Security lights are installed for various reasons. The main reason could be to illuminate and deter a burglar if they are trying to break in. Alternatively, the security lights could be to assist in lighting up the front door when trying to put the key into the door lock on a dark night.
As with burglar alarms, if you are thinking of installing mains powered wired security lights, consider having them fitted by a professional installer. This is not only for safety reasons, but also to comply with relevant building regulations if required. Ensure that when your lighting is installed that you have the ability to turn them off internally. It is also advisable to not install floodlights that are rated higher than 150 Watts to comply with building regulations if required.
Outdoor Security Lights
If installing security lighting outside as a security deterrent, be aware that the lighting may also act to aid to a burglar on a dark night. Many people consider that a burglar will want to act under the cover of darkness, but outdoor motion sensor security lights can be activated for a number of reasons, such as a passing cat or nocturnal animal. This means that if an external security light is activated by a sensor people might not notice it.
There are two main types of sensors for security lighting a PIR sensor and a photocell sensor (these used to be called dusk-to-dawn sensors). A PIR (Passive Infrared Sensor) detects motion and then acts a switch to turn on the lamp. A photocell sensor operates by monitoring the ambient light and when it falls to a set level it activates the light to turn on.
A security light can be useful if combined with a CCTV security camera system, the bright light and presence of a camera can deter a burglar. If the area that is being lit is not visible by a camera, neighbour or passer-by, then all the light is helping is the burglar to break in.
An outdoor solar security light is sometimes used as an alternative to a mains wired light. Although it is easier to install, they require adequate sunlight to charge the batteries. A solar light also may not be bright enough to effectively light up the intended area.
A good way to deter a burglar is if they think that someone is in the property. Usually a burglar will want an easy target with the least disruption. If an intruder thinks that they will encounter someone in the property, then they will potentially continue searching for a vacant property or where people are sleeping.
An easy way to activate intermittent internal security lighting is through the use of a timer switch and a lamp. Setting this to come on during periods when you are away could help to make it look like someone is home. The only problem with this method is choosing whether to keep curtains drawn or not through the day.
Another method to ‘fake’ someone being at home is the use of a fake TV type device. These create a flickering effect like someone is watching a TV in the dark. The idea is that anyone passing by might think that someone is home and watching television.