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A well-placed floodlight can repel burglars just as surely as it attracts moths. External lighting is an important component of home security. Shadows are natural havens for any loiterers averse to outside attention, and can make casing or actually breaking into a house a much less risky prospect.
Installing lights to remove these appealing blind spots is one of the first steps for any security-concerned resident – just as important, really, as signing on with a security service such as the ADT in The Woodlands . But for the more aesthetically inclined for us, this can be a bit of a wrenching step. External lights are often clunky, and rarely do favors for exterior design.
Curious about balancing safety and appearance? We’ve got some advice for you.
While security lighting may bring to mind sweeping banks of high-powered, eave-mounted floodlights, that doesn’t have to be your solution. We’ve recently seen a lot of houses make great use of uplighting, or ground-based lights that directly illuminate one side of a building.
There are a couple of obvious design advantages to uplighting. First, lights are extremely unobtrusive during the day, and won’t disrupt your home’s profile. Second, they give houses a nice, atmospheric look at night. They’re also easy on your neighbors; a floodlight aimed through the wrong windows can make sleep difficult, but uplights are directed, well, up, and don’t pose the same risks.
Security-wise, they’re better than you might think. While we’d still urge you to make sure that a wide perimeter around your house stays lit, uplights do have one major advantage: they highlight actual points of entry. Anyone planning to break in through an uplit door or window has to consider the risky proposition of being completely visible as they do so.
Install Lanterns and Other Ground-Hugging Lights
One nice way to give your lawn some extra light is to snag some small lanterns, such as those commonly used to keep paths well-lit at night. These come in an almost endless variety, and can fit neatly into just about any design theme. Many have the additional benefit of being solar-powered energy sippers, and extremely cheap sources of always-on night-time light.
While they don’t pack the punch of a bigger bulb, they can light up approaches to your house. Paths, shrubbery, dark stretches of lawn, any and all of those can be instantly rendered a little less thief-friendly by planting down a lantern.
Take Advantage of Existing Mounts to Tuck Away Floodlights
We can’t finish this article without at least mentioning the bigger lights. At the end of the day, they’re often the surest way to illuminate an entire area, they just don’t always look good doing it. These often clunky products can be major eyesores if fixed in obvious areas.
Instead, look for ways to hide them away while still keeping them effective. Mount them so they just peak out from under sheltering eaves instead of on top of them. Some enterprising landscapers have also taken to placing them on convenient trees. If you’ve got any greenery that can actually support one, why not use it? A tree-mounted floodlight in a good location isn’t any less effective for its leafy home, and won’t pop out as much as it would were it installed on your house.
Function Over Form
Still, even with all this in mind, it may not be always practical or affordable to use any of these, or similar techniques. But if you should find yourself in that position, don’t use that as an excuse to skip lighting installation. Shedding external light is simply too important from a security measure. And while it may be a wrench to go grab some design-busting LED, it’s a whole lot better than raising the odds of a break-in.