In a study conducted by criminologists here in the United States, 400+ burglars were questioned as to what were typical deterrents that would keep them from breaking into a home or business. One of the most common answers from the group said lack of places to hide on a property that was well lit was the #1 factor.
Most homes will normally have two, maybe three, front exterior lights when they are constructed; one usually at the front door, and one or two, depending on the size of the home, bordering the garage.
I challenge each of you to go outside your home tonight and put yourself into the mindset of a potential burglar. Is there a lack of hiding places around your home, both front and back? Are there any dark spots that aren’t illuminated by available lights? If you answered no to the first question, and yes to the second, you need to rethink your exterior lighting security plan.
Two things to consider when planning your exterior security lighting scheme. Landscape lighting and security lighting should both be used, but neither is mutually exclusive. What I mean by that is your landscape lighting is not sufficient enough for security, and your security lighting will do nothing to highlight the landscaping you’ve spent so much time and effort on. But both, together, can serve as deterrents.
When planning out your security lighting, look at the exterior of your home at night and see where lighting is most needed. You’ll need to make sure all entry ways are covered and any area, think large bushes, where someone could hide.
I strongly recommend using Motion Activated Lighting that comes on whenever the motion sensor is triggered. And use spotlight landscape lighting to assure that those large bushes, trees, etc., are well lit making them terrible places for someone to hide.
New on the market the last two years or so, is lighting that actually includes security cameras secreted inside the fixtures. These can be add-ons to exiting lights, or replacements for what you already have. They come in a variety of different styles and are actually quite attractive.
Don’t put off conducting your exterior lighting survey. There’s no time like the present and there’s been a steady rise in residential burglaries throughout the U.S. and Canada.
I also recommend this article on the Doberman line of security products for a low-cost way to add security to basement windows.
About the Author: R.L. Walters is the founder of FortifyMyHouse.com and acts as its chief contributor. He has over 30 years experience in security and investigations. He's an avid biker and also enjoys hiking and photography. Besides managing Fortify My House, Lee also consults with a variety of corporations and private individuals in the area of security and investigations.