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Author Topic: iWitness and Astak IR Camera Questions  (Read 44776 times)

HA Dave

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Re: iWitness and Astak IR Camera Questions
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2008, 07:05:27 AM »


Now, since you state that my comments are not "factual" information... 


Sorry... I should have been more clear. I in no way meant to state that YOUR comments are not factual. I was referring to the "report by the University of Maryland at College Park" (that you provided the link to). Which itself describes as "points of view or opinions" (after all it IS a report... NOT a study). I know a little bit about grants and grad students.. and how for a price.. you can get a nicely worded opinion. If University of Maryland clearly state's.. AND THEY DID.. that "the report does not meet the threshold of scientific evidence"... I BELIEVE THEM.

what facts do you base that statement on?  Can you point to any documented evidence that more lighting in some way prevents crime?  Or do you just think that it's "common sense" that more light is better in every case for preventing crime?  Do you have any direct personal examples of lights preventing, say, a home robbery?


As my old departed Dad (the Captain of the geographically largest police office in the state) used to say: "There is nothing common... about common sense". Dad (with his 25 years plus experience in law enforcement) was a BIG believer in using lighting as a crime deterrent. But... he never studied astronomy.

But there are little things blogged out there (and published) by the National Crime Prevention Council .

We try very hard here at the forum... to keep our posting as accurate as possible. Our desire is to help other users... like ourselves. Where I share with you an appreciation for the night sky... I cannot in good faith... place it above the wellfare of human beings.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2008, 10:27:33 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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RebHawk

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Re: iWitness and Astak IR Camera Questions
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2008, 11:05:00 AM »

Dave, I agree that the night sky should not be placed above the welfare of humans.  However, what you seem to be consistently ignoring in this debate are my comments that:

I do NOT have a problem with good, non-glaring lighting that doesn't waste its light (and thus energy and ultimately your money) up into the sky where it does no good.

For the reasons I've stated above, lighting that glares is often worse than no lighting at all.

As to the welfare of humans, the studies of increased breast cancer rates are not "opinions" but multiple well documented scientific studies.  Does this mean we should eliminate all lighting?  No, but it does mean we should endeavor to install fixtures that don't light up your bedroom while you're trying to sleep at night.

What I've tried to say here (obviously not very well) is that there is a lot of lighting out there that does NOT do what it is intended to do, because of poor design.  Lighting areas willy-nilly is not the answer.  Lighting areas CORRECTLY so that the lights don't blind you with glare, waste half of their output into the sky, and/or leave dangerous pools of darkness in which perps can hide is the way things should be done.

Or are you saying that it doesn't matter if lighting is glaring, poorly designed, and wasteful?  I'm trying to understand your reasoning.  I'd be surprised to find any policeman who was in favor of glaring lighting or poorly designed lighting over lighting that did its job correctly.

Regards,
--Lee
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HA Dave

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Re: iWitness and Astak IR Camera Questions
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2008, 12:40:23 PM »


Or are you saying that it doesn't matter if lighting is glaring, poorly designed, and wasteful?  I'm trying to understand your reasoning. 


This is a home automation forum... lighting is a basic part of the automation. If you read through the posts you will see that many... if not most of us regulars are using both CFL's and LED lighting. And promoting their use.

Most readers are up to the task of planning and executing good... or even excellent lighting themes. If you don't feel your up to the task yourself.. keep reading.. or post your problems (in the proper "general" area) we will be glad to help.

As far as wasteful.... an intruder (in the night) at my home will find himself in as much light... as if it was daytime. And I fail to see how that could waste a single watt. Maybe you could explain how many watts of light my family is worth... before it becomes wasteful.



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RebHawk

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Re: iWitness and Astak IR Camera Questions
« Reply #18 on: March 09, 2008, 08:01:38 PM »

Dave:
Obviously it would be silly to suggest that pouring the light on an intruder was in any way whatsoever unjustified.  I never meant that, and I haven't ever heard any lighting professionals say that, either.  I also suspect that you only have those lights trigger when someone actually is intruding, and don't have your yard lit up like Times Square 24/7/365.  I also agree that lights coming on when someone walks up to your house will tend to deter them from proceeding further.

My point, which I guess I pretty poorly explained, is that cities have tons of crime.  If you walk down the streets of any medium- or large-size city, you will find it is lit up like daylight.  However plenty of crime still occurs.  Light is obviously not a deterrent in this case, because it is the natural environment (unlike the case of home spots which come on automagically, as mine and yours do).  Thus, the criminals learn to operate "in the light".  Otherwise, if light is all it took to deter crime at night, there would be zero crime at night in big cities.  I think we can both agree that is not the case :D.

The way that we can help our city leaders to make lighting more effective in inhibiting crime is to urge them to use lighting that, instead of glaring (and thus blinding) people, and creating dark pools between the well lit areas for criminals to hide in, evenly lights the scene on the ground everywhere, so the criminals have no place to hide.  This DOES NOT mean fewer lighting fixtures, and in fact might mean more in many cases.  However, with power costs increasing all the time, cities should be installing fixtures (of which there are many to choose from) which put 100% of their light on the ground, where it is needed.  I think we can agree (or at least I hope so) that a fixture that puts 30-50% of its light above its horizon is a wasteful fixture that is not properly lighting the area it is intended to light.  If it's lighting the sky, it's wasting money and the percentage of light above the horizon is doing *absolutely nothing* to deter crime whatsoever.

This is what the IDA is all about, NOT trying to get lights turned off.

Regards,
--Lee
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HA Dave

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Re: iWitness and Astak IR Camera Questions
« Reply #19 on: March 09, 2008, 08:43:16 PM »


My point, which I guess I pretty poorly explained, is that cities have tons of crime.  If you walk down the streets of any medium- or large-size city, you will find it is lit up like daylight.  However plenty of crime still occurs.  Light is obviously not a deterrent in this case, because it is the natural environment


Your point IS clearly explained... but poorly reasoned. There isn't any city in the US which doesn't have many police officers. In fact... many of the most crime infested areas have the MOST police. Obviously (by your reasoning) police are not a deterrent to crime. Again... using your reasoning... any area in which a police officer isn't located... would create a (dark pool) place for criminals to hide.

By your reasoning.... police have no direct effect on crime and are a waste of tax dollars. Maybe if we eliminate police.. we would have no crime.

In the real world... bringing light to the night.. was the greatest advancement mankind has ever made. Yes... it does make it difficult to view the sky near major population centers. Life is full of trade-offs. If you want to see the sky at night... you can't live near a mall.

I trust people to know how to properly handle their OWN lighting costs. I don't think people are inherently too weak-minded that they need to be regulated into controlling there own lighting... I really think they are up to it.


This is what the IDA is all about, NOT trying to get lights turned off.


You could be correct.... from what I have read..... I got the impression that is EXACTLY what they want.

« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 08:48:46 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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RebHawk

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Re: iWitness and Astak IR Camera Questions
« Reply #20 on: March 09, 2008, 08:57:35 PM »

Dave, I never said eliminating lights would help the problem, and of course I don't believe eliminating police would help either.  Now you're putting words in my mouth.  I thought I just got through explaining above that in many cases *more* lights, not less, would be necessary.

Better lighting is what we need. 

Do you really believe that street lights that put 30-50% of their light up in the sky are the kind we need to have?  Wouldn't it be better to put all that light on the ground? 

Quote
You could be correct.... from what I have read..... I got the impression that is EXACTLY what they want.

I know I'm right.  I've been in the organization for my entire professional career, and am the VP of the North Carolina section of this organization.  I've given a lot of talks with my colleague to town councils, police, county commissioners, and other groups, and interestingly, they all seem to agree that lights that put all their light on the ground where its needed and don't glare are the best kinds of lights to have.  If you talk to lighting engineers, they also agree.  That is a big reason there are so many choices of good, full-cutoff fixtures.  The NC DOT no longer uses roadway lighting that puts light above the horizon.  Nor do many towns.  I invite you to read more about this subject.  Good lighting doesn't have any downsides. 

Regards,
--Lee
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HA Dave

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Re: iWitness and Astak IR Camera Questions
« Reply #21 on: March 09, 2008, 09:20:47 PM »

I think we understand each other... good planning is always best.

But.... this is a Home Automation Forum. Not a place to exchange ideas about social change. For most home owners... more lighting is needed... and the more the better! Cameras that can't be seen can't deter crime. That's what this thread is supposed to be about.

The average home owner may never be able to design a good highway (or even large parking lot) lighting system. But with a little reading, planning and trial and error... they can do a very nice job at home.

You apparently have learned a bit about lighting. You should start a thread or two and share some of this info with your fellow X10 users.
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Chris S.

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Re: iWitness and Astak IR Camera Questions
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2008, 03:25:18 PM »

RebHawk,

Not sure if you had read my post concerning non-x10 cameras and compatibility with either the
AHP/IWititness (IWatchout) and the Video Receiver VR36A .

The camera that I bought was a Swann IR camera, but I believe that these types of cameras,
Swann / Astak, are somewhat generic.

My post describes my experience relative to X10 compatibility.
Hope this helps.

http://www.x10community.com/forums/index.php?topic=10465.msg61463#msg61463
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RebHawk

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Re: iWitness and Astak IR Camera Questions
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2008, 06:36:26 PM »

I have the cameras, but still haven't gotten around to trying them out.  In the middle of more pressing home renovations...

I'll report back once I know one way or the other.

Cheers,
--Lee
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jelester

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Re: iWitness and Astak IR Camera Questions
« Reply #24 on: November 26, 2008, 06:59:28 AM »

I have fourAstak cameras running on Active Home as well as 8 X10 cameras.  I use a Appliance Modules to turn the cameras off and on using any of the 16 addresses.
The astak cameras are better in low light but in daylight the x10 are better in daylight.  The Astaks are more dependable outside.
Jerry Lester
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