Security Digest

Green Security

Improve security while reducing environmental impact and energy costs

April 22, 2019

Effective site security can be achieved without incurring additional operational costs due to increased energy consumption. In fact, new and innovative security technologies from Senstar can improve security while dramatically reducing energy consumption. The operational savings can then be re-directed to other critical areas, or simply used to relieve budgetary pressures.

This article looks at ways to reduce energy consumption for security applications in two key areas: security lighting and video surveillance hardware.

Intelligent lighting: Better security, lower environmental impact

The Senstar LM100 Hybrid Perimeter Intrusion Detection and Intelligent Lighting System combines two key security functions in one cutting-edge product. A powerful deterrent, the Senstar LM100 detects and illuminates potential intruders at the fence line while alerting the site’s security system. When an intrusion attempt is detected, the lights can be programmed to switch on to full intensity or strobe in the immediate area.

fence on the side of a road at night with Senstar LM100 luminaires attached to fence

With its ultra-efficient LED technology and long lifespan, the Senstar LM100 provides a Return on Investment (ROI) far exceeding that of traditional perimeter security lighting. By virtually eliminating maintenance costs and drastically reducing electricity usage, the Senstar LM100 has the lowest Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of any perimeter security lighting solution. The following graph compares the 6-year TCO of current perimeter security lighting technologies, taking into account material, installation, operating, and maintenance costs.

The Senstar LM100 has a payback period of 2–4 years (depending on technology being replaced), with a 6-year maintenance and operating cost of only $620 (click here for more info). In addition, the Senstar LM100 is approved by the International Dark Skies Association (IDA), making it suitable for installation in areas sensitive to light pollution, such as residential areas or nature preserves.

Video surveillance hardware footprint

Video surveillance is another area that can benefit from new, lower energy-consumption technologies. Savings on the server side can be achieved with Senstar’s Symphony Video Management Software (VMS), which has an extremely high camera density per server (fewer servers = lower energy consumption) and can use built-in video analytics to reduce storage requirements. On the operator side, low-power Thin Client units can replace bulk, failure-prone PCs for video displays.

Camera density per server

Symphony VMS uses a modern, scalable architecture and is built from the ground-up to optimally handle all VMS functions, including video storage, playback and server-based video analytics. Reducing both the number and type of servers required reduces maintenance costs and overall energy usage.

Reducing storage requirements

Intelligent video analytics can play a sizeable role in reducing video storage requirements, both by only recording high quality video when relevant activity occurs and minimizing CPU resources. These optimizations, in turn, reduce server hardware, space and energy requirements.

In a typical surveillance environment not using video analytics for event-based recording, the amount of storage required for 16 cameras, storing 24 fps at 640×480 resolution for 7 days using MPEG-4 is about 20 GB per camera. Senstar studies, conducted in difficult outdoor environments, show that using the Symphony VMS (with video analytics enabled) results in storage savings of more than 50%. With video

analytics, video recordings caused by irrelevant background noise is significantly reduced, resulting in less disk space required for the same 7-day period.

In addition, Senstar video analytics use Adaptive Analytic Resolution technology, which lowers the required CPU resources by intelligently scaling the video frames as required to track near and far objects.

For a breakdown of the TCO of a video surveillance system, click here.

Low-power display appliances

For applications where you need to display surveillance video but do not need full video management functionality, the Senstar Thin Client is ideal. A low-power PoE device, the Thin Client uses a fraction of the electricity of a traditional PC. In addition, its embedded operating system requires virtually no maintenance or software updates, while its compact design is ideal for mounting behind monitors.

A sample Symphony deployment

More security, less environmental impact

For site owners and system integrators, security is always of paramount concern and importance. New, highly efficient technologies from Senstar means that security requirements can be met without increasing operational costs and environmental impact. Contact your Senstar technical representative for environmentally friendly solutions that increase your site’s security.

Addressing common frustrations with access control systems

April 16, 2019

Senstar’s new SymphonyAccess Control (AC) software resolves frustrations common to access control systems – proprietary hardware, separate interfaces for access control and video, and the inherent support issues encountered by dealing with multi-vendor integrations.

Open Platform, No Vendor Lock-in

Unified Access Control and Video

Better Support with Greater Accountability

Symphony AC is an example of Senstar’s continued commitment to developing products to meet the evolving security needs of our customers.

Using covert fiber optic technology to protect borders

April 2, 2019

Securing a border that traverses sparsely populated areas poses substantial law enforcement, budgetary, and deployment challenges.

To maximize the effectiveness of limited resources, border patrol organizations need technological solutions that reliably detect and locate the presence of people, vehicles and tunneling over extended distances that may include varied terrain and a range of urban, rural and wilderness areas.

To be economically viable (including capital and operational costs), any technological solution for border protection must:

Senstar’s FiberPatrol fiber optic sensor for buried applications is the ideal solution for protecting long borders. Download our FiberPatrol for Borders brochure to learn more.

Preventing theft with intelligent lighting and intrusion detection

March 19, 2019

After two thefts from his storage yard, Aim Marine owner David Scott looked to add a layer of security to his property’s 235 m (771 ft) perimeter fence.

The Senstar LM100 hybrid perimeter intrusion detection and intelligent lighting system was an ideal solution for protecting his small business.

The LM100 provides high quality, direct illumination along the fence line – deterring intruders and providing targeted illumination for video surveillance systems, all while monitoring the perimeter to detect any attempt to cut, climb or lift the fence fabric. Fully programmable, the luminaires provide general security lighting and can inform intruders that you know where they are by flashing the light. The Senstar LM100 also minimizes light pollution and is energy efficient.

For Mr. Scott, the Senstar LM100 has not only helped prevent theft at his site, but it has basically paid for itself through his substantial insurance reductions.

For more information, read the Aim Marine case study.

Using wireless communications in security applications

March 5, 2019

The Senstar Wireless Gate Sensor (left) and the Senstar LM100 (right) are examples of field-proven wireless security products.

When tasked with selecting equipment to protect a site, security professionals typically choose the technologies with which they have familiarity and confidence. This makes perfect sense – no one wants to risk using unproven technology when security is on the line. That being said, new technologies shouldn’t be discounted, especially if they meet performance requirements and offer distinct benefits.

A good example of this is security devices that use wireless communication. Many traditionally hard-wired devices are now available in wireless versions, including network cameras, access control devices and intrusion detection sensors. Going wireless dramatically simplifies installation and lowers costs, as technicians no longer need to physically run copper or fiber cable to each device. Some devices may also be battery or solar-powered, leading to further savings.

However, questions remain about reliability, and the vulnerability to hacking of these new devices, especially given people’s experiences with consumer-focused technologies like WiFi or Bluetooth. For security professionals, the key is understanding that not all wireless technology is the same and that there are solutions designed specifically for security applications.

This article discusses how, when designed right, wireless links are reliable and secure.

What is “environmental disaggregation” and why should you care?

February 19, 2019

“Environmental disaggregation” sounds complicated but in the physical security world of perimeter intrusion detection sensors, it has a straightforward and significant meaning.

Basically put, environmental disaggregation is the unique ability of a fence-mounted sensor with ranging (i.e. locating) capability to avoid the generation of nuisance alarms caused by heavy winds. Heavy winds can create vibrations unevenly across the fence fabric within a zone, which, depending on the system, may appear as an intrusion attempt and trigger an alarm.

Block sensor under heavy wind conditions

First, let’s look at a block sensor, in which an entire segment of sensor cable generates a zone alarm, with no distinction as to the location within the zone. During a storm, wind gusts generate vibrations on the fence at several locations within the zone. The intrusion detection sensor, seeing multiple disturbance events, generates an alarm. While these systems can use Environmentally Derived Adaptive Technology (EDAPT) to reduce the likelihood of nuisance alarms by analyzing distributed weather effects, nuisance alarms may still be generated under the right conditions.

With a block sensor, wind hitting the fence at multiple locations within a zone can generate a nuisance alarm

Ranging sensor under heavy wind conditions

With the FlexZone or FiberPatrol fence-mounted ranging sensors, disturbances are reported by location, typically within 1 to 4 m (1 to 13 ft). With the Senstar LM100 hybrid perimeter intrusion detection and intelligent lighting system, distance is measured to the closest luminaire. This means instead of treating wind gusts as an additive force across the entire detection segment, the individual disturbances are analyzed based on location and inter-event proximity, thus disaggregating the cumulative environmental effects.

With a ranging sensor, wind hitting the fence at multiple locations within a zone does not cause a nuisance alarm as the disturbances occur in multiple locations


FlexZone®, FiberPatrol® and the Senstar LM100™ are field-proven technologies and the benefits of their environmental disaggregation properties have been demonstrated during storms at high-security deployments.

Check out our Security Digest post about “windpocalypse” to see just how effective ranging technology is at reducing nuisance alarm rates.

Installing intelligent security lighting on palisade fences   

February 5, 2019

Palisade-style fences can provide a high-level of security in an aesthetically pleasing package. Available in cut and crash-resistant versions, they provide wall-like protection while retaining perimeter visibility.  

Unfortunately, aesthetics don’t stop intruders. An additional layer of security can turn any fence into a smart fence, one that deters and detects would-be intruders. 

The Senstar LM100 luminaire can be attached to a fence post with stainless steel clamps or material-suitable screws.

The Senstar LM100 Hybrid Perimeter Intrusion Detection and Intelligent Lighting System provides targeted LED-based illumination along the fence line. Additionally, its embedded sensors detect any attempts to climb or break the fence.  

Installing the Senstar LM100 on a palisade-style fence is similar to that of other fence types. Each luminaire includes two stainless steel clamps for mounting. Depending on the post shape and size, self-tapping screws may be used instead. In addition, many palisade fences include cable-conduit functionality along their horizontal rails, which can be used to both hide and protect the luminaire power cables.  

Calibration of the intrusion detection sensors is the same as with other fence types. First, perform a “buzz” test to generate a profile specific to the fence’s response characteristics. Next, adjust the alarm threshold levels according. The Senstar LM100’s accelerometer-based sensor can detect the smallest of vibrations, ensuring climb attacks are detected (regardless of fence construction) while advanced algorithms reject disturbances generated by environmental effects.  

Below are examples of a palisade fence protected with the Senstar LM100. 

For information on installing the Senstar LM100, see our instructional videos here. 

Integrating Senstar sensors with Milestone XProtect 

January 22, 2019

Milestone XProtect Smart Client showing the status of Senstar perimeter intrusion detection sensors

Integrating perimeter intrusion detection sensors (PIDS) with a site’s video management software can substantially improve situational awareness and reduce response times. Senstar sensors can be integrated with a wide variety of third-party security and video management systems (SMS/VMS), including Milestone XProtect. 

The Network Manager (NMS)-XProtect Gateway provides complete, bi-directional integration with the Senstar perimeter sensors (including FlexZone®FiberPatrol®, the Senstar LM100™, and OmniTrax®). Based on the Milestone Integration Platform Software Development Kit (MIP SDK), the integration works with all current versions of XProtect.  

For additional information on the NMS-XProtect Gateway, click here.

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