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Many of our customers consider buying security lighting for their homes and commercial properties. Many first time buyers are unsure as to what lights to purchase, which bulbs to use, and where to put them. LED Light Bulbs not only offer a brilliant, bright light that makes your entire property easier to see, they also are both economically and environmentally friendly as well so that even the most eco-friendly homeowner can feel comfortable keeping their property safe.
Taking in years of consumer advice, security light strategising, and feedback from customers, we have put together this guide for you.
What Types of Security Lights are Available?
There are several types of lights suitable for outdoor lighting, but these tend to be split into bulkhead lights, floodlights, and in some cases, low-pressure sodium lights. Let’s look at each one in turn:
Bulkhead Lights: These simple wall-mounted lights are often used in porches, above doors, or for outbuildings. They’re most commonly used at night to help people find the door keyhole, but can also make for a more subtle security light, letting you know someone is trying to get in through your door.
Floodlights: Wall mounted on brackets, the floodlight is your go to bright outdoor light, often used to illuminate buildings and sport pitches at night. They are a much used security light because they can be angled wherever required and can produce a wide light. The downside is the large amount of glare they produce. That being said, they are good for startling intruders. When used with a motion sensor, an LED Spotlight's intense flash can cause even the most dedicated intruders to tuck their tails and run, leaving you peace and mind that your newly installed system is doing its job.
Low-pressure Sodium Lights: These lights produce a softer light, which while it lowers light levels overall, produces better visibility due to the lack of glare. These tend to be more neighbour and wildlife friendly.
In addition to light types, do consider which kind of light bulb to use. We naturally recommend LED light bulbs for our bulkhead and floodlights. This is because LEDs produce a crisp and clear light which is durable, damage resistant, waterproof, and longer lasting.
Where to Place Security Lights
The placement of security lights is very much dependent upon the size and layout of your property. Ideally you want all access points to your building or buildings to be covered. You also want to avoid there being black spots and hiding places. When buying security lights it is vital to thoroughly consider how many lights you require and where to place them. Make sure lights cover all doorways and consider ground floor windows which may be easy to break into. All floodlights should be placed at least 2 metres off the ground to achieve maximum effectiveness.
Remember, whenever you're in doubt about installing a lighting system, it is wise to consult with a professional electrician for help. It is never worth risking the safety of yourself and others in the name of time or saving a few quid on your installation.
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When choosing locations, also consider how exposed your light is going to be to the environment. Is it going to get lashed by wind and rain, will it be dripped on? Snowed on? Covered in winter ice? It is best policy to choose floodlights and other security lights with a high Ingress Protection or IP rating. You will find that most outdoor lights have an IP rating of IP44 which means they are water resistant from spray in all directions. However, you can further improve the durability of your lighting by choosing LED bulbs which are more weather resistant than other bulbs.
Often times, LED Panels aren't the best solution for outdoor security lighting. This type of lighting is meant to disperse light in a small area, and an LED spotlight would be the desired choice.
How to Control Your Security Lights
There are two main ways of controlling security lights. These are:
1. The Dusk to Dawn System: Simply put, this system triggers the light as soon as it gets dark outside. The lights will come on and stay on throughout the night until it gets light outside. The idea is that the light exterior will scare intruders and burglars away from entering the grounds of a property.
2. Passive Infrared (PIR): This is your traditional motion activated lighting system, which uses changes in background radiation caused by objects entering the field. When such a change occurs, the light comes on. The effect is supposed to startle intruders while allowing people inside the building to know that someone has intruded. However, the most common flaw is over sensitivity of the PIR which means cats, hedgehogs and even birds set them off.
It may prove that you require a combination of both systems for your home or commercial property. Experts suggest that a combination of the two systems is best overall, giving you a wide range of security lighting and total flexibility. All lights should be installed by a qualified electrician for the utmost effect and safety.
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Both commercial and private residential security lighting come with their own unique considerations. It is worth taking your time to consider each of the following points and any others you can think of before investing in affordable LED security lights.
* PIR lights can be incredibly sensitive - even set off by pets, birds and hedgehogs, but also by neighbours in their own gardens.
* Consider your neighbour’s feelings too. There’s nothing worse than a sensitive security light going into someone else’s window all the time - blind your burglar, not your neighbour.
* Make sure the floodlights do not illuminate the road outside your home - that can cause accidents.
* Ensure your lights do not cause super dark shadows for intruders to hide in.
* Permanent lights can disorientate local nighttime wildlife.
* Do not become desensitised the lights, so you end up ignoring them.
* Pay attention to running costs - LED light bulbs significantly reduce these.
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