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Residential Security Lighting

According to the National Institute of Crime Prevention, 90% of all crime occurs after dark (however, remember, a lot of burglaries occur in broad daylight). Good lighting deters crime and provides a more secure environment. It not only allows you (the homeowner) to see any potential threats in the area, but also allows criminals to realize they are more easily seen and possibly recognized. However, notice the key word is “good” lighting. What is good lighting? This is lighting that is set up to provide the homeowner exactly what they are looking for: lighting that provides a field of vision in areas which would otherwise be good for criminal activities.

There are, however, some considerations when putting up lighting. First, you must recognize that when you put up lighting, you will probably increase peripheral shadows; those areas may appear darker now because your eyes adjust to the light, not the shadows, and could providing hiding spots for people. The brighter the light, the more it affects your night vision. You also need to ensure the lighting is pointed in the right direction, which means away from your home and into the yard, but not angled in such as manner as to antagonize your neighbors. Remember, if the lighting is pointed towards your home, you are giving outsiders  a better view of your home; if it is properly pointed away from your home, you create blind spots for people looking from the outside in (this can be good or bad, depending on your perspective). What you DON’T want to do is point the light towards your neighbor’s home…who wants bright light coming in through their windows? You also don’t want to point the lighting so far away that you provide shadows (in which to hide) right next to your house.

Another consideration is the brightness of the light. If it is too bright, and points away from your home, it can also serve to shield the activities of criminals who can hide behind the brightness, as well as help them to see what they are doing. So, to prevent this, ensure you use a light that is not too bright and has a shielded housing that keeps it pointed in the right direction. How bright is enough? That depends on multiple factors, but the general rule of thumb is that you should be able to read a standard newspaper in any area which you considered to be “covered” by the light. Unless you have very specific security needs (like you are concerned about a hit man coming after you), that is probably good enough, and most outdoor lighting sold today will do that. If you can’t do that, invest in better bulbs or LED lighting.

There are a variety of home security lights available on the market, with many options available. From manual, to timed, to motion sensor, there are choices everywhere you go. Stick to the basics. Motion lights can be very good (and save energy) if they have a good enough field of view (the motion sensor), but they can be a pain when they are near a window and a gang of cats is running around. Get lights which meet the above criteria, ensure you angle them properly, and it will enhance your overall security strategy.

Call us; we can help! The threat is real, is your security?

Stay safe, Jason

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