Security lighting can be challenging for a lighting designer. The reason isn't because security lighting is difficult to do.
As an outdoor lighting designer, It can be challenging to help people see and think about security lighting differently when the motion light method is all they've known.
Security lighting has traditionally been associated with powerful blinding lights. If you have a neighbor with motion lights that always shine in your windows at night, you know what I'm talking about.
The simple truth is that effective security lighting can be accomplished with lighting that beautifies and accentuates a property. And most importantly, good security lighting keeps the lights from trespassing into your neighbor's windows at night.
Low voltage landscape lighting and LED technology have opened the doors to the way outdoor security lighting can be approached. Residential security lighting is changing. And in my opinion, its changing for the better.
5 Things I've Learned about Security Lighting
Here are five things I've learned that are worth considering for your own security lighting project.
1. Dusk to Dawn
Keep your lights on from dusk to dawn. It doesn't matter the time of day. Crime can occur no matter if it's 11 o'clock at night or 4 in the morning. Turning your lights off at a designated time ,like midnight, means also turning off your security lighting for the night.
In the past, there were two reasons why people would turn off their landscape lighting at a designated time.
- It keeps the electric bill down and reduce the number of burnt out halogen light bulbs that will need to be replaced.
- People didn't want their lights to bother their neighbors all night long.
Responsible and respectful lighting design hides the light source so you experience the effect, not the source. shrouded lenses can be utilized to keep glare from traveling where it shouldn't.
LED technology has allowed for remarkable efficiencies. In addition to providing long lamp life, LED bulbs require very little power. This means you get the best of both worlds with LED: Long lamp life and energy efficiency. Leaving your lights on all night isn't an issue with LED.
2. Rings of Security
Illuminating your landscape does Lighting your landscape creates rings of protection around your property. By lighting key elements throughout your landscape, you are also creating layers of light. Your security reaches further when the lights spread throughout the landscape. These layers act as a deterrent to would be trespassers, and allows you to see what is happening in even the furthest reaches of your property.
Compared with a back porch light, the difference is night and day.
3. Lighting your Address
From making it easier for emergency services to find your home quickly, to simply making it easier for guests, lighting your address is a smart idea.
Making it easier for the food delivery guy to find your home is also always a plus.
4. Light Areas that Pose Vulnerability
There are certain key places around the home that need to be lit for security.
The side door next to the garage is a particularly vulnerable area.
If an area around your home is particularly dark, adding light can only increase the effectiveness of your overall security.
Potential trespassers are looking for vulnerability. Adding light to dark areas creates a buffer, an area where a trespasser doesn't want to venture.
Simply put, a well lit home is a home less trespassed.
5. Motion Sensing Lights
Contrary to popular belief, motion sensing lights do not make for effective security lights. Why? They do not deter trespassers.
The thought behind a motion sensing light is that it will sense someone entering a space and turn a bright light on them. Unfortunately, this kind of lighting doesn't work as the best deterrent.
As mentioned before, a well lit home is a less trespassed home. The number one thing lighting does for your home is act as a deterrent.
The goal should be to deter a trespasser before they enter your property, not after.
Motion activated lights are at a disadvantage over lights that stay on.
When in Doubt
If you are ever in doubt about where to get started with your security lighting project, don't hesitate to get in contact with your local lighting designer. They love talking lights and will look forward to helping you get your project underway.
Landscape Lighting Makes All the Difference
At Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah, the art of outdoor illumination is a real passion we work to perfect. Designing elegantly bespoke landscape lighting systems is simply all we do. For over 15 years, our award winning team of designers and craftsmen have striven to bring the best outdoor lighting experience possible to people’s homes and businesses across the Wasatch Front and beyond.
Located in Midvale, Landscape Lighting Pro of Utah installs, maintains, and repairs lighting systems throughout Utah's residential areas, including Salt Lake City, Park City, Draper, Davis & Utah Counties.
If you have an upcoming project you’d like help with, call us at (801)440-7647 for more information, schedule a free consultation, or feel free to simply fill out a contact form on our website, www.utahlights.com