Crime and Safety

Light Pollution in Relation to Crime and Safety

Everyone expects lighting to reduce crime and increase safety. However if lighting is poorly designed or installed, it can have the opposite affect.

A straight forward application of "Lighting Standards" can result in hazardous situations. Good engineering judgement and common sense must be used in the selection and installation of lights. Otherwise, expensive light installations will produce less than desirable affects.


There are lots of stories (good and bad) about how crime is encouraged by less light and how crime is deterred by good light. Here is a link from Indiana, USA. It provides links to studies that have addressed the myths and studies into this topic.

There are an increasing number of articles about the decoupling of crime and light. It should be pointed out that "good" lighting can reduce crime. However, increasing illumination levels and increasing glare do not seem to reduce crime. Here is an article from an Iowa newspaper.

If you know of other studies that are available on the www. Please let us know so that we may review and post them as well.


Many street light designs and installations help motorists and pedestrians see and navigate at night. However, less than optimal driving conditions or poor visibility can make otherwise adequate lighting hazardous. These may be traced to:

  • rain,
  • dirty and pitted windshields,
  • rain-speckled eyeglasses,
  • poor eye glass perscriptions, and
  • general reduction in visual acquity with age or illness.  

The article Older Drivers' Vision Woes Studied was published by United Press International (Copyright © 1999). It points out a few of the unalterable affects of aging on our sight. The elderly are affected by poor lighting and glare, more than the "typical" citizen. However as we live longer, our average population is becoming older. More attention must be paid to the problem of poor lighting. Most would agree that installing glare-free lighting will help prevent accidents now and long into the future.

Information about problems with poor lighting come from those how have to "pick up the pieces". This second item is a more detailed report on the subject of visibility for motorists.

Last modified: 
Saturday, July 31, 2021 - 4:25pm