A dark home is a vulnerable home!
There’s really no reason to leave your home vulnerable when a wide range of beautiful and reliable outdoor lighting options are easily available. From artfully positioned flood lights and strategic footpath lighting, to spotlights and mood-enhancing lightscaping, your options for exterior illumination have never been so vast. Besides adding beauty and dimension to a home’s appearance, outdoor lighting is also an integral part of an effective home security system.
A well-lit home discourages any possible intruders by reducing their opportunities for concealment and increasing their risk of getting caught.
When selecting the outdoor lighting scheme that’s perfect for you, the three main objectives to consider are:
1. It needs to be aesthetically pleasing
2. It should help the residents safely navigate the landscape and the perimeter of the home and allow them to identify any obstructions or potential hazards.
3. It must provide security.
An additional benefit to having a good lighting scheme is that, with some insurance companies, it could result in a decreased home insurance premium. It could also mean that should you decide to put your home on the market, its value may be increased due to the security features.
Tips to Maximize your Outdoor Security Lighting.
Keep the front entry and the rear entry well lit, but don’t neglect the sides of the house either. Ensure that the lighting provides a clear view of the area; including people and objects such as fences, walls and barriers. You want to make sure you have enough lighting that there aren’t large blind spots around your property.
Ideally, you want your security lighting up higher off of the ground, shining downwards to cast a big area of light. Lights closer to the ground tend to not cover as big of a radius. The light that comes down will be softer by the time it hits the ground, meaning there will less blind spots in your yard created by shadows. It is also much easier to overlap lighting to get full coverage. The lower to the ground, the more lights that would be needed for this effect.
2. BRIGHTER IS NOT NECESSARILY BETTER.
A really bright light casts a lot of shadows, which is where intruders like to hide. And if there is only a couple of really bright lights, then there are a lot of areas of your home that are probably still dark. That’s a lot of freedom for the would-be intruder. The lights can also have the unintended opposite effect of actually helping the intruder see exactly what they are doing.
Multiple lights of medium power is better than fewer lamps of high power because it will reduce glare (which makes it difficult for an observer to see the area effectively), and it will provide more even lighting with fewer zones of shadow. The technique will also provide more redundancy if one lamp’s bulb blows out.
Outdoor accent lighting may not be as bright or as focused as a powerful floodlight, but it may work even better. The softer light, but enough to see by still, provides enough visibility for you or your neighbors to see if something is creeping around.
3. LIGHTING CLARITY.
Colored lighting is beautiful, no doubt about it. But colored lights aren’t very good for security purposes. Colored lights tend to distort facts, such as changing the color of the clothes the burglar is wearing.
White or clear bulbs are the best way to go. They produce a much brighter, cleaner light. You want to use white or clear lights so that you or any other witness can accurately describe the person caught in the lights.
Automatic motion sensor lights help to prevent intrusions by startling and making intruders visible.
You can also use automated timers to turn lights on and off at different times. This can give the illusion of them being turned on manually even when there is actually nobody home.
5. PROTECT YOUR LIGHTING.
Once you’ve installed your security lighting, you need to ensure that no authorized person meddles with it. You can do this by:
• Mount your lighting fixtures in locations where they can’t be easily tampered with.
• Protect your lighting with mesh or other shielding methods. A rock or other such object thrown at the light may break the bulb. Some sort of shielding mesh will prevent this from happening.
• Protect the wiring of your security lighting. It is important to protect the wiring to your lighting in order to prevent tampering or disabling. If wire is exposed, it can be snipped / cut.
Establishing a proper maintenance routine is the easiest thing you can probably do for your lighting. Take some time, at the start or end of the month say, at just check all of the lights to make sure everything is working as it should.