The Surprising Role Motion-Activated Lights Play in Home Security - What to Look for When Purchasing Outdoor LED Security Lighting

Motion-activated lights are an important aspect of home security. But not every homeowner has them installed around their residence. One of the common reasons I'm given by residents is they don't understand how or don't believe that lights can deter a burglar from entering their home. To ensure you don't make this same mistake, I'll explain the role motion-activated lights play in home security and the important features to look for in outdoor security lighting.

Motion-Activated Lights as Crime Deterrents

Home security should be like an onion. The more layers you have in place, the more unappealing your home will be to intruders. From the moment a criminal approaches your property, they should be met with a layer of resistance that causes them to question proceeding further.

Motion-activated lights are an important layer of home security. It is true that lights cannot stop a criminal in the physical sense. They can, however, have a powerful psychological effect that can give a would-be intruder reason to stay clear of your home.

There are two ways that a motion-activated light can deter a criminal—through its startle effect and temporary blinding illumination. Although criminals are aware of how motion-sensor lights work, the high adrenaline levels they experience while contemplating their crimes makes them highly apprehensive and easy to startle. When an outdoor light suddenly turns on, it has a startling effect that heightens that anxiety and fear. This alone can cause a criminal to question whether someone can see them and if proceeding further is worth the risk of potentially get caught or possibly even shot by the resident. This increased apprehension is sometimes all it takes to stop an intruder in their tracks.

The illuminating effects of outdoor security lighting can also serve as a crime deterrent by removing the cloak of darkness that burglars and other home intruders prefer to hide in. A light that suddenly illuminates an area that a criminal is lurking around or planning to hide in can quickly foil his plans.

Important Features for Outdoor Security Lights

Not all outdoor security lights are created equal. While many promise a quality product, not every motion-activated light delivers. Knowing which features make a home security light effective before you go shopping for one can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. The following are important features you want to look for:

  • Infrared technology. When shopping for outdoor motion-activated security lights, one of the most important features to look for is infrared technology, such as the STARTLE 360 LED light fixture. The benefit of infrared technology is that it senses the presence of people and vehicles through heat detection. A light with passive infrared (PIF) minimizes the likelihood of a small animal or tree setting off the light. When properly adjusted, the light will typically only turn on when it senses a large body of heat such as that of a person or vehicle.

  • Adjustable motion sensitivity. Not every outdoor environment is the same. A motion-activated light fixture that allows you to adjust the sensitivity of its motion or heat sensor gives you what you need to setup your outdoor security lighting properly for your outdoor environment. This increases the likelihood of your light fixture turning on only when sensing the presence of a large heat source such as a person or car.

  • Light emitting diode (LED) bulbs. The benefit of outdoor lighting that utilizes LED bulbs is they provide intense illumination with minimal energy usage. For example, the STARTLE 360 LED light emits up to 700 watts of bright white light while consuming only 160 watts of energy. The LED bulbs have a 25 year rating, reducing the need and expense to replace them. In comparing this to a commonly purchased floodlight, the STARTLE 360 LED light uses approximately 75% less energy.

    The STARTLE 360 LED bulbs are based on solid-state technologies that emit light from a chip versus a filament that will inevitably burn out overtime. Just imagine never having to replace a bulb or climb a dangerous ladder again during the course of ownership. Unlike traditional light bulbs, the STARTLE is environmentally friendly, containing no mercury or toxic materials.

  • A quality light housing. The quality of the light housing (the outer casing that protects the fixture's infrastructure) will determine how well the fixture will survive Mother Nature and even acts of vandalism. For example, light housings constructed of aluminium ballistic materials can survive windborne objects such a small tree limb, or even a determined vandal tossing rocks at the fixture itself. However, light fixtures constructed of plastics typically have much shorter life expectancies. This is partly due to the sun`s damaging UV rays and heat that quickly degrade the housing.

  • Adjustable light timer. A motion-activated light fixture with an adjustable light timer gives you the ability to select how long the light stays on after it stops detecting motion. This important energy-efficient feature allows you to further reduce the amount of energy your outdoor security lighting uses.

  • Extended coverage area. The area that the motion-activated light sensor covers is CRITICAL. The larger the coverage area, the more effective your security light will be. An outdoor light that provides 360-degree coverage downward is much more effective in detecting movement than a light that only senses what's directly in front of it. The same is true for outward coverage. The greater the distance, the sooner the outdoor security light will detect motion and turn on. An outdoor light that provides an extended coverage area (e.g. 270 degrees up to 160 feet) also helps to reduce the number of lights needed to protect your property, which equates into savings.

  • A lengthy warranty. In my experience, most outdoor lights are sold with a 3-year or less-limited liability warranty. As a 20-year veteran of the security industry, this clearly demonstrates that the manufacturer is not confident in their product. Even if you have to spend additional money, seek out an established manufacturer that includes a 10- to 15-year warranty—it's a sign of a well-made product.

Make Your Home Unappealing to Intruders with Motion-Activated Lights

Now that you understand the role motion-activated lights play in home security, be sure to equip your residence with this important layer of security. The key to steering burglars and other criminals away from your home is to make your residence unappealing from the moment they set foot on your property. It all begins with outdoor security lighting.

Jordan Frankel, commonly known as The Security Sensei develops revolutionary security products and solutions that protect both lives & property. Countless agencies and corporations such as NASDAQ, the US Military, and law enforcement entrust Mr. Frankel with their security and safety. Jordan Frankel is also frequent media guest addressing the personal and financial consequences associated with home invasions, burglaries and other serious threats. In addition, Mr. Frankel's security products & inventions have been featured on Oprah, FOX news and in countless publications. Jordan's ability to outsmart the proverbial bad guys - coupled with his commitment to making security an affordable reality for everyone is the key to Global Security Experts Inc success. Mr. Frankel (The Security Sensei) is available for media interviews by appointment only.

Mr. Frankel is a proud member of:

The American Society for Industrial Security.

The International Association for Counter Terrorism & Security.

The Society of Professional Locksmiths.