Security Lighting for Your Home
Security Lighting for Your Home
January 19, 2019
Plenty of light, inside and out, is an excellent deterrent.
A well-lit interior at night tells would be intruders it’s likely someone is home, and exterior lighting exposes them if they approach your house. So, not surprisingly, burglars don’t like the light. Evaluate and improve the lighting around your house – both inside and out – to discourage prowlers and to increase safety.
Select and place fixtures to provide an uneven blanket of light at entrances and to eliminate dark zones around the house where a person can hide. Brighter isn’t necessarily better. Left on all night, glaring lights can annoy neighbours, blind visitors, and consume a great deal of electricity. Along walkways and in the landscaping, the artificially equivalent of a bright full moon (40-60 W) is sufficient to discourage a burglar. For increased safety at entries, however, and for any security lights that you don’t burn all night, use higher wattage fixtures.
Follow these guidelines for lighting key areas:
At entry doors. Use fixtures with two bulbs or pairs of one-bulb fixtures at each of your homes exterior doors, including doors that you don’t often use. A second bulb provides a greater spread of light and ensures that the door won’t be in the dark when one bulb burns out.
At the garage door. Equipped with a motion detector, a fixture mounted above the garage door will turn on automatically every time someone – family, guests, or an unwanted visitor – enters your drive. Again, a double fixture provides both a backup and increased lighting coverage.
Along walkways and driveways. The path from the street to your house, and from a detached garage to the house should be well-lit. A post light at the end of the driveway on a short walk we will do the job. For longer paths, use low-voltage fixtures to light the way.
Under eaves. Use floodlights pointed downwards from the eaves to wash the side of the house with light, and install them at corners to eliminate two sides of the house. Don’t point light away from the house; that leaves an unlit gap between house and light. And, where possible, place fixtures high enough to be unreachable by someone standing on the ground.
Choose a model with a motion sensor. The lights will come on only when someone or something comes into range. Or, if you want them on all night, choose a model with a photo-electric cell; the lights will turn on at dusk and off at dawn.
Under windows. Mount fixtures on the ground, directing light up through trees and shrubs, to illuminate windows. Use low-wattage lights so you can see out.
Under the deck. A basement or egress window that opens onto an area under a deck needs security lighting. For the door, a standard fixture with a motion sensor is a good choice. For a window, a low-voltage well light will provide a gentle illumination.
Low-Voltage Lighting Solutions
Enhance both landscaping and security lighting with a low-voltage lighting system. You can usually install one of these inexpensive systems in an afternoon using only a screwdriver, a drill, and a garden spade. The heart of the low-voltage system is a weatherproof transformer that reduces their output to just 12 V. This means you cant get shocked, even if you touch a bare wire or cut a cable with a garden tool. And, you don’t need to worry about children playing near the lights or pets zapping themselves.
For even more security, economy, and convenience use a specialized transformer. Options include a timer to automatically turn lights on and off, photocells that turn lights on at dusk and off at sunrise, or a photocell/interval timer that turns lights on at dusk and off after an interval of your choice.
*Mushroom lights have large shades that direct light downward on walks, steps, or plants. Different shades and heights alter the width and intensity of the light.
*Floodlights provide dramatic silhouettes, as well as excellent security. Mount them on walls or entries. Or, for emphasis, install floodlights on the ground and point them skyward.
*Well lights achieve dramatic lighting effects on trees, shrubbery foliage, architectural features, or statuary.
*Deck lights along the railings add security by increasing the eliminated area around the house. They also improve safety when used to light steps to the yard
Outdoor Grounded Timers
To control outdoor lighting, choose a grounded timer. To prevent anyone but you from changing the settings, be sure to place the timer inside a locked area, or choose a model with a locking cover.
If you need any electrical repairs, replacements, or upgrades in your Reno home, contact The Happy Outlet! Give us a call at 833-2B-HAPPY to schedule an appointment and get started.