Security LED Lights: the Complete Guide
It goes without saying:
Security is and has always been paramount at home, work, on the streets, and any other outdoor areas.
That’s why a lot of people often invest heavily in installations of the latest security and alarm systems.
But if you ask me:
Nothing offers more convenience and better security than proper lighting.
Why do I say that?
Well, it’s quite simple.
Lighting systems not only ward off intruders and criminals but also ensure your outdoors are well lit for safety reasons.
By safety, I mean that there’ll be enough illumination to ensure that the exterior parts of your space are clearly visible.
The last thing you want is you or a loved one to trip and fall just because of a crappy lighting system.
Am I right?
That’s what this post is all about…
Here, we’ll look at everything you should know about security lights including:
- What they are.
- How security lights work.
- Where they are necessary.
- How we benefit from security lighting.
- And so much more.
So, join me, and let’s look at everything there is to know about outdoor home security lights.
Chapter 1: What Is A Security Light?
Before I get into the nitty-gritty details about security lighting, you must first understand what a security light is.
And, from its name, its purpose or use is clear.
But for those who don’t know:
A security light is a fixture that’s often placed outdoors to ensure that the exterior of a home or commercial building is well lit.
In doing so, two things happen as explained below.
The 2 Biggest Perks of Outdoor Lighting
- Your Property Is Secured.
Buglers, robbers, vandals, and other criminals are deterred or discouraged from coming to your home for fear of being seen.
Even if the lighting doesn’t keep them away, at least you’ll be able to clearly see what’s happening and assess your situation.
- You Get To Keep Yourself And Your Family Safe.
When it gets dark and there’s poor visibility, the chances of someone bumping into, stumbling over, and even not being able to see danger coming often increase.
While some of these incidences might be minor, you may not always be lucky. So, ensuring that you have bright and reliable outdoor security lights becomes an advantage.
There are so many other perks that come with the installation of proper outdoor lights; but we’ll get into all that later on in this post.
I know what you are thinking:
Are There Types Of Security Lights?
There are quite a number of light fixtures used for outdoor security.
That means that you’ll have a wide range of products to choose from when you decide to go for these types of lights.
Before we get into the various types, one thing’s for sure – security LED lights are the best in the market today.
Well, LEDs are bright, cost-effective, reliable, efficient, convenient, and low-maintenance just to mention a few.
You get my point, right?
If you are wondering; which are these types I was blabbering about?
This next part is for you…
Top 3 Best Security Lights This Year
Looking at the different kinds of LED security fixtures, here are three of the most common ones used today:
1. Motion-Sensing LED Security Lights
These are probably the most efficient of all outdoor lighting options.
Because they only switch ON when they sense movement with a good example being the ShineLong Eye Security LED lights.
That means that you don’t have to rack-up your utility bills as a result of keeping your security lights ON all night.
The best part is that these lights often give intruders the sense that you are the one who’s switched on the lights to fight them or call for reinforcements; meaning “you already know they are there.”
In most cases, your unwanted guests will be forced to retreat; not knowing that you are still in bed, sleeping, and unaware of what’s actually happening outside.
- Very efficient because they consume very little power.
- Only turn ON when motion is detected.
- Very effective at warding off intruders.
- It’s a trendy choice.
- The best security lights for home and commercial spaces.
- Their sudden switching ON will alert you of any unexpected outdoor activity in advance.
- They only switch ON at night, so you don’t have to worry about busy day traffic triggering your security lights.
- Not 100% reliable.
- Some of these fixtures are too sensitive and can turn ON because of wind and critters passing through your compound.
2. Wallpack Lighting
LED Wall packs are yet another innovative way of keeping outdoors secure and well lit.
Much like the Motion-Sensing lamps, this type also relies on sensors to turn ON/OFF.
Wallpacks have photocell sensors that allow the fixture to switch ON when there’s little or no light (dusk) and switch OFF once there’s light again (dawn).
And that’s why these fixtures are also often called “Dusk-to-Dawn” lights.
The biggest perk about using a Wallpack is that it will switch ON as soon as it gets dark outside regardless of whether or not there’s someone at home or not.
That means that you won’t have to worry about your home’s security even when you are far away from it.
- Very reliable and consistent.
- Great for frequent travelers.
- Very energy efficient.
- Automated for added convenience.
- Easy to install and use.
- Not all of them come with sensors and security cameras.
- They aren’t as energy-efficient as the motion-sensor lights.
Until recently, floodlights were regarded as the best security lighting fixtures; often because of their impressive performance and unrivaled durability.
These fixtures are synonymous with large area illumination, and the fact that they are bright means that they’d work better for outdoor lighting.
Things changed since the advent of modern, trendy, more efficient, security lights like the Wallpack and Motion-Activated lamps.
You’ll find floodlight is commercial complexes and small sports fields.
They are still some of the best security lights you can get on the market today.
- They are high-performance security lights.
- Floodlights illuminate large areas with ease.
- Being outdoor lights, they are built for durability.
- They are very easy to install, use, and maintain.
- LED versions are very energy-efficient.
- May not be ideal for residential areas due to their high-intensity light (brightness).
- Have to be mounted higher than standard security lights for optimal illumination.
There are other types of outdoor lights available today including:
- Metal Halide Wallpacks.
- Fluorescent tube lamps.
- Incandescent bulbs and so on…
The three discussed above are the most popular ones.
The next question you may be asking is…
Chapter 2: How Does A Security Light Work?
We already know what a security light is and the various types available; the next logical question would be to ask about how they work?
If that’s what you have in mind, I’ve got you covered.
You already know most of these things, but just to recap…
Lighting Technologies Used In Outdoor Lights.
There are three main security lighting technologies used namely:
As mentioned above:
These security lights with camera fixtures are fitted with motion sensors that switch ON the light whenever movement is detected.
They are very convenient, energy-efficient, and effective at keeping intruders at bay.
2. Photocell Sensor Lights
In these fixtures, switching ON and OFF depends on the time of day and the amount of light in the atmosphere around the fixture.
They are also referred to as Dusk-to-Dawn lights.
Basically, these fixtures use Photocells to turn ON/OFF as per the amount of light that hits the sensors; i.e. little light means the sun is setting (dusk) and an increase in light indicates the sun is rising (dawn).
Dusk-to-Dawn fixtures are quite efficient and convenient due to their automation. However, they aren’t as good as motion-activated lamps.
3. Traditional/Manual Switching
For those who don’t fancy the perks of having an automated outdoor lighting system, you can always go old-school with traditional fixtures that require manual switching.
Floodlights are a good example of fixtures that can be operated manually.
You should note that most modern floodlights come with motion-activation and adjustable timing features.
And that’s it – how outdoor security fixtures operate…
With all this in mind, you might be thinking…
“I think I’ll go shopping for LED security lights now…”
If so, let me pose a simple question to you.
Do You Know What To Look For In A Good, Quality Security Light?
If not, here are five expert suggestions you could use:
1. Look for Motion-Detection Enabled Fixtures
It’s a great feature.
And apart from reducing your energy expenses and discouraging intruders from damaging your property, this feature also acts as a silent alarm that will alert you of any presence or activity outside your home that you should be aware of.
2. Ensure the Fixture Has Photocells
This dusk-to-dawn feature is essential because it ensures that your security lights don’t switch on during the day.
That way, you get to preserve your fixture’s lifespan while also keeping your lighting costs on the bare minimum.
3. Check to See Whether the Fixture Has a Rechargeable Battery
Nowadays, security lights come with backup batteries that kick into action whenever there’s a power outage.
It’s a feature that comes in handy especially if an intruder decides to tamper with your electrical systems in order to cut off power going into your home.
Your security fixtures will continue to work, hence, giving you ample time to rectify the situation before it worsens.
4. Connectivity and Accessibility
Before you buy your fixture, ask yourself…
Will it be accessible? And if so, how much control will you get over the fixtures operations.
Go for a light you can control whenever you want to; it gives you more freedom and flexibility to modify your security light’s performance to match your needs and preferences.
Nowadays, some fixtures can be accessed using mobile apps.
5. Fixtures with Cameras and Loudspeakers Offer an Added Advantage
With these, it gets even better.
Well, when the fixture has a camera and is accessible using a mobile app, it means that you’ll receive notifications whenever there is movement detected.
And the best part is that the mobile app will allow you to see who it is through the fixture’s camera.
If it’s not someone you know, you can use the light’s loudspeaker to sound an alarm (siren) that will scare the burglar away and notify your neighbors of a possible break-in.
Impressive, isn’t it?
Getting a fixture with all these features will be the best deal you can get in today’s markets.
Now that you know the types of security lights available today as well as how to find the best ones, what next?
Read on to find out…
Chapter 3: Where Do You Put Security Lights?
It goes without saying:
Placement is also a very important factor to consider when dealing with security lights.
Obviously, you want to put your fixtures in spots that offer optimal performance and efficiency.
Here are the Best Places to Put Security Lights
This should be in the most important (vulnerable) parts of your home including:
- At the gate.
- Along your perimeter fence.
- Close to all access points to your home; garage door, front and back doors, and windows.
- Along any pathways or driveways within your compound.
- On the sides of your home’s walls.
- In the yard.
- High enough to avoid tampering but low enough to detect motion.
- And so on.
It’s not always that easy.
There are still a few factors that need to be considered to find the most ideal spot to place a security light.
Which are these factors?
Let’s look at some of them next…
Factors that Determine Where to Put a Security Light
1. The Size of the Area Being Illuminated
To light up large areas, the fixture needs to be placed higher than usual.
It’s basic physics – the higher the light source the broader the reach.
In this case, you’ll also have to consider light intensity; since it reduces as the distance increases.
So, if you want to place your security lights high, ensure that they are high-intensity fixtures like floodlights to guarantee a bright and even distribution of light.
Low-intensity fixtures placed high above may offer very little illumination and may prove to be less secure.
2. The Fixture’s IP Rating
IP ratings are the fixture’s protection against intrusion by dust, particles, moisture, and water; a higher IP means better protection.
The IP (Ingress Protection) rating will tell you whether or not your new fixture is built for the harsh and unforgiving outdoor environment.
So, before buying the fixture, you need to make sure that its IP rating can survive your home’s exterior or wherever you want to put it.
3. The Security Light’s Function
What’s the light’s main purpose?
Security lights serve different purposes.
A standard floodlight may just be used for outdoor lighting and, therefore, its placement may not be of much concern.
However, when dealing with motion-sensor security lights, they have to be positioned in spots that are within the sensors’ operational range.
If you put a security light too high on top, the pictures and videos you’ll be receiving from it may be low quality or unclear.
I hope you get my point…
4. Accessibility by Intruders
You should always know that Intruders will try to tamper with your lighting system as soon as they get the chance. That way they won’t have to worry about it when they come to do the actual damage.
To prevent damage or vandalism from happening, you have to ensure that your security lights are placed in a safe and inaccessible spot.
If you have to keep them in an accessible position, try to burglar-proof them to make it harder for intruders to tamper with your system.
5. The Fixture’s Motion Range
Last but not least:
You also need to check your fixture’s motion range.
The area you intend to illuminate should be within your security light’s motion radius.
Burglars might take advantage of blind spots to gain access to your property without tripping the sensors.
And that’s it.
Let’s look at another very important aspect of security lighting next…
Chapter 4: How Bright Should an Outdoor Security Light Be?
As mentioned earlier in the post:
Light intensity matters a lot when it comes to security lighting.
It has to be enough to fully illuminate the area without being too much to cause discomfort.
So, how can you find the perfect balance in security lighting?
Experts often recommend that the lumen output for outdoor security lights with sensor be between 700 and 1300 lumens.
That way you’ll end up with an exterior light that clearly illuminates without causing any eye discomfort to anyone passing by.
Chapter 5: Is It Safe To Have Porch Light On Or Off?
When it comes to the safety and security of your home, porch lights often play a vital role.
There has been a lot of debate on whether or not people should leave their porch lights on or off.
And if asked, I know you’d come up with a solid explanation for your answer; yes or no.
I can think of a few compelling points for and against leaving the porch light ON/OFF.
You should leave your porch light ON because:
- Safety and security reasons, of course. Burglars and intruders in urban areas don’t like confrontations and that’s why they often go for homes that look deserted. Having your porch light on will tell everyone that you are home. Plus, it will ensure that the path to your doorstep is well lit and safe to use for you, your family, and friends.
- When you are going out or expecting someone who’ll come in a bit late at night.
- When you are still awake. Having your porch light on shows that there’s someone in the house who’s still up. This can prove very useful in emergencies when someone needs assistance.
On the other hand, those who feel the porch light should be OFF will argue:
- It’s more cost-effective to keep this light off. Leaving it on will greatly impact your monthly power bill.
- Unless it has photocell sensors leave it off when you go for a vacation. Anyone who notices that your porch light is always on 24/7 – even during the day – might figure out that you are not there and be motivated to break in.
- When you are hosting a rave or party all night at your place.
Solid arguments, right?
This brings us to the last part of the article…
Chapter 6: Do Motion Sensor Lights Deter Burglars?
Well, this notion has not been fully proven.
There are a lot of strong points that make it a viable assumption.
And the best point of them all is that “burglars and intruders will avoid confrontations at all costs because they know the outcome might not be good for either you or them.”
Therefore, they often stay clear of houses that look occupied, and one of the easiest ways to tell whether a house is occupied or not is by looking at its outdoor lighting.
If you are still asking; do lights keep burglars away?
I’d say, Yes; but to some degree.
Hence, even as you invest in quality home security lights, make sure you also take other precautionary and security measures to ensure that you and your family remain safe.
And that’s a wrap on everything you need to know about security lights.
Do you have any questions?
If so, don’t hesitate to post them in the comments section below.
I’d love to hear from you.