Due to a raised cultural awareness of problems related to climate change and the impending scarcity of fossil fuels, conventional road lighting systems are commonly considered to be a source of energy waste. Recent advancements in LEDs offer promising solutions to reduce energy consumption. Combined with sensing technology, the light may adapt to a pedestrian’s needs, providing light only when and where it is needed. Unfortunately, we do not have a sufficient understanding of how lighting affects a pedestrian’s sense of personal safety to determine how such intelligent dimming should be implemented. According to Fisher and Nasar (1992) peoples safety feelings result from their subjective appraisal of three safety-related characteristics of a street (so-called proximate cues): prospect, concealment and escape. Lighting may be regarded as an objective characteristic of the environment. Yet, how does it affect the more subjective proximate cues and thus people’s safety perceptions? In a first study, participants (n = 31) rated 100 photographs of urban environments either on questions relating to perceptions of safety or on questions relating to prospect, concealment and escape. Participants were very consistent in their judgment of how safe they would feel in each depicted environment. In accordance with Fisher and Nasar (1992), we obtained high correlations (r2.643) between the independent measures of perceived safety and the measures of prospect, concealment and escape. More importantly, measures of the brightness of the scenes were found to be highly related to peoples appraisal of prospect and concealment (r 2 .312), but not to perceptions of safety, suggesting that lighting may have an effect on safety through the appraisal of certain proximate cues. The high correlations between appraisals of the three proximate cues suggest that a more rudimentary psychological mechanism may be underlying these environmental assessments. Closer examined, the proximate cues reveal a clue to a common mechanism. The absence of hiding spots, having a clear overview, and having many possibilities to escape in case of an emergency may all be related to perceptions of control. We tested this hypothesis in a second experiment (n = 82), in which we manipulated participants general perception of control (low vs. high) after which they assessed the safety of 30 urban scenes (i.e., the 10 highest, middle, and lowest ranking photographs of Study 1). We did not find any differences in perceived safety, but our analyses suggest that we might not have succeeded in our manipulation of control. Nevertheless, we did obtain a convincing replication of the safety ratings of the photographs, signifying that (a) lighting may have an indirect effect on safety perceptions through other inferred environmental characteristics and (b) our sample of stimuli has sufficient breadth and internal consistency to vindicate continued use in further experiments.