Create the impression that someone is at home. That was the advice Police Lt. Brian Piekarski of Sagamore Hills, Ohio gave to anyone who wants to prevent burglars from targeting their houses. Lieutenant Piekarski advised residents to “Keep your home lit up. Outside lights are great. Indoor lights are good.” He spoke out on Fox 8 Cleveland after a string of burglaries in his neighborhood. “The darker your home, the more attractive it is to somebody who wants to burglarize it because it’s going to be less noticeable if they kick in the front door.”
Lieutenant Piekarski was definitely right that outside lights are great, especially when it comes to home safety. Strategically placed outdoor or landscape lighting will enhance the safety and security of your home, while also enhancing the beauty of its exterior. It was explained in a Leader Post article that outdoor lighting guides homeowners and visitors safely along pathways, while also eliminating dark places in a yard or garden where criminals can hide. Burglars or other unwanted intruders start on the outside before making their way inside the home to commit their mischievous deeds. Landscape lighting makes sure there is no place for them to lurk outside without being noticed.
Using outdoor lighting systems as a security measure is not a new idea. Four decades ago, a highly esteemed criminologist named C. Ray Jeffery promoted an idea he called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). Jeffery discovered that certain design elements could lower the crime rates in an entire neighborhood as long as homeowners install them in the right locations. Unfortunately, CPTED was largely ignored during his time, but many reputable security professionals have applied his theories since then.
The Leader Post article also mentions that homeowners must carefully consider the true purpose of their outdoor lighting, including exactly how and where they are going to use it, in order for it to be an effective security measure. By determining which areas need illumination, they also can determine where they will need to strategically place the lights. They will also need to figure out which type of fixture and light source will be best suited for their property.
If outdoor landscape lighting follows the principles of CPTED, it should include some sensor lights to catch intruders off guard the moment they step on your property. A well-designed system will allow homeowners to easily enter their property while enabling them to also watch over the grounds and prevent any criminal activity. Homeowners interested in CPTED can talk to outdoor lighting experts like the ones at Outdoor Lighting Perspectives for ideas on how to effectively apply CPTED principles.