Security Lights

Outdoor security cameras for your garden or drive are a reassuring addition to your home security system by acting as a visual deterrent to thieves and also as a safety feature to light up pathways during the dark nights.

There are many types of systems and power options to choose from. Below is a brief explanation of what is available.

Types of Security Lighting

Motion activated outdoor security lights

Motion activated security lights become active when the PIR (passive infrared) sensor detects movement meaning the light is only used when needed and saves energy. As well as a security feature, highlighting any intruders, it is also a safety feature to have a light which turns on when you are walking down a path or steps in the dark. Many of the security lights available have the ability to set the range that it can activate from and level of darkness it detects motion.

Solar Security lights

Solar security lights require no mains power or wiring as they generate their power from sunlight. These lights absorb the energy from the sun during the day by using rechargeable batteries. Once fully charged, these lights should give light for 10-12 hours. Because there is no mains power, these light provide a cost effective and environmentally friendly lighting solution.

Timer and light-sensitive security lights

There are security lights that are programmed to activate at set times or only when it gets dark and stays illuminated until the morning using photocell, a system which can detect levels of light. This type of lighting system is the least cost effective option available particularly in the winter months when there are more hours of darkness.

LED and Halogen flood lights

Floodlights are the most common type of outdoor lighting typically used on the outside of houses, car parks and business premises. LED flood lights are cost effective as they use lower levels of energy than halogen flood lights. Halogen flood lights give off a bright white light and have mains and solar power options available.

Where to position your security light

Placing your outdoor security lights in the right spot is essential. Security lights can provide added garden security, but remember to take into account things like glare and whether the neighbours are likely to be affected.

Lights should be placed at least 2 metres off the ground to ensure maximum effectiveness and should have a beam angle of no more than 70 degrees to avoid light pollution. The Environmental Protection Act legislates against light pollution which can cause a nuisance to neighbours, for example if the light is shining directly in to next doors bedroom window or can cause accidents if aimed towards the road.

Security lights are intended to alert you to the presence of a burglar. Use lighting to illuminate areas of the garden or driveway that you can see from the house easily. For example, there is little benefit in illuminating the bottom of the garden if you can’t see it from the house.

There is also the running cost to consider as security light systems can be expensive to run unless you opt for a solar powered option.

Security lights can also be counter effective if used incorrectly. Extremely bright light can create extra shadows in corners for burglars to hide in. A motion detection security light will illuminate once it detects motion but if the light is active every time the cat from next door crosses the garden, the activation of the light will not cause you act on it.