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Home Security Lighting: Don't Give Villains A Place To Hide

Step up your defense with effective home security lighting. Drive away the villains and revel in the peacefulness of a secure living environment. The idea is simple: if you take away the cover of darkness, you make it much harder for criminals to break in unnoticed.

Lighting outside a beautiful cabin in the snow

As we know, criminals do a lot of their “work” during the nighttime hours. It’s easy to understand why.

Under the cover of darkness, they are less likely to be seen sneaking around, hiding and waiting to attack people.

Home Security lighting comes in a variety of different types. Each type has its pros and cons. The main idea for you to keep in mind is that you want to take away as much darkness around your home as possible.

You want to reduce the number of “hiding places” and dark corners the criminals can use. Putting a light on every outside corner of your home shining outwards would be a great way to start. Every home is different though.

Diagram of a home security lighting plan for a rectangular houseExample of a home security lighting plan

While some homes may be built in a simple square or rectangular shape, others have much more complex shapes.

Having many lights shining brightly every night can lead to a much higher electricity bill at the end of the month.

Every homeowner’s situation is different... you will have to decide what you can afford.

Other Kinds Of Lights

One way to reduce the cost of home security lighting (and make it more likely to keep criminals away) is by installing motion detecting lights. These lights have a sensor that only makes the light switch on when an animal or person walks past.

The light then switches off again after a minute or so.

Motion detecting lights may actually be more effective than lights that are always switched on.

A criminal who sets off the sensor on such a light while sneaking around your garden may believe somebody is now aware of his presence.

He may think that someone inside the house has noticed him and switched the light on.

While motion detecting lights have a place in your overall lighting system, the majority of your lights should still be of the regular “always on” variety.

Lights that stay on all night will discourage criminals who see your house from the street. Ideally you should have a “mix” of motion sensitive and normal lights to get the best overall effect.

If your house is well lit and they cannot see a way to sneak around it without being seen, they will probably choose a different house in the neighborhood to break into. There is far less risk of them being caught that way.

Make Sure You Maintain Your Lights

Many households do not maintain their home security lighting system and the results are often quite obvious. Light bulbs burn out. Electrical wiring becomes loose and connections are broken.

There are many causes of such failures:

  • Weather (rain water gets into wiring causing short circuits)
  • Insects (ants seem to be attracted to the heat generated by electrical wiring)
  • Old age (nothing lasts forever)

It is essential that you maintain light fittings and ensure that they are always working properly. That bulb that burns out may result in a very dark area at the back of your house.

Such areas are an open invitation to burglars who know they won’t be seen prying open a small window or trying to force open a door.

Are They Bright Enough?

Outside lights often have to light up a much larger area than interior lights. This means they should be brighter or more powerful. It does very little good to have a dim light in vulnerable areas.

If the light is too weak, a neighbor or someone on the street may not notice the burglar quietly breaking in while you and your family are sleeping.

Bright lights can be a nuisance though. Be considerate of your neighbors. Try not to point bright “spotlight” type lights at their bedroom windows.

They won’t appreciate being kept awake all night!

The same problem can affect you if you make the mistake of pointing lights at your own bedroom windows. You may have to change the position of your brightest lights to ensure you are not kept awake.

If the lights can be moved (some lights have a “stalk” or shaft that can be moved around to point the light in different directions), point them away from your bedroom windows.

Home Security Lighting Is A Simple Way To Enhance Your Safety

By giving careful thought to the types of lights you use and their positioning around your home, those dark areas that are so inviting to criminals can be eliminated.

Once you have set up your home security lighting system, it needs very little maintenance to keep doing its important job of protecting your home from crime.

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