HiddenFromTOCDo Outdoor Security Lights Deter Burglars?
- While outdoor security lights are a great deterrent, the majority of burglaries are thought to occur during the daytime. Security lights therefore, are best combined with additional security systems.
- Motion-activated security lights can still protect your property at night, while also keeping you safer if you return home after dark.
- There’s a range of types of security lights which can be installed around your home. Motion-sensing lights will automatically switch on when someone gets too close to your property – which will be enough to stop most thieves in their tracks!
Investing in outdoor security lights can add an extra layer of security to your property. But do outdoor security lights actually work to deter burglars? Is it really worth spending a lot of money on outdoor lighting systems?
Research suggests that outdoor security lights are unlikely to deter most break-ins, but this isn’t because they aren’t an effective deterrent. The reason they don’t prevent most burglaries is because the majority of burglaries are committed during the daytime, when homeowners are more likely to be out of the house at work. While a nighttime break-in allows them to work under the cover of darkness, most burglars don’t want to break into an occupied home.
Does this mean that exterior lights are an ineffective crime deterrent? Absolutely not. In fact, they are a great addition to any home security system. What’s important is that you use a combination of lights and other security measures that work during the daytime, in order to ensure your home is adequately protected.
Advantages of Outdoor Security Lights
While most robberies are committed during the daytime, an outdoor security light can deter potential intruders from entering your property at night.
Opportunistic thieves want to get in and out quickly, while drawing as little attention to themselves as possible. This is easy if your garden is dark, as there’s plenty of corners for them to hide in. An outdoor security light will make any intruder feel exposed and vulnerable, meaning they’re more likely to think twice about entering your home!
Outdoor security lights can also deter unwanted wildlife. Deer, foxes and cats love to tear up flower beds and eat homegrown vegetables! Motion-activated lights will deter wildlife as well as human intruders.
Motion-activated security lights can keep you safer when you’re returning home after dark. While street lights may illuminate the front of your home if you live in a residential area, those living in rural areas may feel uneasy returning to a dark house.
If you’ve got porch lights, you won’t need to fumble around in your bag for a key (which in itself can leave you vulnerable), nor risk tripping over your front door steps. Motion activated lights will switch on when you get close to your property, which can help many people feel safer.
While there aren’t really any disadvantages to outdoor security lights, there’s a few things to consider.
The first is the cost. Security lighting systems can be expensive to install, and you may need to enlist the help of an electrician. Bright lights with different modes or smart controls will be more expensive. If you’ve got a large property to light up, you’ll likely spend more on security lights.
Another consideration is your proximity to neighbours. You’ll need to ensure your security lights don’t affect their property in any way.
While motion activated security lights are advantageous when it comes to convenience, those that are overly sensitive will quickly become irritating. There’s no point having motion detecting security lights if they are constantly triggered by a falling leaf! Some PIR sensors also react to temperature changes and wind, which may lead to false triggers.
Types of Outdoor Security Light
There’s many different types of outdoor security lights, and choosing the right one for your property can be tricky. The best type of light for your property will depend on your budget, size of your property and needs.
Motion Sensor Lighting
Equipped with a PIR (passive infrared sensor), motion-sensing lights will automatically turn on when they detect movement.
This type of light is most commonly used for security purposes, or to deter unwanted wildlife. If you get home late at night, your motion-activated security lights will automatically switch on so you don’t need to find your keys and unlock your door in the dark.
Solar PIR Lights
Solar powered PIR lights still operate using motion detection, but the solar element means they don’t need to be plugged into an electricity source, making them more convenient for outdoor use. These are charged using solar power, making them a cost–effective and eco–friendly alternative to standard PIR lights.
The downside is that if a solar security light doesn’t get enough sunlight, it may not turn on, which can be worrying in the winter months. However, most good quality solar powered lights will receive enough light even in winter to operate for up to 6 hours.
LED lights are a popular choice thanks to their enhanced brightness. They work very well when it comes to deterring intruders, and they use much less electricity than other lights, so should cost less in the long term. While they are more expensive to purchase initially, if used for a long period of time you will eventually save money.
LED lights also last a long longer than standard bulbs – around 30,000 hours as opposed to the usual 2,000.
If you want total control over your security system, opt for smart outdoor lighting. Smart lighting often comes with a camera and motion detector. While more expensive to purchase, smart lighting is invaluable when it comes to adding an extra layer of security to your home.
The best thing about smart lights is that they can be controlled using your smartphone. They connect to your wifi and can be installed all around your property – controlled either individually or together. They remove the need for bulky wiring or outdoor switches.
Smart lights can be operated in a number of ways. Set timing schedules so they turn on at a specific time, set them to turn on when the sun goes down, or control them using a smart panel attached to a wall of your home.
Other Methods to Deter Burglars
It’s important to note that outdoor security lights are most effective when combined with other security systems.
For maximum effectiveness, you could combine your security lighting system with a burglar alarm system, multiple door locks and security cameras.
To prevent opportunistic thefts, ensure you store expensive tools or machinery away and make your garden look uninviting.
Ensure your garden fence is in good condition and lock your garden gate both day and night.