The Bright Ideas Blog

Design inspiration and outdoor lighting tips and advice for homeowners

5 Security Lighting Techniques to Keep Your Home Safe at Night

Security lighting can improve most any home's security system.

However, there are varying opinions and multiple ways security lighting can be approached. In this post, we discuss our 5 favorite techniques / concepts to help improve your home's security with low voltage landscape lighting. 

1. Motion Sensors Aren't Always the Answer

For a long time now, its been argued that lights with motion sensors are the best kind of lights for security. The idea is that the bright lights will switch on once an intruder enters the property and scare them away. 

So whats the problem with motion sensors?

Good security lighting is meant to do two things: act as a deterrent to trespasser, and allow you to see if anyone has entered your property.

Motion sensors often fail to effectively deter trespassers because the trespasser still has to enter your property before the lights will turn on.

If the trespasser has decided to enter your property, then the motion sensor isn't likely to "scare them away". They've already made up their mind once they've committed to taking that first step onto your property. 

If motion sensors fail to deter, then what is our other option?

 Dark Home with No Security Lighting

The better deterrent is the kind that will keep someone from entering your property in the first place. We like to say that a well lit property is a property less trespassed. In other words, the lights should be kept on during the evening without motion sensor activation.

Lets examine why. This requires us to use our imagination and try to think like a trespasser. If a trespasser is prowling through neighborhoods late at night, they are usually looking for the easiest target: the dark home with no apparent or obvious security measures.

If your home / property is well lit, you're home is already putting up a psychological barrier.

Effective Security Lighting Solution 

While no one is trying to deflect crime away from their home and onto the neighbors, a trespasser will usually continue past a well illuminated home in search of a more vulnerable target a few neighborhoods over. In their head they're thinking, "why risk being seen or detected when there is a home somewhere else posing less risk?"

Motion sensors fail to effectively deter trespassers because the lights miss their opportunity to deter trespassers from even considering your residence as a possibility. 

2. Create Rings of Security

Effective security lighting should deter trespassers. However, it also needs to reveal if anyone ever does enter your property.

One of the advantages of illuminating your property with landscape lighting is the way it creates bespoke rings of security. Extending the reach of your lighting to the very outer edges of your property, in a tasteful manor, allows you greater visual control over our surroundings.

Its a wonderful thing when the lighting around your property can add both beauty and function

Beautiful Security Lighting From Inside Home

We want beautiful accents of light that lend depth to our visual control over the scene outside our window.

We want to eliminate the dark pockets and areas where someone could see weakness. Casting soft lights over the key landscape elements around our properties eliminates the hiding places. 

3. Be Mindful of the Neighbors

Bright powerful flood lights are great for lighting up a sport court. But they're not so great for the neighbors who live around you. 

Most everyone has experienced what its like to have the neighbors houselights shine in their windows at night. Did the next door neighbor leave their back patio light on. You know, the one that shines in your bedroom window all night. Or does the neighbor across the street have big flood lights set up on a motion sensors that blind the whole neighborhood every time a bird, cat, or gust of wind sets it off?

Security lighting can be beautiful, tasteful, and not upset everyone living nearby. 

Olympus Cove Security Lighting

Indirect lighting that is shielded with shrouds and aimed properly, can help us be responsible and aware of what our lighting does to those around us.

For example, take a look at the photo above. We can see the effect, but not the light source.

Its the glare from a powerful light source that upsets the neighbors. However, soft accents of warmly toned lighting levels that have been aimed properly don't bother anyone. 

4. Functional Task Lighting Adds to Your Security Lighting

Task lighting serves a duel purpose: It can help us see our way, but it can also help us see trespassers.

Down lights shinning onto a pathway shows us where we are going and helps us avoid trip hazards. However, down lights also help us see motion outside our windows at night.

Down Lighting Path

Ninety percent of the year, beautiful landscape lighting is enjoyed from inside the home. It creates a backdrop that extends your visual range well outside the four walls of the back dinning room.

Not only does landscape lighting turn our dark window panes into beautiful living portraits, it also adds an extra element of security. 

5. Light Your Entryways

Entryways are where the greatest number of incidents tend to occur. These are your home's weak point. Especially places like the side or back door to the garage. Entrances around your home should be lit to prevent incident.

Trespassers don't want to be seen. A light shining directly on a door will become a door they don't want to approach. 

Garage Security Lighting


There are different techniques and ways to increase your home's security with lighting. However, when it comes to security lighting for beauty and safety in mind, landscape lighting is one of the best security lighting approaches out there. 

With security lighting, its not always about having the loudest or brightest lights in the neighborhood. It can also be about having beautiful lighting accents that bring you piece of mind. 

It's important to mention that even the best security lighting is no replacement for a proper security system. Security lighting serves as an extra measure, a way of reinforcing a clear message that your property is not worth the trouble. If you have serious security concerns, consider a proper security system to back up your security lighting. 

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 & 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, and Utah Counties.

If you have an upcoming project you'd like help with, call (801)440-7647 for more information, schedule a free consultation, or feel free to simply fill out a contact form.

Are you looking to learn more about security lighting for your own home? Why not schedule a consultation with one of our lighting designers?


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