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Old 05-05-2013, 01:12 AM
 
2,135 posts, read 4,094,832 times
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What's everyone opinion on this? They say (not sure who "they" are really) that it is best to leave your outside lights on (porch....lights near a garage) because it will look like someone is home. Compared to the next door guy who has no lights on. A theif won't or hopefully won't go to the one that looks occupied and move on next to the neighbor who looks like they aren't home (vacation perhaps).

Then they also say if you keep your lights on you will stick out. If your the only one with the porch and garage lights on in a row of 15 houses you will somehow stick out. Stick out because I can afford the $8 to keep my lights on? Does that mean I have more valuable items....or does it mean I am smarter than my neighbor?

We live in a townhouse apt. and we leave the porch light on. Can't even see the key hole at midnight when I get home from work let alone we want to look like were home. We also when we leave keep the hallway light on so it looks like were home. not sure if it works, but there has been a few break-ins recently and these were people who never even use their porch light.
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Old 05-05-2013, 05:59 AM
 
Location: Spring Hill, Florida
3,151 posts, read 6,203,545 times
Reputation: 3561
I've always thought it a good idea to deprive thieves and other troublemakers of the ability to work under the cover of darkness as much as reasonably possible. I have a golf course behind me, and empty space (greenbelt) next to me on one side. The house next to me on the other side has been empty (foreclosure) since I've lived here and my neighbors across the street are away quite often as they own another home somewhere else, I'm somewhat isolated here. Most of the time, there really isn't anyone else nearby who might see/hear any mischief. Plus, it's just dark and extremely quiet here at night.

In at least one room, we keep lights on at night - even overnight. Outside, I have the light on near the front door as well as one out back on the lanai near the pool. In addition, I have motion-sensing lights on the corners of the house. And, for extra insurance I have a 115-pound Yellow Lab who thinks everyone that approaches the property is some kind of evil-doer we need to be protected from.

Last edited by HWTechGuy; 05-05-2013 at 06:37 AM..
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Old 05-05-2013, 07:04 AM
 
Location: NW Philly Burbs
2,431 posts, read 5,305,439 times
Reputation: 3398
I live on a borough street that has streetlights, so it's not pitch dark. But I have my porch lights on all night, and so do several of my neighbors.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:02 AM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,840 posts, read 12,908,881 times
Reputation: 4961
If one does not have *security* lights, and never has been subjected to some nasty things,
then no reason to say *I need security lights*.
But when it DOES happen, the first thing you will do is install security lights ...

Question: Aside from required by law in most instances, why does one buy accident insurance on cars ?

I have *security* lights on all sides of the house.
Two each on each corner.
They are all 15 watts a piece (yes *fifteen* and they are the special pricey ones).
From *experience*, they do last about three years !
I think, it is the On-Off cycle amount, that determines the life, but I could be wrong.
I wonder if they would last longer if I leave them *on* all day long ...
They are actually bright enough to be able to *read* by the light they provide.

Inside the house, there is a light (LED - 5 watts) above the cook top.
That stays on all night. Good for midnight snacks ...
Did I *need* them ?
Dunno, but it makes me feel better ...

I also have a long driveway, about 75 feet long, and I have motion sensor lights on that driveway.
Really nice (for everybody else also) to come in at night, and feel safe until we get into the garage.
They stay *on* for 15 minutes.
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Old 05-05-2013, 08:40 AM
 
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
2,843 posts, read 4,071,580 times
Reputation: 8166
Instead of having the lights mounted ON the house.............

Flood lights that are aimed AT the house, and are activated by motion, are the best system. ANY movement between the lights and the house will activate them. So, of course, will any person that is in the activation area. Their shadows will be noticed immediately, as will the activation of the lighting system.

Police reports make it clear that the REAR and or basement windows are the prime location for smash entries to residential properties. By replacing the glass windows with LEXAN plastic, you will foil the break and enter guys. If you don't want to use Lexan, you can buy a product from 3M corporation that makes a glass window just about impossible to smash in. It is a clear plastic film, that has a multi strand re-inforcement that will withstand repeated blows from a sledgehammer, or baseball bat. The FBI uses it on all their office windows, as do many local Police agencies, on their stations.

Jim B

Toronto.
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Old 05-05-2013, 10:59 AM
 
7,280 posts, read 10,305,928 times
Reputation: 11486
Quite a few new building codes require outside lights to be motion activated and on timers.

There is nothing more annoying that a neighbors lights on all night, thinking it helps with security (it does not) and the light illuminating the windows of others. It doesn't take much and the darkness some people enjoy is disrupted though the misguided intentions of people thinking lights on at night do anything to enhance security.

1. The bad guys use you all night on lights to avoid tripping over things and making noise.

2. Long ago, the bag guys learned that a light on all night often means no one at home.

3. You are inside, your neighbors are inside, you think anyone is watching your place outside and that the light helps?

4. A light on all the time is predictable. A light that comes on by motion is startling.

5. If the bad guys really want to sneak around in the dark, a silent bb gun takes out the light, you won't even hear it or know about it.

6. If you hear someone sneaking around, the last thing you want is a light on outside. If you can see them, they can see you. Far better to stay inside, from some place not expected, look out and then turn on the lights to see.

So you leave a light on all the time. Then you go on vacation and one of those lights burns out. Guess what? Broadcast to everyone you aren't around because the light isn't being changed.

Good motion activated and timed lights work best, cost the least over the long term and if you use LEDs (new generation) they are super bright, last as long as you'll want and use far less energy.

As for aiming lights at the house, biggest mistake there is. By aiming the lights at the house you blind yourself if you need to go outside or look outside. If you have security cameras, those lights will impair their function too. Just what are you trying to do, help others? By aiming the lights at your house you only help those away from your house to see your house. So just who do you think is out there that is going to help you? Think about it.

Lights shining on your house light you up. Light shining from your house light up things you need to see. Go ahead, try it yourself. Have someone go outside with a high powered flashlight and shine it at your house, some place with a window. You go inside and try to see through that shining light. Come on, lets think things through. Can you see the drivers behind the oncoming headlights at night? No. Can you see the road in front of you? Yes. See how that works?

As for the FBI using 3M film, ah, 3M film is defeated with a sharp cutting tool. There are also maintenance issues with film and trying to get out of your house in the event of a fire is one of them. So is trying to break the window in the event you have a gas leak. The window sticks, you're on the second floor or the first and fire is between you and the exit door. You try in vain to get out. Good luck with that.

FBI offices and businesses and so on are usually not occupied at night or there are always people awake around. Think it through.
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Old 05-05-2013, 11:37 AM
 
2,135 posts, read 4,094,832 times
Reputation: 1686
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mack Knife View Post
Quite a few new building codes require outside lights to be motion activated and on timers.

There is nothing more annoying that a neighbors lights on all night, thinking it helps with security (it does not) and the light illuminating the windows of others. It doesn't take much and the darkness some people enjoy is disrupted though the misguided intentions of people thinking lights on at night do anything to enhance security.

1. The bad guys use you all night on lights to avoid tripping over things and making noise.

2. Long ago, the bag guys learned that a light on all night often means no one at home.

3. You are inside, your neighbors are inside, you think anyone is watching your place outside and that the light helps?

4. A light on all the time is predictable. A light that comes on by motion is startling.

5. If the bad guys really want to sneak around in the dark, a silent bb gun takes out the light, you won't even hear it or know about it.

6. If you hear someone sneaking around, the last thing you want is a light on outside. If you can see them, they can see you. Far better to stay inside, from some place not expected, look out and then turn on the lights to see.

So you leave a light on all the time. Then you go on vacation and one of those lights burns out. Guess what? Broadcast to everyone you aren't around because the light isn't being changed.

Good motion activated and timed lights work best, cost the least over the long term and if you use LEDs (new generation) they are super bright, last as long as you'll want and use far less energy.

As for aiming lights at the house, biggest mistake there is. By aiming the lights at the house you blind yourself if you need to go outside or look outside. If you have security cameras, those lights will impair their function too. Just what are you trying to do, help others? By aiming the lights at your house you only help those away from your house to see your house. So just who do you think is out there that is going to help you? Think about it.

Lights shining on your house light you up. Light shining from your house light up things you need to see. Go ahead, try it yourself. Have someone go outside with a high powered flashlight and shine it at your house, some place with a window. You go inside and try to see through that shining light. Come on, lets think things through. Can you see the drivers behind the oncoming headlights at night? No. Can you see the road in front of you? Yes. See how that works?

As for the FBI using 3M film, ah, 3M film is defeated with a sharp cutting tool. There are also maintenance issues with film and trying to get out of your house in the event of a fire is one of them. So is trying to break the window in the event you have a gas leak. The window sticks, you're on the second floor or the first and fire is between you and the exit door. You try in vain to get out. Good luck with that.

FBI offices and businesses and so on are usually not occupied at night or there are always people awake around. Think it through.
I never understood the "your lights are on and it is interfering with my sleep". Do you not have blinds....shades? Give me a break.
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Old 05-05-2013, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
7,100 posts, read 11,331,640 times
Reputation: 14288
I've always thought leaving your lights on gives a criminal some advantage in that they can see what they are doing. I NEVER leave my lights on because I am in a rural area and I do not feel it is in my best interests to let any passersby know a home is there.

Of course having the immediate acre around my house fenced and six dogs running in the yard is also a deterrent.......
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Old 05-05-2013, 03:51 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
20,964 posts, read 42,472,483 times
Reputation: 24654
It's true that studies have shown that there is no correlation between bright lighting and safety. In fact, in a small town in England, for economic reasons the street lights were turned off. Lots of people, including the police, were just SURE that the crime rate would skyrocket. As it turned out, the crime rate dropped. The criminals couldn't see in the dark, and if they used flashlights and such to enable themselves to see, those flashlights stood out and made the criminal much more obvious than just working in a lighted area that was always lighted so no one paid any attention. It was such a drop that other towns did the same thing, not for economic reasons, but for crime control reasons.

Now, there ARE people who are afraid of the dark and who FEEL safer (though they actually aren't - it's a false sense of security) if there is lighting all night long. Those people should do their very best to avoid causing light pollution (a real problem these days) by using appropriate security lighting. The International Dark Sky Association has information on how to do this.

And, yes, light from someone else's bright security light shining in your window can keep you awake. Heck, we have curtains, but out here in the country, on full moon nights the light shines in our bedroom around the edges of the curtains. Imagine how much worse if your neighbor has a security light that does that. Plus, it's becoming known that not only does all night lighting cause problems for wildlife, but it impacts our health - we're not designed to have light around 24/7 and doing so can cause us problems.
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Old 05-05-2013, 06:12 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
1,137 posts, read 1,328,082 times
Reputation: 1230
I find that machine gun turrets usually keep inruders away.
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