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Old 08-06-2014, 05:26 PM
 
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It seems everyone assumes that a well-lit place is safer after dark than a poorly lit one. Is this really true, based on actual studies? If so, how can one determine how much lighting is needed to make a place "safer"?
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Old 08-06-2014, 06:17 PM
 
Location: Vallejo
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No.

Most crime occurs in broad daylight.
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:52 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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Originally Posted by Malloric View Post
No.

Most crime occurs in broad daylight.
I have to agree. We live in a city of 45,000 with very few streetlights, mostly just on the major arterials, and the crime is rated 86/100, 100 being lowest. Another city about the same size with lighting on nearly every street, Bremerton is rated 5/100. There are many other factors besides lighting at night that affect crime rate.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:15 PM
 
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With few or no streetlights, people will tend to stay inside at night. No one wants to walk around in the dark, because its scary. Hence criminals don't have many potential victims to prey on.
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Old 08-06-2014, 09:25 PM
 
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As Hemlock140 said there are many variables mostly socio economic that lead to crime rates.

1) Absence of Economic opportunity / mobility
2) Educational attainment levels (lack there of)
3) Lack of guardians / parents who care and discipline (see correlation to single parent households - not saying they all are just that the stats show lack of parental guidance is another primary variable)
4) High percent of young males (see stats near military facilities; Bremerton, WA is a major Naval servicing port)
5) Legal / penal / reform systems being coopted to treat symptoms but not address underlying issues above with tie back nor enforcement with 'teeth' along with some others but these are probably top five

The visual things like lighting, broken windows, abandoned buildings, etc... contribute to perception issues due to non - cared for environment and can lead to easier criminal opportunities, but in and of themselves, these visual variables are mostly cosmetic reminders of non-cared nor maintained environments, and people will adjust their volume of traffic within them (avoid them).
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Mt. Airy
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Lighting can help in dense urban areas, but it has more to do with how many eyes are on the streets IMO. Criminals do not like witnesses.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:54 AM
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Location: Long Island / NYC
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Originally Posted by cisco kid View Post
With few or no streetlights, people will tend to stay inside at night. No one wants to walk around in the dark, because its scary. Hence criminals don't have many potential victims to prey on.
I like to walk around the dark. Streetlights interfere with night vision and the natural feel of night.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:11 PM
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Location: Foot of the Rockies
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Most women feel safer on well-lit streets.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ncole1 View Post
It seems everyone assumes that a well-lit place is safer after dark than a poorly lit one. Is this really true, based on actual studies? If so, how can one determine how much lighting is needed to make a place "safer"?
My guess is that it has never been studied. Engineers will design lighting to IESNA, client requests, or government regulations if they use any standards so to speak. The thing is these vary widely both geographically and through time. For example I had a supervisor who had a manual GE released in the 50s or 60s. Their indoor lighting levels for office desks were significantly higher than IESNA recommends now(and if you are pursuing a certain LEED point you might have a space designed to primarily use daylighting). Now your eye hasn't changed, but the price of energy and the attitudes of some people towards producing power has so the standard changed. As LED lighting becomes cheaper we may well see lighting standards creep back up.
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Old 08-08-2014, 12:26 PM
 
Location: Oakland, CA
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Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
Most women feel safer on well-lit streets.
100% Agreed!

There is one street on my way home from about half of all of my destinations on foot or bike. This street is only about 3-4 blocks in total, but the block I have to take is not well lit, has a billion driveways, and trees. It is just super dark. I always power through on that street. Oddly enough, the other blocks on the street are well lit. And the only incidents I have ever heard about have happened on the dark section of the street.*

Hmmmm.....


*I live in a reasonably safe area, so over my 10 years in the same place I have maybe heard about 5 incidents. But it doesn't feel particularly safe. And it doesn't help that on the corner that borders the commercial district there is a sketchy bar. This bar is terrible! So much crap happens there. Happily new management is starting soon, the old owners were kicked out due to too many incidents!
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