If you’re looking to beef up home security, one of the most practical, relatively inexpensive, and most stylish methods is lighting. The right outdoor lighting not only will provide a flash of ambiance but can help prevent accidents and deter crime. To help you get the most from security lighting, here are 5 important things to consider.
- Consider all areas. The more blind spots there are on your property, the more vulnerable you are to intruders. While smaller, softer lights may seem purely decorative, they can be equally effective as flood lights.
- High, low, or both? Some lighting options, like landscape and path lighting, are designed for ground level placement. But when it comes to security lighting, the higher up a light is pointing downward, the larger the area it covers, thus reducing blind spots caused by shadows. Installing your lighting higher up also makes it harder for intruders to tamper with. Beware of going too high, though – and too bright – or your neighbors might suspect you’ve built a high school football field in your back yard.
- Choose white or clear glare-free bulbs. While colored lights can be beautiful, they aren’t ideal for security lighting as they can distort images like the colors of clothing. Also avoid using bright lights that cause glare. These tend to cast shadows which make great hiding places for unwanted visitors. Glare also makes it harder for you or your neighbors to notice suspicious activity.
- Maintain your lighting. Like most anything in and around your home, security lighting requires routine maintenance to ensure proper functioning. Keep spare bulbs on hand and replace burnt out bulbs as quickly as possible. Inspect all lights periodically and check for loose connections or damaged wires. Clean off dirt and debris to keep lights shining brightly.
- Don’t keep lights on all the time. Lighting that is activated by motion tends to have a startling affect on would-be intruders, making them more likely to run once the lights are triggered. Additionally, setting indoor lights on a timer while you’re away offers more protection than leaving a lone lamp on all night long. You can also set your TV on a timer to further make your home seem occupied.