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Does Leaving the Light On Deter Burglars?

You’re getting ready to leave for your holiday, so you double-check your to-do list. Packed everything? Checked-in online? Exchanged your money? Set emails to out-of-office? And finally, have you left the lights on to deter burglars?

Unfortunately, that last bit isn’t likely to do you much good at all. Contrary to popular opinion, it might actually highlight your home as a target for theft. In today’s article, we’re going to look at whether or not leaving the light on deters burglars. We’ll explain why it might not, what else you can do to deter them and which Calder Security products will definitely be of interest to you.

What Lighting Do Homeowners Use to Deter Burglars?

We can’t speak for everybody when we talk about home security. But there’s a general belief in the United Kingdom that leaving the lights on when you’re not home will fend off burglars.

Some households will leave several indoor lights on when their home is empty in the hope of deterring burglars. If this is only done once in a while, it’s probably not going to cause any harm. But if all the lights are left on for a one-week holiday, for instance, you might be creating a huge opportunity.

On other occasions, outdoor and porch lights may be left on all day and night. In principle, the logic is sound. Burglars scoping out your home will see light and think this means activity – so they won’t want to take the risk on your property. Sadly, that’s not how it works in practice.

Could Lighting Be Working Against You?

Instead of being put off by constant indoor lighting, burglars will see this as an indication that nobody’s in.

Thieves will sometimes scope out your home several times before they attempt to rob you. They’ll be looking for patterns and behaviours that show when there’s an opportunity to enter the home. If you’ve left the lights on in the same rooms, that will quickly be spotted.

Similarly, your 24-hour outdoor light doesn’t really deter burglars. Instead, they’ll be thankful for the light it provides them with. With a light on, burglars can see any obstacles that could create noise, and will also highlight any weak points or entry points around your home. Outdoor lights will let burglars see what they’re doing more clearly.

If your indoor and outdoor lights are always on, will your neighbours notice anything different? And on that note, is there anybody to even see into your home? If there’s nobody there to see burglars in the outdoor light, then what difference does it make? It’s just an expensive addition to your electricity bill.

A study by the Office for National Statistics also found that 60% of burglaries take place during the day. More often than not, your constant night-time lights won’t make a difference to whether or not you’re burgled.

How to Deter Burglaries

There are far more effective security systems than lighting. But if you do want to have lighting, at least make sure it’s motion-sensor lighting.

This type of lighting ensures that when something out of the ordinary is happening, the lighting changes. This will draw far more attention from your neighbours, and create far more panic for the burglar.

Aside from lighting, a CCTV system is an extremely effective way to deter burglars. It doesn’t matter how many lights are left on, how many people are home, or how close your neighbours are. You’ll capture everything with a CCTV system – and the thieves knows that too.

Update your burglar alarm system and make sure that it’s still effective. Broken sensor? Patchy wiring? Test it regularly to make sure that it still works.

Make friends with your neighbours and let them know when you’re going away for a few days. They’ll be able to keep an eye out for any suspicious or unusual activity, and they’ll be sure to spot unfamiliar faces doing their rounds on the street.

Whether you’re looking for motion sensor lighting, alarm systems, or CCTV cameras, get in touch with our Calder Security team.

We have all the products you could need to keep potential burglars away. Keeping you safe is our priority as Yorkshire’s leading independent security company.