Outdoor Security Lighting: How to Design it Properly

Prior to departing your house for an evening out on the town or a weekend away, you likely hear your mother’s voice tell you, “Leave a light on, so ‘they’ think we’re home!” Mom was right. Outdoor lighting can be a nice way to add character to your front porch, but it also serves as a security measure.

Leaving your lights on can make intruders think twice before heading to your well-lit front door.  It’s important to balance just the right amount of light without going overboard and illuminating the interior of your home, exposing valuable items to the outside world. Often, insurance companies will recommend or require security lighting to confirm the safety of your home. The most commonly protected areas include a pool area, which not only illuminates your backyard, but can help your neighbors detect any obscure activity going on.

First, take a look at your current lighting situation once it turns dark. Ask yourself if all areas and entryways of your home are well lit, including side access doors and backyards. Secure locations where your light fixtures cannot be easily broken or removed. Remember to check if your light fixtures illuminate only your property and not your surrounding neighbors’ properties. Also, utilize protective wiring to cover your fixtures just to be safe.

Next, consider what type of lighting you’ll need for your home:

  1. Illumination – often utilized to light your driveway or sidewalks. These can also be great to utilize in your garden, paths, or walkways.
  2. Floodlights – better served for large areas- such as backyards, patio areas, and pools.
  3. Mounted Lights- best for entryways (as we previously mentioned), front door, side entrances and backyard.

We recommend that when you’re planning your outdoor security lighting, you think about your energy efficiency goals. It might be on your list to decrease your monthly electric bill. In that case, a timer can be a nice way to make sure your lights aren’t accidentally left on. There are many outdoor security lights that also are powered by our good friend the sun. Solar powered lights are a great way to be a friend to the environment while protecting your home. As another alternative, you may consider a motion detecting light, which will shine brightly if someone walks past the area where you’ve set up your outdoor light. Check out our LED calculator to see how you can make the most out of your new security lighting.

Lastly, it’s time to go shopping to pick out your lighting. Pick out a variety of the three highlighted categories above to ensure you have the appropriate amount of light for ample home security. Smith Electric & Associates is here to help for if you’re not sure where to start – we’ll come to you and do a home inspection so we can discuss what your best options are. If you have your lighting and are ready to proceed, we will install it for you to confirm your new system is in optimal placement and securely placed.

For help with your questions or concerns about outdoor security lighting, call us! Smith Electric & Associates is in Mobile, Alabama. We are licensed to operate in Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, and Georgia and have been proudly serving the Gulf Coast since 1992. Call us for 24-hour emergency service at 251-471-4723! Visit us online at www.SmithElec.com and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter!