Lighting Your Way to Safety

Lighting Your Way to Safety

A well-lit exterior creates a warm glow and can make your San Diego home more attractive. Lighting also makes visitors to your home feel welcome.
Lighting isn’t only about aesthetics; the savvy homeowner knows outdoor security lighting adds a layer of safety for the people living in and visiting their home.
Here are some ways you can keep your home safe with security lights.


Designing Your Outdoor Security Lighting System

Before you install even one outdoor light, you’ll need to survey the outside of your home. You’ll also do your due diligence regarding criminal activity in your neighborhood, city codes, and other ordinances that pertain to outdoor lighting.

Take time to look around your home during different times of the day. You may notice shadowed areas in the evening that aren’t as apparent in the middle of the day. Pay special attention to the areas near windows, the garage, and places where landscaping could provide cover for prowlers.

Be prepared to adjust your security lighting needs over time as your neighborhood grows. As your neighborhood changes, you may need to install more lighting.

Light Up the House

It’s easy to get carried away with outdoor lighting. While your goal is lighting up the area around your home, you should do it strategically.

Start with the entry points. Lighting up the front and back entrance lets you see who is outside before you open the door. Don’t forget side doors, including those leading into the garage.

Next, plan on illuminating the lower windows.

The windows at the lowest level of a home are usually the most enticing to someone intent on breaking in. Lower level windows are often hidden by shrubs or outside air conditioning units. Shine a light on these areas and make them unwelcome to intruders.

Your yard, including outdoor living areas, also need lighting. Consider any pathways that aren’t lit up by lights from the front, side, or back of your home. If you have a pool area or gazebo, plan for lighting there too.

Your garage, whether it’s attached or detached, should have lights on each corner.

Finally, look at your trees. When you planted those big trees, you wanted shade and beauty. Maybe you didn’t realize, but large trees offer hiding places too. Put lights on the trees and you won’t lose sleep at night wondering who’s hiding behind them.

Create a Flood of Light

One mistake homeowners make when designing security lighting systems is installing bright lights, like floodlights, above doorways.

Blinding lights focused on a doorway cast an intense beam of light while creating shadows in the yard. This can conceal criminal activity. It also creates a beacon and lights the way for an intruder intent on getting inside.

If you’ve chosen to use floodlighting as part of your outdoor security lighting plan, install them along the roofline. This strategic placement lights up most of your yard. Placing them high up on your home also deters someone from tampering with them.

Ever Heard of Ambient Lighting?

When you use ambient lighting outdoors, you get a soft glow that blankets the area without a harsh glare. It’s most often used for light scaping, and to add a little extra splash of elegance to your yard.

You can also utilize ambient lighting to increase security around the perimeter of your home.

Install post lights near pathways. Use hanging lights on porch entryways complemented by wall lights at each side of entry doors. Install surface lighting nearby to reduce shadows.

Now, criminals can’t hide out in the shadows around your home. Hint: Make sure your ambient lighting doesn’t glare. With soft light, you’ll get plenty of illumination, and make the area unfriendly for potential intruders.

Benefits of LED Lighting

Remember when you were a kid and couldn’t wait for summer so you could play outside after dark? Most parents started flipping the porch lights on as soon as dusk arrived. The dull yellow glow probably made you feel warm and secure.

Maybe families felt more secure back then, and the old school porch lights worked just fine. Today, we have better and safer options for lighting up the night.

If you want a safer light for your sidewalks and other pathways, LED security lighting offers a brighter white than traditional lighting. The bright light makes a safer place for walking, and it’s harder to trip and fall when you can see where your feet should go.

Keep in mind, outdoor security lighting isn’t only about deterring prowlers. It’s also about keeping you safe from falling while navigating your yard and sidewalks at night.

Interested in a bonus? LED lights also use less energy than either incandescent or halogen bulbs, so they’ll save you money in the long run.

Can I Use Colored Lights?

While colored lights can add a splash of character to your outdoor living space, they don’t work so well for security.

Colored lights create distortion. Imagine standing under a red light. Your skin tone looks off, and you can’t tell what color clothes you’re wearing.

The same thing happens when an intruder stands in colored light. Colored lights may interfere with your ability to give an accurate description of someone who enters your outdoor space.

For a brighter and cleaner light, go with white or clear light bulbs.

Now, this doesn’t mean you can’t choose colored lighting at all. Why not place colored lights where they can accent a favorite sculpture or another piece of outdoor art?

Security Lights in Motion

Another way you can use lighting for security is with motion sensing technology.

Motion sensor lights act like tiny electronic eyes watching over your home. They turn on when they detect infrared waves. These are heat waves that radiate from an object in motion.

One benefit of motion sensor lights is the element of surprise. When an intruder is caught with the light on, they usually leave the area quickly.

The drawback to motion sensor lights is that they come on every time something moves across their field of view. Unless you want the light to turn on every time a cat passes by, you’ll want to adjust the distance-range setting.

Did you know you can install LED motion sensor lights? Even better, you can install them anywhere outside your home.

Ready to Light Your Way to Safety?

As you can see, with the right planning, you can make the outside of your home just as safe as the inside.

Outdoor security lighting is the way to go when you want to enjoy both the beauty of light and create an environment that welcomes you and your family, but not intruders.

If you’re ready to install security lighting at your home, we’d love to partner with you. Contact us today and request a free lighting consultation.

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