From time to time there’s an item in the media suggesting that outdoor lighting doesn’t improve home security. One of the arguments is that outdoor lighting is as likely to help a burglar as to deter one.  Others note that a majority of residential burglaries happen during daylight hours, so outdoor lighting is irrelevant. Sometimes the media refers to a study they think supports these opinions.

For example, this study found that only 15.8% of convicted burglars said outdoor lighting deterred them.  Motion sensor switching? Humbug, say the skeptics. Burglars know about motion sensors.  A light coming on doesn’t mean somebody’s at home and alert. All it means is there’s a motion sensor working.


Nevertheless, outdoor lighting pros recommend their product, including motion sensors, for home security. Think that’s only because we want to sell outdoor lighting? Fact is, security experts with no financial interest also recommend outdoor lighting for home security. Not because it’s the solution to the problem of burglary, but because it’s a key part of the solution.  Experts know it’s not possible to make a home immune to burglars. There’s no perfect security. Rather, a homeowner can cause burglars to conclude the risk of hitting his or her home is too high. That’s the goal to focus on.

The best home security solutions are like onions. They have many layers.


US Department of Justice statistics show that 43.2% of burglaries happen during the day. In contrast, 26% happen at night.  The time of 30.8% of home burglaries is not known or not reported. This means that at least 26% and as many as 56.8% of burglaries go down in the dark, when outdoor lighting could deter.

But would it? What about the 84.2% of convicted burglars who didn’t report lighting made them think twice? Wait, this is what convicted burglars report.  The ones we caught! Since only 13.6% of burglaries are solved, these must be the total incompetents! The data tell us that the burglars most likely to get caught are not deterred by outdoor lighting.

Research has shown that criminals are remarkably rational people. They don’t want to get caught or shot by a homeowner. Those are big expenses for a criminal. Hence, like other business people, criminals want to minimize the cost of doing business. A layered security plan for a home presents a series of reasons for a burglar to go elsewhere. Locked doors and windows, thoughtful landscaping, an alarm system, and indoor lighting timers all can deter. Experienced pros design the outdoor lighting system that perfectly complements these other layers, raising the bar high. Too high for the average burglar. Your home and grounds will not only be beautiful, but they’ll also be as safe as they can be. Looking for an outdoor lighting company in Houston? We are here to help.

The team at Houston Lightscapes takes pride in their many years of experience in the landscape lighting industry. They've been serving the greater Houston area for over 30 years bringing innovation and elegance to their designs. Learn more about Houston Lightscapes here.