Safety Lighting on Gates Protects Vehicles from Damage

Safety Lighting on Gates Protects Vehicles from Damage

By Jonathan Brinkman / Published September 2023

Photos courtesy of GateArms+

Proper lighting for a security gate is vital. The number of vehicles that are damaged due to poor visibility of a security gate is unfortunately too high. Frequently drivers don’t wait long enough for the slide gate to fully open before driving forward and causing thousands of dollars of repairs to their vehicles.

     Many gate customers choose black for their security gates, which blends into the background at night, making them difficult to see. 

     “The best enhancement to every gate is LED safety lighting,” explains Jonathan Brinkman, president of Gate Arms+. “Bright LEDs that change color depending on the gate position will add substantial ambient light to a gate area. Lights should flash red while opening or closing and turn solid green when fully opened. They can flash amber just prior to a timed close event and fade off when closed. Unlike reflective tape, LED strip lights can be seen from a distance, giving drivers the heads up that they are approaching a gate.”

     Swing gates can have LEDs mounted to the bottom rail facing the roadway to create a colorful, indirect lighting effect. LEDs that are mounted on a swing gate’s vertical edge give the driver a visual indication of the position of an open gate, so they don’t hit it with the side of their car or mirror. Flashing red upon a gate’s closing also visually alerts against entrapment. 

     “Slide gates can have LEDs mounted vertically on the non-moving side posts of the gate,” says Brinkman. He adds, “The LEDs frame and illuminate the gate, so the drivers will see the gate and its edges.” 

     LEDs can also be mounted on the sliding gate itself, including the leading edge and bottom bar. In some cases, the power cord management can be tricky. “Some installers have used a coiled cable mounted to the middle of the gate, which minimizes the cable length needed,” says Brinkman. “A battery-based LED may also soon be available for use on slide gates,” he notes.

     One recent example from an association gate client shows the value of lighting gates. After they installed lights on inbound and outbound slide gates, their gate strike incidents fell from an average of three per month in 2019 to two per year in 2020 and 2021. The decrease in accidents saved the HOA and unaffected drivers over $75,000 per year in gate repairs. Their HOA president says, “The LEDs make the gates look a lot prettier, and they added much needed light in those areas. It used to be difficult to see our gates at night, and sometimes it was difficult to know if a gate was completely open or still moving. We like seeing the green light because we know we won’t hit the gate.” 


     GateArms+ is a Florida-based manufacturer of innovative, customizable, LED safety light systems for high-traffic environments and gated entrances. For more information, visit