We all trust our homes to be our sanctuary; our refuge from the world, where we can rest and relax. And when that trust is broken, it unnerves us. So, how do I make my home safer?
One of the best ways to protect your home from a break-in is with lighting. A home surrounded by darkness is quite the draw for thieves and trespassers: they can move about undetected. A well-lit home discourages trespassers and intruders by making them far more likely to be seen, which is exactly what they DON’T want.
So, what works and what doesn’t for residential security lighting?
You would think a motion activated lighting would be a great solution, right? Unfortunately, it is not. It has its place, especially if you have a pathway that you would like to light up a bit more when you are using it, without necessarily needing to remember to turn a light on before you get there (i.e. taking out the trash, or walking the dog.) But typically, if you rely solely on motion activated lighting what ends up happening is that it is too sensitive and becomes an annoyance that no one pays attention to, or the bulbs burn out from overuse; or it’s not sensitive enough and the wrong folks can slip in undetected. Either way, it is not an effective deterrent.
Hmmm. . . more is better, right? Actually, no. More light can have the opposite effect as well. It can create dark shadows that contrast with overly-bright spots of light, and it is difficult to see what is going on in those shadows because our eyes are adjusted to the bright spots. Additionally, poorly aimed and bright lights can also create glare or shine right into your house, or a neighbor’s house, and make things uncomfortable from the inside as well. Furthermore, over-lighting is just plain ugly. Unfortunately, this can easily happen when you DIY, or use someone who is not trained and certified in outdoor lighting systems.
The very best option out there is dimmable lighting. You control the brightness of your outdoor lighting. Generally, you have it at its brightest setting until 10 or 11p.m. and then automatically dim it gradually until dawn, when the sun takes over. Dimmable lighting ensures that there is still enough light for anyone walking around on your property to be easily seen, but not so much as to be disruptive to those trying to sleep. Using LEDs lights lowers the energy usage by 80 to 85% compared to halogen lamps, so it is not going to cost you a fortune to keep the lights on. And what it can save you is immeasurable.
A certified landscape lighting technician is trained to design and install lighting that helps keep you, your family and guests safe from intruders and accidents, and beautifies your home as well.
Related Blog: Security Lighting Doesn’t Have to be Ugly
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