Security lighting is an integral part of the home automation system, but there’s a lot more to it than setting up light fixtures at your front and back doors. There are multiple factors to be considered – what kinds of lights should you use? Where should they be placed? How are you going to set up the electricity line for the lights? Should you have the lighting connected to the main security system or keep them separate in case of emergency? And, most importantly, will they actually make a difference? The answer is YES – when the proper lights are installed in the proper set up for your home, they can make a big difference in guarding against intruders and keeping your property secure.
The Proper Set Up
Installing security lighting is not generally recommended as a DIY project, so without going into all the details of the proper set up, there are a few rules you’ll need to know and understand. First, as security lighting takes electricity just like any other lighting system, you’ll need to consider both how to set up the wiring and how much you’ll be able to afford. If you know you’re tight on funds, you probably won’t want to get a flood light that stays on all night and eats up your electricity bill (flood lights are not always recommended anyway, but we’ll get into that later). Also, remember that security lighting is only helpful at night – it does nothing to protect your home from criminal activity during the day. So since it is to be used at night, you want to make sure that the lights are strategically placed for optimal viewing. This means avoiding setting them up in ways that will cause glares, shadows, or unlit areas that block your vision and encourage criminals to take advantage of you. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure that wherever they are placed, the security lights are not going to be easily vandalized or tampered with. This may mean placing them high up so that they are difficult to reach, or it may mean keeping them recessed in the ground and redirecting the light through pipes or mirrors so that they still reflect where you want them to. They should also be protected in some way by shields that direct the light away from the observer or wire mesh so that they cannot be smashed in or broken. This includes not only the bulb but also the fixture, circuit, and wiring.
Kinds of Security Lighting
There are several suggestions for home security lighting. Floodlights are commonly used home security products and can be beneficial as they provide a lot of light. However, they can bring a false security that criminals exploit; criminals can also see their task better with good lighting, and you may not be around to see them taking advantage of it. Rather than use one or two high powered flood lights, take advantage of smaller lights that use less power, such as moderate power motion sensor lights, which will not cause the same harsh glare that obstructs your view. These will not waste constant power because they will not always be powered on. And if you have several of these, they will allow the entire area to be fully and moderately lit when they do detect motion and turn on. In addition, having more lights with lower power means that if one of them is tampered with or blows out, most of your property will still be lit. Motion sensor lights have PIRs, or passive infrared sensors, which will turn the light on when a person approaches. These light bulbs are usually incandescent ones that are quick to activate. Using motion sensor lights helps in both deterring the criminal from sticking around and in helping you to detect that there is something going on that you should probably check out.
Low pressure sodium vapor lights are also commonly used. These are usually energy efficient and can be used all night. However, they are pure yellow in color, making it more difficult to distinguish the details of what you are seeing in the area. High pressure sodium vapor lights are an option for reducing this color pollution, but they do cost more and can take longer to relight if something happens to the system.
Knowing what kinds of security lighting you should use and how to properly set them up will make a difference in the quality of home security system you have. You can and should always consult a professional for advice. Being armed with this information will help you to know how to best protect your home and keep you, your family, and your possessions safe from vandalism or harm.