There are plenty of projects we put off (and off and off and off!) until “someday,” but somehow—especially when there is no deadline—the someday of getting those projects done never actually comes. This is true of safety improvements just like any other project that is suffering from procrastination. June is National Safety month (established by the National Safety Council in 1996) creating a perfect time to stop putting off projects that relate to the safety of your home, workplace, or general surroundings.
Even if you don’t have a list of safety to-dos, you can use June to assess all those environments and capitalize on any opportunities to improve safety. There’s no time like the present, and if you need a reason, June being National Safety month is as good a reason as any. To help you along the way, we have a list of ways LED lighting can help you as you consider how to improve safety all around you.
How does lighting increase safety?
The connection between sufficient lighting and increased safety is based on the idea of several factors including increased visibility; preventing concealment; and psychological deterrent. A safer environment is one where people can see all around themselves; bad actors can’t hide themselves (or items); and the area looks cared for and monitored.
Increased visibility can help prevent slip and falls (one of the most common forms of accident and injury, by far.) Visibility can prevent bumping into objects, missing steps, tripping, and helps navigating changes in terrain.
Preventing concealment in terms of safety refers to seeing people who are trying to hide themselves (such as lying-in-wait) or seeing a hidden cache of items (like a stash of stolen goods to be collected later.) Shedding some light on these situations and seeing every nook and corner is a critical safety issue!
Lighting as a psychological deterrent is the concept where a well-lit space, such as a doorway or portico being fully illuminated, gives the impression of being occupied; cared for; and monitored and therefore an undesirable place to target and commit crime.
So how do you use LED lighting to help improve all these factors? Use the following list to help you think about all the places, rooms, and properties you are responsible for as you do your June safety checks.
1. Light up walkways, stairwells, hallways, and paths
Watch your step! (LITERALLY.) Sometimes the difference between staying safe and potential injury is one single step. Falls are the number one cause of injury at home. Creating a high visibility area, such as using a high density LED strip light like our premium Luma5 single color strip can help people traversing walkways, hallways, stairways avoid tripping, missing a step, or slipping. Indoors, LED strip lights can be installed easily in problem areas or awkward areas where a traditional bulb would be a difficult installation (using the peel and stick double-sided mounting tape from HitLights.)
Outdoors, select LED strip lights graded for outside use; consider installing LED strip lights on eaves or under railings to get the walkway lighting you seek.
Paths (like shortcuts where people move from grass to paved areas) can be lit with modern outdoor LED spotlights. The newest versions of these spotlights are powerful, have an impressive light output, and are often solar powered, making installation a breeze.
2. Flashlights, flashlights, flashlights
One of the easiest and most helpful forms of light in terms of safety are LED flashlights. Low on cost, and high on handiness, LED flashlights are versatile, long lasting, and powerhouses at putting out light. (For the purposes of this conversation, we are referring to all forms of portable LED lights when we say flashlights.) The variety is so wide when it comes to LED flashlights, if you have the need, you can probably find a specialized LED light for it.
If you just rolled your eyes when you read our suggestion of flashlights saying, c’mon HitLights, everyone has a phone these days… y’know, with a flashlight built in. Consider this: in an emergency situation, you won’t want to spare any battery life by using your phone as a flashlight. Also, if you are separated from your phone, having flashlights ready to go could seriously save the day. Bottom line: don’t rely on your phone to do anything but be your communication tool in case of emergency. It’s smart to have more than one option when it comes to emergency light sources.
LED flashlights come in lantern forms, pen lights, beacons, traditional torch-style flashlights, clip-on lights, head lamps (a safety favorite—keep your hands free), magnetic box lights, and more. Strategically add an LED flashlight to your car’s glove box and trunk; find a consistent place on your desk to keep a flashlight (bonus—a flashlight with a magnet to stick to your desk, making sure your flashlight is always where you think it will be, so you can grab it when you need it!) LED flashlights even come in sets of outlet plug-in rechargeable lights so you can easily put a light in every room, in one consistent place, and you’ll always have a charged light.
Finally, make sure you have an LED light source in any emergency supplies you have. Stock your kit with flashlights and head lamps. Many of today’s LED portable lights can charge via USB and boast the same longevity and efficiency found in all other LEDs. Never experience the frustration again of searching high and low for a flashlight, only to have it sputter out and die because the batteries haven’t been changed in a year (or more!)
Joking aside, having light when and where you need it in a critical situation is a safety issue. Today’s LEDs make it simple to take the precaution you need by always having light close at hand.
3. Install LED strip lights in doorways, entry halls, porticos, and foyers
Entry and exit points are very important when it comes to safety. Any safety pro (especially certain first responders) will stress: “Ingress and egress” — way in and way out. Always know how to get in, and how you would exit, if need be. Lighting helps identify where doors are and surrounding lighting shows the doors and entryways are clear and accessible.
LED strip lights like the Luma5 premium high-density waterproof lights are perfect for this installation. Line eaves or coving with LED strip lights to create a clear look that is beautiful and provides effective light output. Lighting is key on both sides of a doorway. Don’t forget to check if the LED strip lights are graded for outdoor use before installing in entryways outside. When installing LED strip lights in high-traffic foyers, consider using single color white lights when using the lights for safety purposes (and save the fun, colored lighting for interior accent situations.)
Q: How do I assess the safety needs of my buildings?
A: An easy first step is to walk around the property at dusk and after sundown. Note the most common areas people will be afterhours (these will be your priority) followed by more obscure areas (and plan for the reasons people might use them. Is an area not well traveled, but is near an emergency exit? Consider motion detector lights that might light-up during an emergency evacuation.) Think about the various scenarios that might put people on any path in and around your buildings.
You are advised to do the assessments at dusk and at night since the rapidly changing light conditions of dusk can cause shadows and optical illusions which don’t exist in full darkness.
Q: Do indoor and outdoor LED strip lights have the same color tones?
A: Yes, you can match the color of LED strip lights graded for indoor use and outdoor use. Our Luma5 premium high density LED strip lights come in soft white; warm white; neutral white; and cool white. You can choose the same color tone for the indoor and outdoor LED strip lights giving you a consistent look and feel for illuminating doorways and other spaces that transition people from inside to outside.
Q: You sure like flashlights.
A: That’s not really a question. HitLights loves lighting solutions and when it comes to safety, flashlights are an easy win. Use June as a time to check-up on your emergency supplies and make sure all your tools and safety devices are ready to roll if you need them. Don’t sleep on flashlights!
Q: Are LED strip lights safe?
A: Yes! We have a whole set of resources on the safety of LED strip lights. You can confidently use LED strip lights without fear of peril. Also, HitLights offers whole lines of UL® Listed products.
Don’t put off safety checks for “someday.” Start today! If you want to talk to a capable HitLights staff member about any of our LED strip lights and how to get your safety projects solved, we’re ready. Call us now at 1 (855) 768-4135. to get the insight and assistance you need from our knowledgeable team that hates hassle as much as you do.