Utilitech Security Lighting
By Luke Rayner
This post was written with the help of “The Insider’s Guide to Home Security”, a useful book that helped me to understand what type of security lighting and other measures my property required (There’s a link to the book’s website at the bottom of this article).
Security Lighting is one of the best preventative measures you can use to protect your home from intruders and burglary. Not only will it deter home invaders but outdoor security lighting will also give you peace of mind and supply needed illumination when using outside areas of your property at night.
Indoor security lighting accessories include timers which can be connected to existing lamps and lighting fixtures, these timers will turn the lights on and off at random intervals to simulate somebody being inside the property.
According to The Insiders Guide to Home Security, it is best to install security lighting in secluded vulnerable parts of your property such as gardens, garages and any place where an intruder might try to gain access.
Types of Security Lighting
There are four main types of security lighting;
Outdoor Flood Lighting – Outdoor flood lighting is used to illuminate large areas like a backyard or drive. These lighting fixtures often come with motion sensors that will turn on the light when they detect movement. This is energy efficient if you want to use lighting purely as a deterrent when a potential intruder approaches.
Those who want to use the lighting to illuminate their property for aesthetic purposes, as well as outdoor security can opt for lighting fixtures that use low-energy CFL and LED bulbs rather than the brighter but more power-hungry halogen and xenon varieties.
Outdoor Spot Lighting – Outdoor spotlighting is mainly used to light smaller spaces like porches, steps and the outside of garages.
Both outdoor flood and spot lighting are available with solar batteries, these types of motion sensor lighting fixtures charge during the day and normally have enough energy to last through the night.
Indoor Security Lighting – Indoor security lighting consists of small low-powered battery lighting which can automatically turn on in the event of a power outage, and also can be configured to activate along with a fire alarm.
Indoor Lighting Timers – Do you ever leave a light on when you go out for the evening? Many people do this because they think potential thieves will think someone is home. Police call this solitary light, “the burglar beacon”. This is because thieves have gotten wise to this technique.
A timing unit will turn lights on and off at random intervals, meaning it will look like the property is occupied by anyone who is watching. These timing units can also be connected to televisions and radios which will further compound the effect when someone is home.
You may also opt for wifi connected smart bulbs, these can be controlled and have schedules set via a smartphone app.
Installing Security Lighting
Outdoor Installation – When installing security lights it is important to make sure they are positioned out of easy reach, this way they cannot be tampered with or disabled quickly. Although positioning fixtures out of reach will make changing bulbs harder, energy-saving lamps and LED bulbs can last for years, so this should not be too much of an issue.
When positioning outdoor flood lighting, take care where you aim the lighting fixture’s beam. If the light from your unit intrudes into other people’s properties you may face problems from your neighbours or local neighbourhood committees.
If your security lights have a motion detector, make sure that this is pointing away from your home, so that movement from you inside your property does not set off your lights. Some motion detectors have a sensitivity control, this is useful because a motion detector that is too sensitive can be triggered by small animals or falling leaves. Some experimentation is required here to find the perfect balance.
Outdoor spotlighting is best placed where it will be most useful, a porch spotlight should be positioned so that it illuminates a person approaching, allowing you to see clearly who is attempting to enter your home. This is also useful as it lets you see your keyhole for swift entry into your house.
Indoor Installation – Try to install indoor lighting timers on lamps and fixtures that are near windows that are visible from the exterior of the building. Timing a light to turn off in one room and then have another light turn on in other rooms a few seconds later creates the impression of somebody being at home and moving from room to room. As thieves often “stake out’ a property before deciding whether to rob it, seeing this kind of lighting activity will almost certainly deter them.
Testing for Peace of Mind
Whatever type of utilitech security lighting you install, it is a good idea to test it on a monthly bases. This will involve making sure everything is working and no bulbs need replacing etc. Also observing your home from the outside taking on a potential intruder’s point of view will be beneficial in making sure your security lighting set-up is as good as it can be.