How Effective are Security Lights for Deterring Burglars?

Safety Team
Updated Jan 27, 2021
3 min read

A light clicking on can help make robbers scuttle away in fear. Some crimes can be prevented with the judicious use of light. And the right lights could even help police to solve crimes. So, should you invest in lights? To make a decision, you should understand why lights make us feel safe,the connection between burglary and illumination and typical criminal profiles.

The benefits of lights

We associate illumination with safety - the more we can see when it's dark outside, the safer we feel. We use that light to identify things that might harm us, and we need to see clearly to plot our escape from dangerous situations. When we're hoping to make our homes safer, we apply these same principles and sprinkle security lights around our property. When done properly, security lights create the illusion of residency even when you're not home. A lamp shining on the car in the driveway tells thieves that you're at home, and you're ready to spring into action during a burglary. That can be a strong signal that keeps your burglar moving.

Lights work best in neighborhoods with:

  • Tightly packed homes
  • Plenty of foot traffic
  • Frequent car movement
  • Nosy neighbors

Lamps illuminate nefarious activity, such as picking a lock or breaking a window. In crowded, busy, connected neighborhoods, a light helps the community to respond even when you can't. Lights can also set your home apart from others. If your home is dark, quiet and unoccupied, it's an easy target — especially compared to your neighbor's bright and busy house. Your job is to help a robber choose a different home. Sometimes, security lights make that message clear. Lights paired with cameras can also help in the aftermath of a crime. Videos of your perpetrators don't help if their faces aren't clear. Lights can solve that problem, and the police might thank you for the help.

Are burglaries more common during the day or night?

Television shows and movies give us false impressions about the nature of crime. We may believe that most incidents happen at night, but in reality, the opposite is true. Research suggests that close to 40 percent of residential burglaries happen during the day. Why the daytime? From a criminal's perspective, this decision makes perfect sense.

In a daylight burglary, a criminal is less likely to encounter:

  • Small children. Kids can sound the alarm during a robbery. In the daytime, they're away at school.
  • Homeowners. Work takes most of us away from home during the day.
  • Police patrols. A burglar walking up to your house during the daytime is less suspicious than someone sneaking up the steps at night. Burglars can dress like repairmen, deliverymen and more.
  • Neighbors. Just as you're at work, so are the people who live near you.

Should you get security lights?

Some burglars won't be fooled by your lights even if the system is sophisticated. But others might. If your home is situated in a busy place and you have the right kind of criminal considering a break in, a light could definitely be helpful. If you live in a close neighborhood with people who can spot a criminal, security lights might be a good investment. A security system that is monitored by experts can give you the around-the-clock protection you're looking for. Lights, cameras, alarms and other triggers work together to notify you in case of an emergency — and they tell robbers they're about to get caught.

Home Security Experts

Safety Team

The Safety Team is a group of experts that handle provider research, product reviews and recalls to make your home safety and security search as easy as 1-2-3.

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