Security Lighting

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Security Lighting

There is no doubt that security lighting can deter burglars and it also reduces the fear of crime. A simple plug in timer could be enough to stop an opportunist criminal from burgling your home. The burglar often decides to target a property from looking at it from across the road, so if your property is lit up then they will generally look for another option.   Take a look down your street after dark, can you see anyone lurking around?
There are numerous security lighting products on the market, which usually fall into one of the following four categories:

Timer Operated

These devices can be programmed to switch on lights externally or internally during the hours of darkness or any time in between. There are timer switches that are designed to replace existing room light switches as well as plug in units which fit into a three pin socket. Some models allow for multiple on/off periods. A plug in timer can also switch on a radio tuned to a talk channel giving the impression that your home is occupied.

Manually Operated

This is your typical room light switch. You would switch a light on for short periods using this method i.e. when someone is at the front door. The major drawback with this method is that the light or lights may be left on all night and in the summer months the sun generally rises before us, wasting electricity.

Dusk 'Til Dawn Lighting

This is the preferred method of externally lighting up your home. The lamp stays on during the hours of darkness and goes off as it starts to get light.
These units have many positive features including:-
  • Provides a more pleasant light to sit out on summer nights. 
  • Are very energy efficient.
  • Lamp life is 8 to 10 times more than a typical household light bulb. 
  • Makes the property look more attractive at night. 
  • Makes the occupier appear security savvy. 
  • Is fail safe, as you know instantly when the lamp has failed.


Movement Sensor Operated

The most common form of lighting is a PIR (passive infra-red receiver) operated tungsten halogen lamp. This form of lighting has a number of drawbacks, including:

  • It is extremely energy-inefficient.
  • Often causes annoyance to neighbours. 
  • They create harsh light and extreme shadows. 
  • Quickly lose their credibility through false activations. 
  • They are easily defeated, by masking turning or in some cases stolen.
  • When activated by a criminal, they are often already committed to breaking in. 
  • When fitted near a road it can cause a dazzling effect for motorists. 
  • These fittings can also increase the fear of crime, because of their false alarms, triggering when a cat or dog walks in front of the sensor or a tree sways in the wind.

How many lights will I need?

Everyone’s needs are different. You should aim for at least one or two lights which operate on a dusk till dawn sensor and perhaps a light which is connected to a movement detector, or is manually operated.

Remember that security lighting forms part of a security package

You should always consider the fitting of good locks and possibly an alarm. It should also be remembered that lighting only has real value when the area illuminated is capable of being seen. There is little point, in terms of security, illuminating an area that no one can see.