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Utilizing Your Lights to Deter Burglars

Utilizing Your Lights to Deter Burglars

When most homeowners think of home security systems, they think of sensors, alarms, and security cameras. While these are all important parts of an effective home security strategy, one of the most obvious ways to keep your home safe and deter burglars is something you use every day: your lights.

When a home is dark at all hours of the day and night, it sends a clear signal that no one’s there, practically inviting burglars to creep inside and take whatever they want. When you utilize interior lights to deter burglars, you introduce the doubt that someone might be home, and when you add exterior lights into the mix, you leave burglars with nowhere to hide. Here are a few strategies to help you make your home safer with your lighting system.

4 Ways to Use Your Lights to Deter Burglars

1. Don’t Leave Lights on 24-7

Less is more when it comes to using lights to deter burglars, it turns out. If you use smart lighting functionality through your home security system to make it seem as though someone is home, this may deter a burglar. If you simply leave your lights on all day and all night, you could do the opposite.

“People who leave their lights on during the day and they’re on 24 hours a day actually attract attention from burglars,” Samantha Nolan, a Citywide Neighborhood Watch trainer for Washington, D.C.’s Metropolitan Police Department, told NPR. “Because if you’re home,” she said, “you’re going to turn the lights off and it signals there’s somebody home.”

2. Utilize Smart Lighting

Every complete home security system should feature mobile control apps that allow you to interact with things such as your door locks, lighting, and thermostat. This gives you an excellent tool to utilize lights to deter burglars.

Today’s home security systems allow you to program your lights to come on and go off at specific times, and this is helpful to mimic the behavior of someone actually being at home. Be cautious with keeping your lights on the exact same program if you’re away for more than a couple of days, however, as criminals will often watch to see if certain lighting patterns might indicate the use of a timer or pre-programmed system. Make sure to vary your programming a bit to make the lights go on and off at slightly different times. You can also use your smartphone app to physically turn your lights on and off at unexpected times to make it seem as though someone is home.

3. Illuminate the Outdoors

Before a criminal accesses the inside of your home, they have to move around the outside, and this provides an excellent opportunity to spook them or put them in the spotlight. Exterior lights on timers will still leave your property in darkness if you turn them on and off throughout the night. That’s why motion-activated lighting is best for the exterior of your home. These are very effective lights to deter burglars because they instantly alert everyone — people inside your home, passersby, as well as neighbors — that some sort of activity is going on in your yard.

4. Incorporate Your Security System

Just because you’re using smart lighting and motion-activated lights to deter burglars doesn’t mean that you should grow lax in using your home security system. Lights are only a deterrent. Some thieves are quite brazen and will knock on your door, ring your doorbell, and attempt entry even if the lights are on — as long as no one has responded to the door. In these cases, having a multi-tiered approach to security that involves a burglar alarm, video surveillance system, and home security notifications on your smartphone is key to scaring off the perpetrator and catching them later on.

By using your lights to deter burglars as well as putting a comprehensive home security system in place, you can help increase your safety, security, and peace of mind.


At ProTech Security, we have a strong history of experience, innovation, and customer service. The ProTech Security Advantage is more than 30 years of service in Northeast Ohio and a strong commitment to providing quality, cost-effective protection for homes, businesses, educational institutions and government facilities. To see what ProTech Security can do for you, contact us today.

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