Association News

ILP: Street Lamps Illuminate Terror

The Institution of Lighting Professionals ( is the UK and Ireland’s largest professional lighting association, dedicated solely to excellence in lighting. They say that moving streetlights ‘could help to protect public from vehicle terror attacks’.


In the wake of the horrific terror attack in Barcelona, and the increasing frequency of similar car- or van-based attacks across Europe, the Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP) has argued that rethinking the location of street lighting could be one way to help protect the public in future.


ILP president Alan Jaques has suggested that simply re-siting lampposts or lighting columns towards the front of any footway, rather than at the back as is nowadays more commonplace, could help to deter or even prevent such attacks.


Vehicle-based terror attacks are notoriously difficult for security forces to prevent. Yet, at the same time, no one wants to turn city centres into concrete fortresses. In specific locations re-siting existing street furniture such as lighting columns could therefore be one innovative solution.


Such lighting columns could be specified to a higher strength to provide higher resistance than normal units, meaning the use of street lighting in this way could become a valuable added protection for the public.


‘Siting columns towards the front of the footway will help to prevent vehicles from driving for long distances along the footway with the sole purpose of causing harm,’ Alan explains.


‘Lighting columns may not, of course, completely stop the largest HGVs, but they would certainly slow them down, providing people with additional life-saving seconds to make their escape.


‘People are used to seeing lighting columns, so wouldn’t be concerned by seeing them being relocated or sited along footways in greater numbers, and they wouldn’t realise they were there to make them safer at all times of the day and not just at night,’ he adds.


Alan’s suggested solution is set to appear in the September edition of Lighting Journal, the ILP’s monthly members’ CPD journal. The full article will be available to view online, at, from September.