Lighting up your garden will keep burglars away, right? That’s largely true, but like many things in life, it’s not that simple. A well-lit yard could make it easier for bad guys to see during a break-in.
From streetlights to porch lights, studies show that better outdoor lighting reduces crime. But those same reports indicate that security lighting works best as part of a plan that takes into account what scammers are looking for.
The basic advice from law enforcement, insurance companies and home security system providers is not to just turn on the yard light before bed. In fact, you might want to turn it off before you go.
The goal is to make people feel at home. Turning the lights on and off gives your home a lived-in look. And if you’re not there, well, there’s an app for that.
Here are six tips for electrifying your outdoor lighting technology and increasing your home security.
1. Think like a burglar. Intruders tend to enter a house through a door, and they’d rather you weren’t home, so they watch for signs that people are at work. That’s why most burglaries happen during the day, and why leaving your lights on all day and night, or when you’re on vacation, can be an advertisement that no one is home. Keep the yard lit while you’re up and around to show normal activity – turning off the porch light at bedtime can be a sign to a potential intruder that someone is in the house. Pay attention to places that could conceal a break-in – keep trees and bushes trimmed.
2. Light up for the right reasons. Looking to light up an aisle for guests or keep intruders away from an entryway? Place the lights so that they hit your target. And security isn’t just about reducing crime. A well-lit outdoor space can also prevent trips, falls, and other accidents.
3. Use technology. Electronic timers and lights that come on when they detect motion can make it look like someone is home and can light up the sidewalk when returning from an outing, without leaving the lights on. permanence. Increasingly, lights and fixtures can be linked to a smartphone so you can turn them on and off while you’re on the go.
4. Weigh the pros and cons of a home security system. Security cameras, alarm systems and protection services offer a wide range of conveniences, including fire protection or checking if your pets jump on the dining table when you leave. A security camera can also help identify someone who steals a package delivered to your door. They can be expensive, so do your research carefully and know what you’re trying to accomplish.
5. Protect yourself from Internet hackers. Internet-connected devices can be hacked by digitally savvy troublemakers. Whether it’s a security camera or a smart light bulb, they provide a way for cyber crooks to gain access to your personal information. Basic internet security advice is to have strong passwords and change them regularly, especially on the central router in your home. Keep software up to date on your devices. These updates often add the latest cyber protections. While it’s tempting, don’t use social media to tell the world you’re on vacation. Remember to share your travel photos after your return.
6. Go old fashioned. Besides electricity and technology, use people to reduce crime. Invite a police officer to give a safety briefing at a neighborhood meeting. They can outline the best steps for your area. And of all the tips for reducing crime, experts say the best is getting to know your neighbors, who can recognize and report any unusual activity.
7. It turns out that lighting the way to safety involves making a plan, using technology wisely, and having a little help from your friends.