Security Lighting Requirements For Optimal Safety And Visibility
Adding security lighting is a tremendous help for your home security plan if you do it correctly. Light placement and type both affect how well the lighting allows good visibility. When placing the lighting, keep in mind that crooks will both try to destroy the lighting and use it to see what they're doing; also note that your security lights could be an issue for the surrounding community if you don't get the right type. Here are some considerations that should help keep you safer when it comes to security lighting installations.
Chances are that if someone is going to try to do something to your yard or house, they won't want anyone to see what they're doing. That means they'll try to destroy the lighting so that they can work under cover of darkness.
Any security lights you have need to be up very high, high enough so that your average crook won't be able to reach them without bringing in a very obvious ladder. Keep the lights away from areas that are easily accessible to climbers; in other words, look out for trellises and balconies that could help a crook climb up to the light's location.
Also add cages to protect the bulb. If the crook can't reach the bulb itself, they might end up throwing something at it to break the bulb. The cage prevents that.
Brightness vs. Coverage
Don't make the light too bright, either. You want people in the neighborhood to see if there is someone lurking around, but you also don't want to blind onlookers. Very bright lights can actually help crooks because the lights create this super-bright bubble that your eyes have to adjust to very quickly -- and once you look away from the light, your eyes can't see anything in the dark until they adjust to that light level. With less-bright lights, your eyes adjust to light and dark much more quickly, and you aren't hit by glare. It's much easier to see someone moving around in this light condition.
Light Pollution Considerations
One more security-lighting consideration is light pollution, both local and regional. The lighting on your home should not shine into your neighbors' windows because that could make it more difficult for them to sleep. Buy lights that have shields around them and that can be pointed at the ground and not at another house.
Regional light pollution is the cumulative effect of all the lighting in your area. This is the glow of a city on the horizon, the stuff that makes it difficult for astronomers to view stars even when the telescopes are far away. Your security lights might seem like a tiny part of all that light, but they do contribute. Get a fixture that does not allow light to spill out to the sides and above. That is simply a waste of light anyway.
You may want to have a security company evaluate your home instead of doing this yourself. Not only will the lights be professionally installed, but you'll be able to get lights that conform to local light-pollution ordinances. Security lighting, when done well, meets all of the previously mentioned considerations and then some.