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Security Lighting Tips for Your Home

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As of this week, we’re officially past Labor Day weekend. This means the arrival of cooler, shorter days. In turn, shorter days also means extra cover for thieves looking to commit their crimes under the cover of nightfall. In this post, we share some tips to help you use security lighting to combat this risk. For starters, we will look at some tips to make your home less attractive to passersby. Many burglars “canvas” their target neighborhoods before committing their crimes. Therefore, making your home foreboding upon first glance will help greatly. From there, we will examine how to “keep up appearances” with your lighting. The purpose here lies in making your occasional absences less noticeable. Now, let’s get started with a look at keeping your home as unattractive to passing thieves as possible!

Make Your Home Unattractive to “Window Shoppers”

We use the phrase “window shopping” to describe thieves who walk by homes to select their targets. For example, we used the term in our post sharing 5 Steps to Stay Safe and Secure this Holiday Season. In that post, we discussed the importance of keeping the evidence of valuables out of sight. This can help keep post-holiday burglars away from your home. Here, we will examine the use of security lighting to deter crime. We will begin by making sure you keep the entryways to your home lit up. From there, we will also look at keeping your exterior free of “nooks and crannies.”

A burglar standing outside a well-lit house

A dimly-lit driveway and front entrance will make your home much more attractive to burglars canvassing a neighborhood.

Light Up Your Driveway and all of Your Entrances

Illuminating both your driveway and your main points of entry will accomplish a couple goals. For starters, burglars often attempt to break into cars as part of a break-in. A well-lit driveway will stop those looking to peer into your cars from being as bold as they would be if they could do so in the cover of darkness. Additionally, many burglars forego the front door for something less obvious. We recommend lighting up each and every doorway, even the ones you seldom use. Doing so will make any one of the “traditional” entrances of your home less attractive to burglars. Therefore, criminals scouring a town will likely choose an easier target rather than your home. Next, let’s look at taking this concept one step further and making sure you leave thieves no place to hide.

Eliminate “Hiding Places” Outside Your Home

Following the previous step will make it much harder for burglars to “make their move” without getting spotted. However, places that allow burglars to hide for a time without detection will still embolden them. For example, a dark corner of your home makes a great spot for criminals to hide. They can do so while they make a determination as to whether your home is occupied or vacant. Furthermore, far edges of fenced-in yards also keeps burglars out of the eyes of pedestrians. If possible, you should make sure anyone both inside and outside of your home can see the entire yard.

Of course, you can install lights that keep your entire yard lit up at all times. However, motion lighting can create a great way to catch thieves attempting to sneak through your property. Having an electrician install these lights will often stop these individuals in their tracks. For one, these lights can give the impression that someone inside just turned a light on. Additionally, these lights leave people up to no good suddenly in the middle of a well-lit area. At this point, we’ve looked at a couple security lighting tips addressing exterior lighting. Next, let’s look at how interior lighting can also positively affect your overall home security!

Keep Up Appearances with Interior Lighting

A timer

Lights that are activated by timers can help add security by making your empty home look occupied.

Using interior lighting wisely can greatly enhance security in your home. Obviously, a well-lit home looks less inviting for criminals than a dark one. The more likely it is that a house is empty, the more likely it is to get hit by a burglar. However, simply leaving your lights on all the time does little good. Criminals often go through a neighborhood more than once before committing their crimes. Therefore, they will notice homes that always have the lights on (not to mention the damage this does to your electricity bill). In this section, we discuss a couple ides for maintaining the look of an occupied home. Let’s begin with a look at how using timer-based lights can add home security!

Using Lights on Timers

Lights on timers have long helped homeowners with both security and convenience. From a security standpoint, setting lights to turn on at dusk can create the illusion of a person (or people) returning home from work. At the end of the day, having the lights go down at bedtime reduces the negative security of “always-on” lights as we described above. From a convenience standpoint, these lights allow you to come home to a well-lit exterior every night. Many families use timer-operated lights regularly for these reasons. Additionally, vacationing families often purchase these lights as a way to keep their homes looking occupied during a trip. Now, let’s look at a smart home product that takes the security of timer-operated security lighting one step further!

Installing Smart Lights for Additional Security

Smart lights take the security of using lighting schedules and brings it to new heights. These lights do not use a manual timer to set up their operating schedule, as traditional timer-operated lights do. Instead, users create lighting schedules with a smart phone app, such as our Alarm.com app that allows you to incorporate smart home products into your alarm system. This allows you to set up your lighting schedules remotely, not just on site. It also allows you to turn lights on and off one by one on demand. Coming home earlier than usual? Simply pull out your phone and make sure your house will be well-lit for your arrival!

Someone using the Alarm.com app to control their smart lights

Alarm.com smart lights provide you convenient control of both interior and exterior lighting through a phone app.

Furthermore, lights on a consistent schedule sometimes hinder security in the same way that lights that stay on 24/7 can hurt security. After all, having your lights turn on and 6pm and off at 11pm every single night creates a pattern that might draw the wrong kind of attention. Smart lights allow you to randomize your light schedules to avoid this risk. This makes your home look much more “occupied” and makes it impossible for anyone to memorize your lighting schedule — because there isn’t any true lighting schedule! The added security and functionality of these smart lights make them a popular security addition for our customers.

Creating a Security Lighting Plan That Works for You

We hope that this post will help you create a security lighting plan that works for you! If you have any questions about the material here, please do not hesitate to contact us. We will happily answer answer your security-related questions. Furthermore, we also offer free site surveys to new and existing customers alike! While on site, we can address any security concerns you may have. Additionally, we can make our own suggestions based on what we see during our visit. Together, we can create a complete security lighting plan for your property. Moreover, we can design an all-inclusive security package including life safety and burglary-related security equipment as well. Together, we can create a plan that keeps you, your most valuable possessions, and your loved ones as safe and secure as possible!