Security lighting for you home is a powerful tool because it can deter burglars, promote indoor safety and guide you at night. Of course, installing a light here and there won’t do you much good. Plan out an intelligent lighting system to get the full benefits of illumination. Here are the most effective spots to hang your lights and create a safe home:
Facing the Yard
Hang floodlights either on the side of your home, beneath the roof or near the front door to illuminate your entire yard. Many yard lights are also mounted on poles. This strategy helps protect your home from theft and is an important part of home security. Burglars are less likely to target a well-lit home because they don’t have the cover of darkness. In addition, potential thieves don’t want to enter an occupied home, so they’ll go for the dark house that seem empty rather than your bright abode.
The type of fixture you use to illuminate the yard is also critical. High-pressure sodium (HPS) create a yellow or orange glow, and metal halide bulbs produce blue light. These are the most effective options because they can illuminate large areas.
When you place the security lights, be sure they are high enough so burglars can’t tamper with them. Consider installing a plastic guard or metal cage around the bulb so no one can break it by throwing rocks.
Security Lighting for Your Front Door
Both you and your guests will benefit from having lights near the front door. Fumbling for your keys in the dark is never fun, and wall-mounted porch lights will get rid of that hassle. If you have a SMART Connect app for your home security system, you can use your smartphone to turn on the lights remotely before you pull in the driveway. That way, you don’t waste energy leaving the lights on, but you get the benefit of their illumination after dark.
Along the Sidewalk
An uneven sidewalk can create a tripping hazard, so it’s important to drown your sidewalks and pathways in light. You might know not to step near that one crack, but a guest won’t. Place short landscaping security lights along the perimeter of your sidewalk. Consider getting lights that run on solar energy. They’ll be off during the day while they soak up battery life, then turn on after dark – talk about efficient!
Outside of Windows
You may not think of your windows as entry points, but potential burglars do. Place lights near the outside of your home’s windows so thieves can’t hide and sneak inside. Consider getting these lights in conjunction with motion sensors. Not only will the lights deter burglars, but the motion sensor will notify you of any attempt to break in through the windows.
Whether you have stairs inside or out, you should install a lighting fixture nearby. Navigating a staircase is dangerous in the dark, as you or others may trip and fall. Hang a fixture in your indoor stairwells that can be turned on and off both upstairs or downstairs. Outdoor stairs can be illuminated in several ways. If your porch security lighting is strong enough, you may not need additional fixtures. Or you might consider building lights right into the stairs themselves.
Beneath Kitchen Cabinets
Task lighting is a great thing because it illuminates a specific work area. Don’t strain your eyes to see the vegetables you’re chopping, just hang LED lights beneath your cabinets. Dimly lit kitchens aren’t safe because you may fail to notice one of the many hazards present. A bright workspace shows you that the pot handle is too far off the stove or that you almost grabbed the knife the wrong way. Purchase cable lights and install them under your kitchen cabinets so they shine on the counters. Put them on a separate switch so you can turn on either the overhead kitchen light or just the task lamps. They also make a good night light!
Over the Shower
Not all bathroom lighting designs account for shower usage. Climbing in and out of a tub is a challenge for many people, and they could trip if they can’t see. Be sure all of your bathrooms are well lit, and place a fixture in the ceiling over the shower. You’re less likely to slip in the tub if you can see where your grip strips are.
Photo credit: Antonio, Bhunki, Tony Basa; Flickr Creative Commons