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Light as a deterrent

Rebelx

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Hi everyone, Wanted to hear your opinions on normal light as a deterrant to night time theft in a residential setting.

My street is quite dark at night and no one has any outdoor lights on. Except me. I have a LED light system that dims until about 4am and then goes off depending on the season. In summer there is light at 4am or so.

Do you think having continuous light vs sensor lights are a reasonable deterrant or should I not bother with continuous lighting and stand out in my street like a sore thumb.

This is a low crime area btw and no cars parked outside at night.

Thanks for your opinions.
 

bigredfish

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I'm a fan of continuous lights. The degree of deterrent I think is relative to the bad guy. For the average meth head door checker, I dont think it matters. With a more experienced burglar I think he'd rather hit a house that isnt all lit up. For me, I prefer lighting things up for best possible ID from my cameras, even the ones that stay in B&W/IR.
 
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CCTVCam

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Why not do both? After a rash of burglaries in my area, a couple of years ago, I installed a dusk to dawn sensor on a light in my back yard into which I put a 5w LED bulb. In addition I also installed 2 LED floodlights on a single PIR sensor. The result is I have a low level of light all night, but should anyone trespass in the area, a high level of light from the floods in addition upon triggering. I see the additional brightness as having 2 advantages : 1. It may spook some burglars, 2. The advantage of flood lights is they show through curtains which also serves to alert you, if someone or something (animal usually) is in your yard.

That said, with at least some of the burglaries, the burglaries occurred despite lighting. You can only deter so far.

There are 2 ways to view light, on the one hand it makes it easier for burglars to work as they can see what they're doing! On the other hand, the vast majority of burglars prefer not to be seen (with exceptions as above). My take on it all is although you stand out like a sore thumb, the vast majority, will pick on a house that isn't lit given the choice.

Overall I think either permanent, PIR or both will work. I prefer a combination but use a low level of light bulb on the permanent (around 330 lumens) for eco and light pollution reasons. It doesn't need to be bright with a floodlight / floodlights to back it up and even a low level light is quite a deterrent especially when there are unlit houses nearby. Whatever you use, my advice go LED. They're brighter and last longer. You don't need a special LED unit except for the floodlight. Most ordinary yard lights will accept LED bulbs. Floodlights are the exception and usually need to be natively LED.
 

VisionxOrb

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I have 360* pir motion lighting around my house, some high lumen 120v led and a ton of solar litom type ones including at the bottom of my driveway
 

YYZed

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I’m in the boat of the more light the better. I recently changed all of the decorative lights in the back and side of house to 1000 lumen LED floods Commercial Electric Bronze Outdoor Integrated LED Wall Pack Light with 1000 Lumens and Dusk-to-Dawn Photocell-DAWN12-PC-3K-BZ - The Home Depot We’ve always had lighting on at night with dusk to dawn sensors, and so far no complaints from the neighbors with the new ones. It’s a quiet neighborhood, but there was just a recent break-in across the street at 1:45am. No idea if he targeted the house or just picked a random one. Either way, I want the cameras I’m installing to be able to see the best they can in addition to what I can see with the naked eye. My direct neighbors don’t keep much on except for the driveway or front porch lights.
 

Rebelx

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Whatever you use, my advice go LED. They're brighter and last longer. You don't need a special LED unit except for the floodlight. Most ordinary yard lights will accept LED bulbs. Floodlights are the exception and usually need to be natively LED.
No probs. Where I live, most options are LED by default. I have a DIY LED light system (12V DC) which comes on at night and slowly dims out as described above, using a simple LED dimmer. Floodlights with PIR are already LED.
Wonder whether the camera can adjust quickly if the lights come on suddenly at night?

I will stick out like a sore thumb though because our street dwellings and gardens are super dark at night (apart from street lights). On the other hand, I love seeing my garden lit up in an ambient manner.

For me, I prefer lighting things up for best possible ID from my cameras, even the ones that stay in B&W/IR.
I think I might be in the same camp. Many of my friends think that it's waste of electricity....

Thanks both for your input.
 

Mr_D

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Wonder whether the camera can adjust quickly if the lights come on suddenly at night?
I'm sure it varies by camera, but my Dahua starlights adjust pretty quickly. I've played around with different sensor lights, and found the ones with more reach are better. If the light doesn't come on until the subject to really close to the light, the face got blown out. Having the light come on when a subject is farther away provided better exposure overall.
 

Rebelx

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I have 360* pir motion lighting around my house, some high lumen 120v led and a ton of solar litom type ones including at the bottom of my driveway
Noted. I will probably have to revise some of my light choices....especially in the back.

I’m in the boat of the more light the better. I recently changed all of the decorative lights in the back and side of house to 1000 lumen LED floods Commercial Electric Bronze Outdoor Integrated LED Wall Pack Light with 1000 Lumens and Dusk-to-Dawn Photocell-DAWN12-PC-3K-BZ - The Home Depot We’ve always had lighting on at night with dusk to dawn sensors, and so far no complaints from the neighbors with the new ones. It’s a quiet neighborhood, but there was just a recent break-in across the street at 1:45am. No idea if he targeted the house or just picked a random one. Either way, I want the cameras I’m installing to be able to see the best they can in addition to what I can see with the naked eye. My direct neighbors don’t keep much on except for the driveway or front porch lights.
Those lights fit the bill. With that night time robbery, were the owners inside? That's ones worst nightmare tbh. I'd rather be out if it has to happen.
 

Rebelx

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I'm sure it varies by camera, but my Dahua starlights adjust pretty quickly. I've played around with different sensor lights, and found the ones with more reach are better. If the light doesn't come on until the subject to really close to the light, the face got blown out. Having the light come on when a subject is farther away provided better exposure overall.
Makes sense. I will note this down when I make my choices for the cameras. So far I've chosen 4x Starlight ones - all 2mp, two of them have the double turrents with corridor mode for under the eave installs.
 

Rebelx

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The extra nice part about the solar pir lights is they work when the power goes out.
How do you find them during winter. I find that the batteries get fried after a winter and need replacing. I also find the Solar PIR lights in general to be flimsy etc and too weak most of the time. High maintenance is the correct word I suppose.
 

VisionxOrb

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How do you find them during winter. I find that the batteries get fried after a winter and need replacing. I also find the Solar PIR lights in general to be flimsy etc and too weak most of the time. High maintenance is the correct word I suppose.
My oldest ones are about 4 years old and still work like the day I put them up. The housings on mine don't seem to fragile but im in socal so Winters arent to hard on things. I also only run them as motion not dim then bright on motion so I don't drain the batteries down each night.
 

YYZed

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Noted. I will probably have to revise some of my light choices....especially in the back.


Those lights fit the bill. With that night time robbery, were the owners inside? That's ones worst nightmare tbh. I'd rather be out if it has to happen.
I'm really impressed with the lights! The are compact in size and only stick out maybe 2 to 2-1/2 inches from the wall.

The owners were indeed home and thankfully their alarm system and barking dog managed to scare the person off. The homes on that side of the street back up to the golf course and there is only a steel fence separating their backyard from a fairway area. Directly next door is a house that has been unoccupied since last Thanksgiving due to a garage fire, and I don't know if the person was trying to break into that one and picked the wrong house, or if it was some tweaker who saw an opportunity. In addition to the break-in, there was a tall gate next to the unoccupied house that was smashed through by a dually truck (you could see the tracks) in an unrelated incident months prior. The course owners didn't do anything about it until the home owner got onto them since it made for easy access to everyone's backyards.
 

Rebs

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The owners were indeed home and thankfully their alarm system and barking dog managed to scare the person off.
They must have had reed switches on something on their alarm with a 'home' mode or something? Or do people use outdoor PIR sensors? I thought those were a no-no.
 

YYZed

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They must have had reed switches on something on their alarm with a 'home' mode or something? Or do people use outdoor PIR sensors? I thought those were a no-no.
I’m not entirely sure. The note we received said they tried to come through the back (I think) sliding door, but it was vague beyond that. The person tripped something on the system to set it off. If I ever see that neighbor I have plenty of questions to ask.
 

CCTVCam

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I'm really impressed with the lights! The are compact in size and only stick out maybe 2 to 2-1/2 inches from the wall.

The owners were indeed home and thankfully their alarm system and barking dog managed to scare the person off. The homes on that side of the street back up to the golf course and there is only a steel fence separating their backyard from a fairway area. Directly next door is a house that has been unoccupied since last Thanksgiving due to a garage fire, and I don't know if the person was trying to break into that one and picked the wrong house, or if it was some tweaker who saw an opportunity. In addition to the break-in, there was a tall gate next to the unoccupied house that was smashed through by a dually truck (you could see the tracks) in an unrelated incident months prior. The course owners didn't do anything about it until the home owner got onto them since it made for easy access to everyone's backyards.
TBH it's each to their own, but I really don't see the necessity to light your house like a prison all night. All it does is burn electricity, produce CO2, produce light pollution and probably has no difference in effect to the exact same lighting coming on upon detection.

Subtle ambient lighting sets the house out as lit, and even a low light level will illuminate someone crossing a lawn or a driveway and thus be a deterrent. However, if it lights up like a Christmas tree upon detection, then I'd suggest the prospective burglar is just as likely to leave it alone as he would be if they were on all the time, maybe even more so given he'll be startled. The key to putting them off and giving cameras time to adjust in my opinion, is to have the main lighting trigger as early as possible on the property whether that's through gate post sensors or pirs that simply detect right to the edges of the property. If you want maxmium deterrence / detection, set the lights on period to a long setting eg 5 mins+.
 

YYZed

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TBH it's each to their own, but I really don't see the necessity to light your house like a prison all night. All it does is burn electricity, produce CO2, produce light pollution and probably has no difference in effect to the exact same lighting coming on upon detection.

Subtle ambient lighting sets the house out as lit, and even a low light level will illuminate someone crossing a lawn or a driveway and thus be a deterrent. However, if it lights up like a Christmas tree upon detection, then I'd suggest the prospective burglar is just as likely to leave it alone as he would be if they were on all the time, maybe even more so given he'll be startled. The key to putting them off and giving cameras time to adjust in my opinion, is to have the main lighting trigger as early as possible on the property whether that's through gate post sensors or pirs that simply detect right to the edges of the property. If you want maxmium deterrence / detection, set the lights on period to a long setting eg 5 mins+.
That's cool. To each their own indeed. My house is nearly pitch black in the back and side yards where the lights are located without some kind of lighting. 1000 lumens is equal to a 65-75w incandescent bulb and is burning maybe 15w. Not as bright as you think, and not as energy consuming either because of the LED's. In comparison to the decorative lighting that used to be in two of the backyard spots, these throw off way less light in all directions and are instead focused down and out. Less light pollution going up and the yard is lit to my satisfaction.

There are members on here actively showing off the 1200 lumen LED bulbs that they use in the fixtures in the front of the their homes. That might be getting a little excessive even for me since it's what you see when you roll up. The front of my house is relatively dark, but some of my neighbors have them well lit far beyond what I would do.
 

JNDATHP

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We have LEDs in all of our fixtures except in oven and fridges. We keep the outside dimmed down to give light to the cameras and when motion is detected, they ramp up to 100%. Best of both worlds in our opinion: constant light without using too much electricity and the added deterent of ramping up which should startle a person.

We also use outdoor solar LED lights that are also on at a lower level but brighten on motion.
 
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