Home Security Lighting...
Clever ways to illuminate your garden for your security

Home security lighting is one of the most important things any home owner should invest in. Adequate, interactive security lighting tells the potential intruder that you are on the alert and most of them will move on. It exposes the criminal and makes them feel vulnerable. They will much rather go for a house with unlit, dark areas where it is easy to hide.

Home invasion is an attack on your personal space and it is most home owners’ worst nightmare. By installing a well thought out system of security lights, you can counter the threat and it will give you and your family peace of mind. Security lights might not prevent crime altogether, but it is an excellent deterrent. Security lights are a very effective way to protect your personal property and secure your safety.

When you design your home security lighting installation, it is important to keep your overall landscape lighting plan in mind. Your outdoor landscape lighting can already provide you with 80% or more of your required security lighting needs. The use of highly efficient, low energy lighting, controlled by a photo-electric cell (dusk-to-dawn switch):

  • provides an adequate level of illumination for most outside areas,
  • is much more environmentally friendly than halogen lighting, and
  • is extremely cost effective.

So, all you have to do now is to eliminate the shadows and to make sure that there are no hidden and dark areas. Security lighting can therefore fit in very effectively with your overall outdoor lighting design.

Most night-time house break-ins are because of inadequate outside illumination. Burglars can then take their time, as they know that they are unobserved. So, let’s look at some ways to eliminate those shadows as this is the ultimate goal of home security lighting.

Although I personally hate these crude motion detection halogen lights that come on for the most obscure reasons, they do have their uses and must have their place in your security lighting design.

I advise people to use motion activated lights (the type of sensors that detects and recognise movement) as home security lighting where constant light is not needed. This is also the best type of light for dark corners and places where you think your perimeter will be breached.

This type of light is an early warning system, as it alerts you to movement in your property.

BUT, I still argue that it actually has more disadvantages than advantages:

  • It emits a harsh light that very often offends the neighbours. There is an increasing revolt against this in South Africa.
  • These lights are easily interferred with unless it is installed at the correct height of at least 3m above the ground.
  • These lights often switches on for no reason at all and are then discredited by the household and neighbours and most people will not even check why it activated if they did actually notice that is activated. This can actually increase fear in home occupants.

If you do install this type of home security lighting, then please ask the sales assistant for clear installation instructions on the do's and don'ts for the installation of the lights.

Please... do not install them where they will be a nuisance to the neighbours. You want your neighbours to be a part of your overall security alert and therefor you do not want to pee them off with lights that shine right into their bedroom window.

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