Outdoor lighting is one of the most practical and effective ways of protecting your property. By removing the stealth factor, an outdoor lighting system can make criminals think twice before targeting your home.
There are three main outdoor lighting options:
Automatically turned on at dusk and off again at dawn, this option provides continuous lighting during the night and acts as a powerful deterrent. However, it can use a lot of electricity. To cut down on energy costs, you can use low voltage or solar powered lighting. It is best to use lights that are not too strong--using strong lighting in specific areas can increase the sense of darkness elsewhere and provide a hiding place for burglars. Downward directed, shielded lighting of medium intensity provides the best solution. Controlling the glare is also a major consideration because homeowners who can see the criminal can possibly provide authorities with descriptions and other valuable clues.
A key benefit of this home lighting option is that it saves electricity because the lights only come on when triggered. Motion activated lighting can give burglars a fright when they find themselves suddenly lit up, which may be all it takes to deter them from continuing. Lights that operate in response to the burglar's movement can give the impression that someone is at home who may be aware of their presence. Motion activated lighting also cuts down on light pollution. Place motion detectors in areas where no-one should be, such as along the side and back of the house, and make sure you are able to see them if they go off so that you know something isn't right. The sensitivity of motion activated lighting can be set so that it is not activated unnecessarily by neighborhood pets and other small animals.
This option is possibly the most effective and energy efficient, giving the benefits of both options 1 and 2 above. Like dusk to dawn lighting, the outdoor lighting is on continuously but at a low level. Motion detectors then amplify the light when movement is detected.
Whichever option you choose, it is important to set lights and sensors high up where they are out of reach and tamper proof. The right outdoor home lighting can meet many of your security needs but don't rely on lighting alone. It is still important to be vigilant and to consider other security measures like locks and alarms.