Lighting

Interior Lighting
Interior lighting is necessary to show signs of life and activity inside a residence at night. A darkened home night after night sends the message to burglars that you are away on a trip. Light timers are inexpensive and can be found everywhere. They should be used on a daily basis, not just when you’re away. In this way you set up a routine that your neighbors can observe and will allow them to become suspicious when your normally lighted home becomes dark.

Typically, you want to use light-timers near the front and back windows with the curtains closed. The pattern of lights turning on and off should simulate actual occupancy. It’s also comforting not to have to enter a dark residence when you return home. The same light timers can be used to turn on radios or television sets to further enhance the illusion of occupancy.

Exterior Lighting
Exterior lighting is also very important. It becomes critical if you must park in a common area parking lot or underground garage and need to walk to your front door. The purpose of good lighting is to allow you to see if a threat or suspicious person is lurking in your path. If you can see a potential threat in advance then you at least have the choice and chance to avoid it. Exterior lighting needs to be bright enough for you to see an area of 100 feet and it helps if you can identify colors. Good lighting is definitely a deterrent to criminals because they don't want to be seen or identified.

Perimeter Lighting
Another important area to be well-lit is the perimeter of your home or apartment especially at the entryway. Exterior lighting on the front of a property should always be on a timer to establish a routine and appearance of occupancy at all times. Common area lighting on apartment properties should also be on a timer or photo-cell to turn on at dusk and turn off at dawn. The practice of leaving the garage or porch lights turned on all day on a single family home is a dead giveaway that you are out of town.

Exterior lighting at the rear of a home or apartment are usually on a switch because of the proximity to the sleeping rooms. The resident can choose to leave these lights on or off. Security lights with infrared motion sensors are relatively inexpensive and can easily replace an exterior porch light or side door light on single family homes. The heat-motion sensor can be adjusted to detect body heat and can be programmed to reset after one minute. These security lights are highly recommended for single family homes.

Lighting Recap
  • Use interior light timers to establish a pattern of occupancy
  • Exterior lighting should allow 100 feet of visibility
  • Use good lighting along the pathway and at your door
  • Use light timers or photo-cells to turn on/off lights automatically
  • Use infrared motion sensor lights on the rear of single-family homes