Lighting involves the use of artificial light (lamps and light fixtures), and natural illumination by capturing daylight through windows, skylights or light shelves. Proper lighting can improve task performance, enhance the appearance of an area, or even have positive psychological effects on occupants. Yet, an aspect for which lighting is equally important is home security, although many do not think much of its importance.

a range of exterior lighting

Statistics show that 56% burglaries happen at night. No matter how much you think you are the only one knowing your own house, burglars are either like those ninjas who can crawl around bushes and take cover behind bins or like the vampires who enjoy dark shadows or ‘blind spots’ and have the inherent know-how about staying unnoticed. Since dark areas tend to offer burglars the ideal hiding spot, the latter are rather good at the hide and seek game as they disappear with your belongings.

As a first precaution, pay close attention to the lighting around your house. One of the most efficient tactics to deter burglary is the CPTED. It consists basically of Natural Surveillance, laying emphasis on home security via lighting which can certainly be a determining factor in its resistance to burglars. It is necessary to install adequate lighting in potential problem areas, especially porches and pathways, stairs, entrances/exits, children’s play areas, dumpster and recycling areas. Lights should also be placed at a reasonable height to be able to identify the face of potential criminals.

Then, external security lights are a useful addition as perimeter security to your property, especially when you are away for a long period of time. Nowadays, burglars are quite cunning. They may guess your premises to be unoccupied if a light is left on solely in the kitchen, since it is not rational for the occupants to spend all night only in the kitchen! Thus, another necessary step is to con burglars by ensuring intelligent lighting through the use of relevant gadgets. Calibrated motion detectors and sensor lights are also very cost-effective deterrents as they activate in case any intruder lurks around your house. You can also use automatic timers at a low price for interior and exterior flood lights in multiple rooms.

Lights can work both ways: To warn you of an approaching individual, or illuminate the area for you to see any lurking shadows when you reach your property. It must be borne in mind that surrounding neighbours, animals, or passers-by can equally and accidentally activate the lights. Fortunately, the field of activation can be adjusted if it is in the common form of passive infra-red, which is activated when someone comes into its field of vision. The light can be set to stay on for a set time and then it will re-set if the cause of its activation is no longer present. You must also ensure that your light does not intrude into your neighbours windows or those of passing vehicles; light pollution can often lead to difference of opinion and disagreements.

An alternative to the infra-red is to fit low pressure sodium lights, which are operated by a photo-electric cell. This activates the lights at dusk and turns them off at dawn. It is a comparatively less obtrusive light and, although it is on all night, it can be less costly to run than spotlights.

As mentioned above, be it interior or exterior, manual or automatic, lighting can be a highly beneficial addition to your perimeter. However, lighting on its own is insufficient in deterring burglars. Indeed, lighting plays a major role in keeping opportunistic intruders at bay but it is the sad truth that lighting cannot work miracles. In fact, 44% of these burglaries happen in broad day light. So, it is highly recommended to secure your property with other physical barriers, including robust doors, windows, locks, bars and bolts to resist attack. Do not leave any clue when you are away and accordingly seek the help of trustworthy neighbours, become part of a watch scheme and inform your local police.

Good lighting will keep burglars away but not necessarily stop a break in. Call RSG Security today on 0208 123 1088 for a quote on security gates, bars or grilles