At the very first beginning, I wanna do a research:

How many of you still keep your exterior lights on for home security?

You must have been immersed in safety tips like: “outside lighting does a good job in protecting your home. Do remember to leave it on while away or at night.”

But does it really help? How effective is outside lighting? Savvy thieves would probably not be fooled by your porch lighting, and you should also not be fooled by this so-called “expert” home security tip.

Do Outdoor Lights Deter Burglars

In this post, I’ll just dig a little deeper into this issue – Do outside lights deter burglars in home? Should you leave your front or back porch light on at night?

Outdoor Porch Lights May Not Be as Useful as You Think to Deter Crime

Burning the bulbs for hours is a common artificial illumination we make use of to protect home from would-be burglars in night time. It is hard to admit that, you win nothing, but a false sense of security, and you just console yourself with illusory peace of mind. Let me cut right to the chase why outdoor porch lights are helpless in burglary prevention.

Most Home Burglaries are Committed during the Day

FBI’s crime statistics in 2012 has drawn a conclusion that the majority of home burglaries happen in the day time, rather than at night. Adding outdoor lights does nothing to help prevent larceny during the day, but wastes a lot of electricity.

You are likely to be blinded to the real leading causes of residential burglaries. A least, this report proves that darkness is not one. Instead of fooling thieves with those tricks (putting fake security signs and stickers is also one of them), you really should look for some practical and effective measures to prevent house intruders.

Burglar-proof your front door, back door and windows turns out to be much more helpful than leaving your porch lights on. Or, turn to security cameras.

Well, speaking of home surveillance systems, I’m not trying to sell you anything at all, but I’m trying to help you make safer living environment. Working in home security industry for years, we have done a large amount of research about home intrusions and the role a security camera plays in preventing them. It does much, much help, as a burglary deterrent, even at night. Many customers speak highly of Reolink camera’s night vision (see customer review), for capturing crystal clear videos at a distance as long as 190ft, in low light conditions.

Porch Light Safety

Outdoor Lighting May Increase Burglary Rather than Decrease it

Obviously, home thieves don’t choose their targets at random. They would stroll in your neighborhood, get familiar with your daily life schedule, and try to look for easier targets. Burglars are always searching for unoccupied homes. Having your lights on 24 hours a day while you are out for a holiday is just like a beacon to them: “I’m not at home!”

Moreover, would burglars believe that a light being on means someone’s at home? Nope, they are not that dump, actually. When they find a well-lit house, and are not sure if the homeowner is in, they will knock on the door. If no one answers the door, they would be encouraged to break in.

Sometimes, leaving your outside lights on also makes it easier for thieves to take action. A well-lit area helps thieves to avoid those items in your yard, which would cause noises. They can easily find the weak parts of your home and break in for stealing.

Outdoor Lighting Still Helps, Somehow

We explained you should not take outdoor lights as the major burglar prevention while you are away, but that doesn’t mean you cannot make the most of it in home security.

Outdoor lights can let you know who is at your door, and what’s happening in your yard at night. Having porch lights with motion sensors installed can help alert you if someone is trying to approach your house. Then you are able to take in-time precautions and keep burglars away.

What’s Your Idea?

That outdoor lights can deter crime hasn’t be backed up by statistics. As far as I can see, rather than spend time trying and testing this unreliable security measures, we would take more time and effort to improve security in other, more useful ways.

Now we come back to the question I put up in the beginning: are you still keeping your exterior lights on for home security? Keeping home and your property safe is not something to be taken lightly. So I’d love to know how you look at the contributions outside lights make in deterring burglars, along with other effective tips you’ve used to stop break-ins day and night. After all, we share the same goal – to make homes safer and less likely to become a target of opportunistic crime.