur during the day;
- the number of car accidents at intersections does not decrease when illumination is increased;
- the number of highway accidents decreases when lighting is extinguished;
- there is little or no evidence for a link between night lighting and criminal activity.
Finally, here is an example demonstrating that the lack of nocturnal lighting does not encourage delinquents. Several educational institutions in Texas, Oregon and California have adopted the “Dark Campus Program” by banning night lighting outside school hours. Contrary to expectations, there has been a sharp decrease in acts of vandalism.