Police only clear 13% of all burglaries. This is due to the lack of witnesses. So, when it happens, a burglary is most likely permanent. You're not seeing those particular things again.
Your home security system isn't enough. Sure, you've got door alarms and the motion detectors all over inside. But any chink in your armor is putting your home at risk.
And if you have a security system, it doesn't stop the perpetrators from damaging your home.
Most burglars use crude tools such as pliers, pry bars, and hammers. They don't care about leaving "evidence" of their break-in because they'll never be seen again.
So, if you have security inside your home, what are you missing?
Security lights. Both inside and outside your home.
1. Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design: Parking Lot Security Lights
Ever heard the phrase: "I wouldn't want to me them in a dark alley"? Darkness is the permission a criminal wants. They don't want their deeds to be seen.
Which is probably why home invasion is so common.
Crime prevention is tough. People try various methods to keep people from harming others or stealing from them. They install security guards, alarms, cameras.
While all of those things help prevent crime, what if there was a way to help prevent crime that added to the functionality of your environment?
There is a concept in engineering and design called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design.
It's this idea that you can add to the functionality of an environment while preventing crime at the same time.
A great example of this is speed bumps or intentional curves in roadways. They keep people from speeding. They offer either distraction or warnings or even potential for damage to their vehicle.
In the case of large commercial parking lots, the US Department of Justice has found that the most important CPTED security feature is security lights.
But What Does This Have To Do With My Home?
Good question. You may not have tons of people walking to and from your house to their car at night. But home and personal security is still important.
While it may not be economically feasible to leave security lights on outside all night. There are ways around this that still allow you to feel safe and secure both inside and outside.
2. Infrared Enabled Security Lights
An article in the New Yorker once made a good point.
The author, although he was writing about light pollution, pointed out that constant security lighting may not be as effective as we assume.
Lighting is only "effective if it enables people to notice criminal activity as it's taking place."
But if someone isn't right next to your home nobody is going to notice someone walk up to your home.
They will probably just assume it's a guest. But if a burglar is startled by sudden lights or is forced to use a flashlight, that is much more noticeable.
And if all the lights in your home are off and someone walks up triggering infrared enabled security lights, that's a sign something is amiss.
The article also uses an anecdote from the 1970s.
A public school system decided to stop leaving lights on at night. And they noticed that vandalism went down by a large percentage.
Infrared Enabled Security Lights And Personal Safety
Infrared enabled security lights are a good intermediate between no lights and all lights all the time.
Personal security is still important. Muggings can happen right outside your home. And going without any security lights puts you at risk of attack.
If you drive up to your home with infrared enabled security lights installed. Those lights will be on as you grab your groceries and go inside.
If someone approaches you, you can quickly find your keys and enter your house. If there is no light, it will be much harder to find the keys to your front door.
3. Indoor Security Lighting
Do you know the patterns by which you turn your lights on and off at night?
It's actually quite random. Unless you go to sleep at exactly the same moment every night, you're not turning all your lights out at a set time.
People like to go on the cheap and expect their homes to be safe.
While security doesn't have to be expensive. It's going to cost you more than ten dollars for a light timer you plug your lamps into.
Burglars are going to know you're not home if your lights suddenly start going off at 9:05 PM every night.
But there are some amazing new lighting systems designed to fool the common thief.
These are smart lights. And they learn your light using habits so you don't have to.
The BeOn System As Example
While there are many smart light systems for your home, we'll take the BeOn light system as an example.
The BeOn light security system does exactly this. These LED lights connect to your tablet or phone via BlueTooth.
And they are both programmed to learn and programmable through the app.
They can turn on and off when the doorbell rings. They can be programmed to turn on when a smoke alarm or a carbon dioxide detector goes off.
But they shine out the most (pun intended) when they learn your light habits and mimic them.
This is the home security theory that works better than a set light timer system.
The BeOn lighting system creates a 7-day lighting schedule for your lights.
A thief would have to be pretty ardent in casing your house to figure out that on every Sunday the lights turn on at the exact same times.
Your light patterns during the week vary just enough to make this system convincing.
The only part of this system you may not want to use is the "doorbell response." This feature would only be useful is you're trying to keep away stupid kids.
But a smart burglar will quickly figure out that you never answer the door despite all the lights turning on in sequence.
While a home security system is a great idea and does protect your home, it's not complete without a lighting system.
What are some clever ways you've used lights to protect your home? Let us know in the comments below.