Optimum lighting for residential security

The security of the home is significant to the homeowner, and it is generally accepted that during the hours of darkness, external security lighting can assist in reducing intruders attempt to access the property, but unfortunately, just placing some lights around the home does not always provide that guarantee and the main reason for external lighting is safe access and in gaining the enjoyment of the garden when it gets dark.

Let’s consider why the criminal targets the home, and it appears there is a pattern where an attempted break-in is based upon location, appearance and affluence, as well as just opportunists making a attempt when walking past and seeing an opportunity.

For those entering their local wholesaler after having been a victim or being concerned about being targeted, what advice can be given to reduce the likelihood of them being just a future statistic in the crime figures?

I would suggest that external lighting does make many people feel safer in their homes and installing some form of security lighting will allow the homeowner the ability to see well illuminated spaces around the garden and driveway when its dark, which offers a level of reassurance that no trespassers are around their home and this is effective against the fear of crime, as the homeowner feels safe and secure inside the property behind the locked doors and windows.

The question of lighting alone deterring an attempt to gain access to the home is somewhat clouded in mystery, as it has been said, that security lighting may be considered counter-productive, as, when activated or continuously on, it may provide an environment in which the level of crime could increase.

A prowler may consider that having light to see by, helps in his quest to gain access, however when security lighting is used in conjunction with other measures, such as securely locked windows and doors, an audible alarm system and possibly security cameras, this provides a beneficial package of hopefully preventing theft.

If the wholesaler takes time to discuss the concerns the customer has about security generally, and with his knowledge to offer a suitable solution, including what lighting and other security-based equipment is available, this should reassure the customer of coming to the right place to purchase what is required.  

In respect of the lighting, just placing security lighting everywhere around the home’s exterior is not the answer, rather consider carefully, the installation positions and what type of lighting equipment will offer the optimum solution for the home. Then discuss the method of how the system is to be operated, whether through manual switching, photocell control, or by sensor control activated through movement within the area of detection.

Alternatively, optimum control may be a smart based solution which can, in addition to manual or timed switching and activation through movement, be operated through a mobile phone or tablet remotely by the homeowner, allowing them to have a solution which fits best with their daily lives.

Selecting the right equipment and how it is anticipated that the lighting will be used, falls into one of two scenarios, where the illumination is of areas which can clearly be seen by the homeowner when safe inside the property, and seen from surrounding properties and by people walking innocently past in the street or alternatively where illumination is for areas not visible by the homeowner, not overlooked from adjacent properties or having no clear line of sight from the street.

For visually seen areas, the use of activated lighting by manual switching, through a photocell or Passive Infrared or microwave detection offers a beneficial solution, for lighting is switched on or activated through detection, will allow visibility of any potential intruder approaching the property. An ideal solution for the frontal areas of the home and possibly the driveway to the front and side as well as the front of the garage. For a gated driveway, lighting can be positioned to illuminate the exterior of the gate, as any attempt to climb over increases the likelihood of being seen. Properties which back onto others, may have the rear garden visible from overlooking properties, and this type of lighting may be like that being installed elsewhere for visible areas.

For hidden areas of the garden or if in a more rural location, having automatically controlled security lighting might have seemed the best way to go, however, if upon activation through detection, there is no person around to visually see that lighting has been activated, this may be considered an inappropriate solution.

All in all, it’s not one solution fits all, with differing requirements for security lighting for different applications, which means considering what equipment is on offer and in doing so, installing external security lighting is certainly beneficial, however, lighting alone will not deter those having already targeted the property, meaning the installation of other forms of deterrent is equally important.

Remember the customer came in to purchase some home security lighting and taking the time to offer the right advice may result in them going out with a whole lot more, including possibly, a lighting control system, whilst also feeling confident that your input has allowed them to make the appropriate decisions for providing the optimum security to the home, their greatest asset.

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