Who Are You Leaving the Light On For?

The Light Side of Home Security

Leaving your lights on — is it really a good way to keep burglars away from your home, or can it actually attract them? Or, is it just a “good” way to increase your electricity bill?

As with so many questions in life, there isn’t one “right” answer. Using lights to enhance your home security can be effective, especially as part of a larger overall strategy. With that in mind, here are five things to consider:

1. Remember that variety is key. If your exterior lights are always on, even during the day, that can be a signal to burglars that nobody is home. Otherwise, you’d probably turn off the lights after sunrise, right? Don’t leave your lights on constantly while you’re on vacation or at work. Use timers or lights that can be turned on and off remotely to create different looks.

2. Try motion-detecting lights. These allow you to leave your lights off while you’re away or asleep, but, if someone is lurking around your house, the lights will come on. This often will scare off a burglar.

3. Consider your home’s surroundings. If you have overgrown bushes or trees on your property, burglars might be able to take cover even in the light. And, if you live in a rural area, with nobody around to notice uninvited guests on your property, lights may not do much to thwart them.

4. Connect with the neighbors. Even if you do have neighbors nearby, would they know when something – or someone – was out of place? Build a relationship with them, so they’ll know when you’re at work or on vacation, and so they can tell when something doesn’t look right.

5. Switch up your interior lights. A house that’s dark inside for a few days looks unoccupied, no matter how many outside lights are on. So, remember to set timers or turn lights on in different rooms of your house occasionally as well. This can help create the illusion that someone is home.

Of course, there’s no one perfect way to keep your home safe. The best strategies oftentimes involve a number of different deterrents. So, mix it up, with your lights and other things, to keep burglars guessing whether or not anyone’s home.


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