There have been conflicting results when it comes to studies done on the amount that lighting can help keep your home secure, especially from burglary. Some studies say that it is a huge crime deterrent while others state that it has little effect. However, as more and more studies have been completed, it appears that lighting can help keep your home safe but the type of lighting definitely matters. Furthermore, it isn’t necessarily the light itself that keeps the burglars away but rather the appearance that someone is home. Keeping that in mind, how can you use lighting as a tool to assist with home security?
Good: Static Lighting
Will leaving an indoor light on to make it look like someone is home deter burglars? Will leaving my post lamp on all night help keep my home safe? Maybe but probably not. It might be better than having a dark house but just leaving on a light while you are gone has not been shown to be a big crime deterrent. Why? Because it doesn’t truly give the appearance that someone is home. If you are on vacation and you decide to leave an outdoor light on, chances are someone will notice that your light never goes off. Having one interior light on all night also doesn’t accurately depict someone living in the space. It may be better than having a completely dark house, but static lights haven’t been shown to add significant security to your home.
Better: Motion Lighting
What about if I have a flood light that turns on when it detects motion? Should I put a photo eye on my post lamp so it turns on and off with the changing daylight hours? Possibly. These are better security measures because they are a bit more fluid. A motion sensitive light can be used to scare off an intruder who thought the dark house was otherwise an easy target and having outside lights turn on and off instead of being on all the time more accurately mimics someone being home. These are smaller measures you can take to help your lights do more for you.
Best: Smart Home Lighting
Do you remember back when plug in lamp timers were all the rage? You could schedule your lamps to turn on at 7pm and off at midnight? But no one turns lights on and off at the same time everyday so this proved to be an ineffective security measure. Fortunately, smart home technology has grown by leaps and bounds. Smart home lighting allows you to control your lights from anywhere and this allows the freedom to truly make it appear as though you are home no matter where in the world you are. There is also an option to “randomize” lights while you are away. This feature will have random lights in your house turn on and off at random intervals whenever you activate this mode. In essence your house will automatically mimic someone being home for you. There are also options to schedule indoor or outdoor lights to turn on and off each day but not at the same time. And there are ways to integrate your lights in with your security system. For example, if your security system detects an intruder your lights can be programmed to flash or have every light in your house turn on simultaneously to scare them away.
Lighting, when used appropriately, can offer many security benefits for your home. It can also work together with and compliment other security features and this will help ensure that your home and family are the safest they can be.
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