Home Security Lighting
It is widely accepted that appropriate lighting can help to reduce crime and act as an effective deterrent to burglars. Appropriate lighting will help to make your home more visible to neighbours and passers-by; thereby increasing the likelihood of discovering unwanted intruders and trespassers. Lighting also helps to reduce the fear of crime. However, it should also be noted that lighting does have limitations and so should be regarded as an aid to other security features in your home such as good physical security.
The most commonly used forms of exterior lighting are Robotic Security Lights, tungsten halogen floodlights and porch/bulkhead lights. Other types, including garden lights, are also available and suitable.
What type is best for me?
This is often a difficult decision to make. Some people prefer to have the bright light that a floodlight offers; others prefer the more subdued light of a lower wattage lamp. Floodlights tend to be operated with the aid of a movement/infra-red sensor and/or a manual override switch. These are normally pre-set to switch off after a short period. It is generally not acceptable, practical or feasible to keep these lights on continuously: your electricity bill alone would be enormous, not to mention that it would be very environmentally unfriendly and very annoying to your neighbours.
Porch/bulkhead lights, can be fitted with a photo electric sensitive cell which will activate the light at dusk and turn it off at dawn. These lights can be fitted with low wattage bulbs e.g. the energy saving Compact Fluorescent bulbs which are long-lasting and economical to run thereby making them more environmentally friendly. It is important to ensure that, as with floodlights, the light is directed appropriately and that it is well-positioned. These lights can also be easily connected to a timer switch if preferred over a ‘dusk to dawn’ system. If you also have a CCTV system in place, you must ensure that yur lighting system is compatible with your cameras. Site testing, in different light levels, should be carried out to ensure that this is so.
At night, in most occupied home lights are switched on and off at irregular intervals in different rooms. The light in the sittingroom may be switched on for hours at a time whereas the light in another room e.g. a hallway or bedroom may only be switched on intermittently as people move in and out of these rooms. In some homes, particularly those with children, the light on the landing is often left permanently on during the night. It is important therefore, when a home is vacant, that an impression is generated to would-be intruders that the home is in fact occupied. This can easily be achieved by leaving some lights switched on for long periods and others for short random periods. The idea being to try to recreate the normal living and lighting activities when the home is occupied. Consider all areas, both front and back, upstairs and downstairs.
There are numerous devices available to achieve this:
- Plug -in mechanical or electrical timers on a wall socket connected to a table or other lamp.
- ‘Dusk to Dawn’ automatic sensors that fit into standard ceiling light sockets.
- Similar timer sensors that fit into ceiling light sockets etc.
To summarise, when installing security lighting, please consider each of the following –
- Avoid the creation of shadows and dark areas.
- Position the light fitting out of reach
- Aim for a uniform light level.
- Direct the light beam appropriately.
- Consider your neighbours.