Obviously, the main reason to install security lights is to protect your home but they can also add a stylish touch to your property. Correctly positioned lighting can complement the geometry of your home and add emphasis and character.
Keep it low
A lot of people are under the misconception that the brighter the light, the better the chance is of deterring a burglar. In fact, dazzling lights outside your home can create shadows around the building where burglars can potentially hide. Low intensity lighting is far more effective for keeping your house safe. Even cosmetic outdoor lighting can work as a deterrent, especially in your garden. Find more information about garden lighting on our website by clicking here. However, lights designed especially for security can be more cost effective in the long run. I list below the three most popular types of security lighting.
PIR (or passive infrared) security lights are sensitive to body heat which activates a sensor and the light switches on when someone walks into the field of detection. You can adjust the size of the area over which the sensor works and this will prevent the light being activated by passing people, foxes or cats. It also means you can make sure your light doesn’t annoy your neighbours. They are best positioned on the approach to your front door, rear door or garage. As they light up when someone approaches your house, you can see if anyone is lurking in the shadows. These are also available as LED lamps which are more energy efficient. For more information about how LED lamps save you money, please see our webpage by clicking here.
These do exactly what it says on the tin - stay on from dusk until dawn. They normally use low pressure sodium lights which are orangey in colour, lead free, have reduced mercury content and last longer. They are not as bright but are sufficient to illuminate anyone lurking around outside your house. Although the fact that they stay on all night may give the impression that they are not particularly energy efficient, new models have a high intensity discharge lamps for efficiency.
Solar powered security lights are relatively new to the market. They work by charging during daylight and then activate at night when motion is detected. They can be easy to install as they don’t need to be connected to the electrical mains and don’t cost anything to run. The downside to these is that they can be unreliable and ideally need to be located on a south facing wall.
At S W Bishop Electrical we would always recommend leaving the installation of security lighting to a fully qualified electrician as it should always be in accordance with UK building regulations. Also, as with any outdoor electrics, these fittings must always be RCD protected. For more information about RCD protection please go to our webpage by clicking here.
Please do take into consideration your neighbours as no-one is going to take kindly to a light shining through their window when they are trying to sleep. The negative effects of polluting lights extend beyond us humans as they can confuse night flying birds, kill millions of insects each year and can cause other negative ecological effects. Poorly directed light also wastes money and adds to our carbon footprint. Click here to find out more about government legislation regarding light pollution.