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Outdoor Security and Safety Lighting Tips for Your Home

Outdoor Security and Safety Lighting Tips for Your Home

Outdoor lighting and landscape lighting does more than enhance your curb appeal—it helps improve the safety and security of your home.

You can help keep your house safer and more secure by installing outdoor lighting that helps:

  • Brighten high-traffic areas

  • Deter trespassers

  • Secure the perimeter of your home

  • Create an aesthetic

Before we go over those, we'll explain the types of outdoor lights to give you an idea of your landscape lighting options.

Need more outdoor lighting tips? Call Reliable Heating & Air at (770) 594-9969 or schedule an appointment.

Our expert electricians will give you the best outdoor lighting safety tips for your home, then go over your exterior lighting and landscape lighting options to help you brighten up your home and make it more secure.

Types of outdoor lighting

You can install the following types of outdoor lights around your home and in your yard:

  • Ceiling light/fan: Similar to indoor ceiling lights/fans, but made of more durable materials, outdoor ceiling lights/fans are good for brightening up and improving airflow in covered areas.

  • Wall light/sconce: Outdoor wall sconces sit flush against a structure to add ambient lighting and an upscale look.

  • Spotlight: Also known as bullet lights, spotlights project a bright, narrow beam of light to highlight specific areas.

  • Floodlight: Similar to spotlights, floodlights have a wider beam angle that covers a broader area with a slightly softer light.

  • Path light: Also called post lights, these lights are designed to cast a soft orb of light around walkways, garden beds and other framed areas of your yard.

  • Well light: Also called inground lights, well lights sit inside a hole so they're flush with the ground.

  • Hardscape lights: These are thin, long fixtures designed to cast light down onto the textures of hardscaping (various stone and wood elements in your yard).

  • Deck/Step lights: Usually installed for safety purposes, step lights are installed in stair risers to illuminate stairs leading up to a porch, deck or other structure.

Landscape and outdoor lighting safety tips

Brighten high-traffic areas

Any area where people walk or congregate should be well lit to prevent injury. Common spaces that need good outdoor lighting include:

  • Sidewalks and walkways

  • Entryway thresholds

  • Deck and patio stairs

  • Freestanding structures (gazebos, pergolas, outdoor kitchens, etc.)

Best outdoor lights to brighten busy areas:

  • Path lights

  • Step lights

  • Ceiling lights/fans

  • Wall lights/sconces

Deter trespassers

Outdoor lighting is one of the best ways to deter burglars and intruders because it restricts hiding places around your home.

Some security lighting tips to deter trespassers include:

  • Choose motion sensors or timed lights, so they come on when they detect movement or stay on throughout the night.

  • Keep trees and shrubs trimmed and well lit, so they can't be used as hiding places.

  • Install a home automation system to remotely control lights and locks and to view security cameras.

Best outdoor lights to deter trespassers:

  • Floodlights

  • Spotlights

  • Well lights

Secure the perimeter of your home

Good security lighting leaves no area of your home unlit. That said, you want a healthy balance of lighting that looks good while illuminating dark areas of your yard.

A small amount of lighting can go a long way. You just need enough to illuminate dark areas. This is especially important if you have a larger property or are surrounded by a wooded area.

The key to creating a perimeter of security lighting—that's also easy on the eyes—is to have a mixture of landscape lighting styles. For example, you could have a combination of:

  • Motion floodlights above garage or exterior doors

  • Path lights along driveways, sidewalks, garden beds or property lines

  • Well lights or spotlights uplighting trees, shrubs or structures

  • Hardscape lights along fences, gates or retaining walls

Create an aesthetic

While you want a well-lit perimeter surrounding your home, you don't want to over do it. Security lighting that's too bright will give your house a harsh look—and irritate neighbors that are victim to any direct beams of light.

For the best balance of security and ambience for outdoor lighting:

  • Choose only a few bright lights for the entry points or darkest spaces around your home. Security spotlights and floodlights usually have a brighter color temperature, and too many can cast too much light on your yard—negating the rest of your landscape lighting.

  • Go with warmer lights when illuminating porches, walkways and elements in your yard. Warmer lights create a softer glow that balances your security lights. Most landscape lights have a color temperature of 2,700 to 3,000 Kelvin. You can learn more about color temperature in our interior lighting guide.

  • Limit how many motion sensors you have. Depending on the type of motion sensor you get, they can go off for any kind of movement—whether it's a swaying tree branch or a passing car. More advanced motion sensors use infrared technology that only turn on when they detect the warmth of humans or animals. So while they're helpful for deterring intruders, they can become annoying if you live in a busy area.

Need help with outdoor and landscape lighting? Call Reliable Heating & Air.

Call us today at (770) 594-9969 or schedule an appointment for a free in-home estimate.

For more than 40 years, we've been offering the most reliable landscape and outdoor lighting installations in the greater Atlanta area. Our electricians will give you the best landscape lighting tips for the perfect balance between keeping your home safe and enhancing its curb appeal.