Just as sunlight can kill pathogens, home security lighting repels people with criminal intent. A good lighting plan illuminates points of entry at your home and denies intruders the darkness that they need to cloak attempts to open a door or window.
In this way, security lights form the first barrier between your home and burglars. Good lighting may force them to stay away entirely. It could also convince them to leave after entering your landscape due to a feeling of being exposed.
Urban Study Shows 39% Crime Reduction at Night
You understand intuitively that lighting around your home can deter crime, but a large study has provided hard data about crime reduction. The government of New York City partnered with a research team to compare crime rates in nearly 80 public housing developments.
All of the housing developments were known to have elevated levels of criminal activity. Half of the properties received new outdoor lighting and half did not.
After six months, a stark difference in crime data emerged. During nighttime hours, the housing areas with improved lighting saw their crime rates plummet by 39%.
Home Security Lighting Best Practices
To deter crime, you need to employ some strategy when deciding how to improve security around your home. A good place to start is to look at your home from all four sides.
Once it is dark out, start on the street and walk around the property. As you do this, try to think like burglars. Ask yourself: Do I see dark gates, windows, or doors where an intruder could work in secret?
Your problem areas may be easy to spot. Correcting them, however, requires making some technical decisions. Outdoor lighting comes in many styles. Different lights work best in different areas and for different purposes.
According to StaySafe.org, you should use:
- Floodlights for large areas
- Spotlights for specific areas of concern
- Small lights to eliminate shadowy paths
- Motion detection lights to light up dark external corners
Night Owl Landscape Lighting assists homeowners and business owners with decisions about which lights to use and where to position them. As professionals, we select top-rated outdoor lighting fixtures and develop a design that supports your safety and security goals. We accomplish this alongside other important considerations related to aesthetic appeal and convenient functionality.
When we design and install outdoor lighting, we select modern LED technology and fixtures able to withstand Wisconsin’s demanding climate. We can also satisfy your need for a smartphone app that manages the lighting system.
Fundamentals of Comprehensive Home Security
The majority of security lights can do double duty as attractive landscape lighting with artful positioning and the strategic use of motion sensors. The lighting serves as the most obvious element of your security plan. For multi-layered protection, homeowners may add:
- Home alarm system
- Motion detection lights
How Effective Are Motion Detection Lights?
This question comes up frequently. You might think that a light that is on all of the time is better for security than one that only activates upon sensing movement.
Although good lighting makes your home unappealing to criminals, you don’t want so much light that it is bothering you through your own windows. Ideally, you will balance security goals with the enhancement of your home’s appearance.
Motion detection lights allow you to preserve some darkness but also startle trespassers who activate the sensor. A trespasser creeping close to your house in the dark should experience an unavoidable moment of panic when suddenly hit by light. The person cannot help but think that someone inside has turned on the light and will immediately call the police.
This is why motion detection lights are great for illuminating the corners of your house. People may try to sneak around a dark corner but then suddenly find themselves fully revealed in bright light.
Motion sensor lights can help reduce risk and incidents. On the other hand, if a criminal has been watching your house, they could already be aware of them.
The Role of Security Lighting in Environmental Design
Environmental design describes the concept of shaping a space so that criminals find it difficult to penetrate. Home security lighting contributes to the environmental design by complementing other security strategies that can be put to use in a landscape. A successful environmental design results in a landscape that people with no ill intent find beautiful but potential trespassers feel nervous about entering.
A well-planned landscape can promote safety. For example, you could plant bushes with thorns beneath main level windows or place pea gravel beneath windows. The gravel deters intruders because it makes a crunching noise when stepped on.
Bushes and hedges trimmed so that people can see over them actually increase security as well. For this reason, you may want to rethink tall hedges because they provide cover for people to approach the sides or rear of your home.
A security-focused lighting strategy enhances the overall visibility within an intentionally open landscape design. A well-lit exterior leaves bad actors visible to your neighbors. The ability of neighbors to notice intruders around your property contributes to your security because they can alert police to suspicious activity.
When homeowners consult us at Night Owl Landscape Lighting, we take into account the features throughout a yard. We can position lighting to achieve the dual purpose of highlighting attractive landscape features and protecting your property from intrusion.
Security When You Travel
Home security lighting, especially when controlled through a smartphone app, could increase your peace of mind when you are away from home. Criminals know the top times of the year when people travel, such as during the winter holidays or local school spring breaks.
You can be ready to sow doubt among potential thieves by adding some variety to your lighting activity from afar through your app. Shifting or adjusting your lighting schedule generates the appearance that someone is home.
Your lighting will also improve the effectiveness of your home alarm or surveillance system. For one, light could increase the chance that a trespasser or thief will notice your signage about an active security system.
Additionally, good exterior lighting allows surveillance cameras to capture meaningful images. When you get notifications about movement through a Google Nest or Ring system, you will have a greater ability to judge the severity of the problem.
Safe in the Circle of Light
Since earliest times, people have valued the ring of light around their fire that kept back whatever was hidden by the night. Security lights can surround your home in a protective shell that informs criminals that they cannot approach undetected. At Night Owl Landscape Lighting, we know how to optimize your first line of defense against trespassers and intruders.