We’ve all fumbled around in the dim outdoor lighting looking for our keys or scanned a darkened front yard because we heard a strange noise. We’ve all trudged along the front walkway, hoping we don’t trip over something. There are plenty of situations in which having proper outdoor lighting can save you from injury, but it can also go a long way toward protecting your house and family from intruders.
How does outdoor lighting impact home security?
You may be wondering how something as simple as a lightbulb can have an impact on your home’s security. While it’s true that one lighting fixture only has a small impact, strategically placed outdoor lighting can profoundly enhance your home security. Here’s a quick look at how outdoor lighting will boost your home’s safety:
- Outdoor lighting boosts home security. Outside of motion-activated security lights, lighting up the outside of your home increases burglary prevention as there are fewer dark areas for intruders to skulk around in. Additionally, brighter lighting makes it possible for an intruder to be witnessed and identified.
- Adequate lighting provides accident prevention. Not all our daily travels happen in the daylight. In the dark, your property is full of accidents waiting to happen, whether it’s tripping over uneven paving slabs, running into something you didn’t see, or stumbling on the porch steps. With decent outdoor lighting, you can spot the problem areas and avoid these accidents.
- Good outdoor lighting boosts your property value. Well-placed outdoor lighting can boost the value of your property. The added home security and aesthetic quality of the lights add curb appeal and enhanced safety.
- Security lights scare away animals. Motion-activated security lights scare away raccoons and other animals that can potentially cause damage to your home.
Key considerations for improving outdoor lighting
Planning adequate outdoor lighting doesn’t have to be complicated, but it should be well thought out. While you can get away with a few security lights scattered around the property, you’ll get more bang for your buck by combining them with landscape lighting to create a safer, more appealing outdoor environment.
If you’re thinking about putting up better lighting for your outdoor areas or looking to install a brand-new setup, there are some important considerations to bear in mind:
- Assess your current setup and identify weak spots. Turn your outdoor lights on at night and walk around to see how many you have, where they’re placed, and how they’re positioned. This way, you’ll be able to identify the weak spots in your lighting setup and begin taking steps to improve it.
- Choose different lighting fixtures for different purposes. The lights you place around your gardens aren’t the same as the lights you have on your porch or the corners of your house. While garden lights still act as deterrents for intruders, they tend to be softer and used for more aesthetic purposes than porch lights or motion-activated security lights. Security and porch lights need to be bright.
- Place and position your lighting for maximum effectiveness. An outdoor lighting setup doesn’t function well if there are unlit spots. When placing your lights, take time to consider where the light hits and whether there are overlapping areas or dark spots.
- Incorporate motion sensors and smart lighting technology. Motion sensors and smart lighting technology take the guesswork out of outdoor lighting. Motion sensors pick up any movement – including yours – and turn on the light automatically. The beauty of using smart lighting technology for your home lighting is that it allows you to remotely control your lighting and even set a timer so they come on at a particular time of day. This way, you don’t have to be at home to control them.
10 benefits of enhanced outdoor lighting
A well-lit house is an attractive addition to your neighborhood’s night landscape, showing off the features of your home and garden to all who pass by. For the homeowner – who may not be as focused on the beauty of a well-lit property – the usefulness of enhanced outdoor lighting is undeniable. Further, home insurance providers often take enhanced outdoor lighting into account when judging whether a security or safety-related claim merits coverage.
Here are the 10 biggest benefits of having enhanced outdoor lighting on your property:
- Increases accident prevention. Not all of your night-time wanderings occur on established walkways. Out on the lawn or in the garden, there are plenty of tripping or falling hazards, especially when you can’t clearly see the ground or the obstacles in your way. By placing lighting fixtures around your property and not just on your house, you’ll make your yard and garden safer to walk through.
- Pathways and steps are clearer and safer. It pays to have clear, well-lit pathways and steps, as these areas are prime culprits for tripping hazards. Having adequate lighting on your pathways and steps allows you to spot icy areas in the cold months.
- Easier evacuation during emergencies. Proper outdoor lighting, especially around the windows and doors, makes emergency evacuations easier. If the people evacuating can see where they are going, the evacuation process will be more efficient. This extra bit of speed and safety may be the difference between a tragedy and a life saved.
- Obstacles and hazards are visible. Aside from having clearly lit ground beneath your feet, proper lighting can help you avoid obstacles and other hazards that you may not be able to see otherwise. These obstacles can cause injuries, not to mention the potential damage an impact with these obstacles could have on your property.
- Enhances curb appeal. Having a couple of security lights may not do much for the aesthetic of your home, but a selection of well-thought-out security, decorative, and landscaping light fixtures can drastically improve curb appeal. Outdoor lighting doesn’t have to be plain and functional; it can be attractive, too.
- Extends outdoor living and entertainment space. If you like the idea of having your friends and family over for an evening BBQ or pool party, outdoor lighting is a must. While you can certainly BBQ by your backdoor light, having adequate lighting extends the yard’s usable areas.
- Complements other security measures. It’s definitely a good idea to have an array of security measures in place, such as alarms and wired cameras. Outdoor lighting complements those measures nicely by acting as a deterrent.
- Assists emergency responders. Lighting helps emergency responders by making the pathways and entrances clear and allowing them to see your home’s address.
- Allows residents to identify individuals in the area. A well-lit area makes it easy to spot and identify individuals on your property and in the surrounding area.
- Promotes a sense of security and peace of mind. Knowing your property lighting is deterring potential intruders and helping to keep your family safe fosters a sense of security and peace of mind.
Home insurance and outdoor lighting
Home insurance providers want a home to have adequate outdoor or home lighting. They consider the installation of outdoor lighting to be part of the preventive measures that a homeowner should take to make their home safer and more secure.
Safety. The presence of adequate outdoor lighting drastically lowers the risk of an accident, whether it’s tripping, falling, or running into an obstacle. When a claim of this type is made with an insurance provider, they determine whether the homeowner has done their due diligence by making sure their property is well-lit. In situations where someone else has an accident on your property, this may take the onus off you. Accidents that occur as a result of poor outdoor lighting are considered to have been preventable.
Security. Home insurance typically covers theft and damage related to break-ins, so providers appreciate it when homeowners implement an array of security measures to safeguard their homes and property. These security measures not only offer burglary prevention – as is the case with house alarms – but they can also act as a deterrent in the first place. A well-lit property is less likely to be broken into due to the risk of the intruder being spotted or captured.
When faced with a security or safety-related claim, a home insurance provider looks at all sides of the issue. They may consider things like:
- Does the home have security measures in place?
- What are those security measures?
- What was the nature of the accident?
- Was the accident preventable?
The answers to these questions help define how the home insurance provider responds to the claim being made, including deciding if the homeowner’s policy can cover it.
Your home should be your sanctuary. After all, if you don’t feel safe where you live, can you really feel at home? As part of a complement of security measures, enhanced outdoor lighting boosts the overall security of your home and the safety of your friends and family. Installing motion-activated security lights is a step in the right direction, but going further to ensure that your entire property is clearly lit gives you the added peace of mind of having a solid deterrent for accidents and intruders.