This is one quandary you didn't quite expect as you began to research how to “light up” your home with outdoor lighting.
As you did expect, companies that sell home security systems and outdoor lighting swear that their products deter crime. Their argument seems logical: Burglars prefer to go unnoticed, so keep your home well-lit and stop them in their tracks. Many metropolitan police departments – including those in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago – agree with this logic and urge homeowners to enact these and other home safety & security measures.
But the issue gets tricky when you dig a little deeper. Not only have many research studies failed to link increased lighting with reduced crime, some studies – like those conducted by the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority – have shown that enhanced lighting can actually make it easier for a burglar or thief to see in the dark.
So what's a conscientious homeowner to do? Follow the rational advice of Experts in Your Home, who also happen to be experts outside the home, too.
Burglars are Choosy
Keep the bigger picture in mind: a home burglary occurs every 18 seconds in the United States, usually when residents aren't home, according to the FBI. And a comprehensive study conducted by the University of North Carolina – from “the offender's perspective” – showed that burglars are, in fact, strongly deterred by the “close proximity of other people” as well as “increased security” such as alarms, alarm signs, outdoor cameras and dogs.
This study, like others, strongly suggests that burglars pick their targets carefully, surveying not only the outside of a home but what may be going on inside, too. Most burglars choose homes with the fewest impediments and want to work undetected and at a fast pace; the last thing they want is to be picked out of a police lineup by an eagle-eyed neighbor in “close proximity” who clearly made out his or her face from a motion-activated floodlight.
Moreover, many of the Experts' customers report that outdoor security lighting makes them and their family feel safer, especially when:
- An adolescent is left in charge of a household while the adults are away.
- Anyone in the household returns home and doesn't want to fumble for keys or navigate a sidewalk or stairs in the dark.
The Experts Endorse Outdoor Security Lighting
While home safety is a strong motivator, outdoor lighting can also enhance the ambiance of a home – casting soft light and artful shadows on a home. All things considered, then, the Experts advocate a holistic approach to outdoor security lighting. We recommend that:
- Outdoor security lighting focus on five key areas
- The lights in front of a home be placed on a timer (to signal to a watchful burglar that people are home – even if they're not)
- Timers be used on interior lights to send the same message
- The lights in the rear of a home be tripped by motion-activated sensors
An Experts In Your Home Electrician Can Install Lighting Strategically
The Experts electricians focus on five strategic areas to install outdoor security lighting:
- The front door (including the porch, if there is one)
- The garage door (usually with one light on each side)
- The back door
- Walkways (including sidewalks and pathways)
- Accent and landscape lighting (including uplighting from flowers and shrubs, downlighting from under the eaves or roof line and spotlighting a focal point, such as a tree or fountain)
To enhance the safety of your home and beautify it at the same time, call an electician at Experts in Your Home for a consultation. We'll create a custom lighting plan that will “light up” your home with style – and solve your quandary once and for all.
Experts In Your Home has been serving the North State’s construction, remodeling and maintenance needs for over 30 years and provides home painting, heating & air conditioning, plumbing, electrical services & more for your home or business in the communities of Chico, Paradise, Magalia, Durham, Oroville, Red Bluff, Corning & Orland, California.