Security lighting

is mostly used as a preventative and corrective measure against intrusions or other criminal activity on a physical piece of property. Security lighting may be provided to aid in the detection of intruders, to deter intruders, or in some cases simply to increase the feeling of safety. Used with an intruder alarm, smart lighting controls and CCTV it provides ultimate protection of your home and persons within.

At Remote my Home we prefer the use of high efficiency low energy LED lighting controlled by a photo-electric cell (dusk to dawn switch). Such low wattage LED lighting, on permanently during the hours of darkness, provides a more than adequate level of illumination, is not as harsh and is more environmentally friendly than tungsten halogen PIR floodlights.

A low wattage LED unit placed out of easy reach at a height of eight to ten feet could illuminate an average rear garden, helping to create a reassuring environment and hopefully playing its part in deterring the burglar from selecting that house in the first place. In cost terms, the low wattage ensures that even though the light is on all night, the cost to run is minimal – no more than a few pound a year.

PIR switched tungsten halogen floodlights can cause problems, and due to some of the issues highlighted below, may provide little in the way of extra security for a domestic dwelling. They appear to be popular because many people think that PIR is the “right thing” in security terms. However, low wattage lighting provides a more constant level of illumination with fewer shadows. All of this assumes that the area being lit can be overlooked as there would be little point in lighting an area which cannot be seen, except in practical terms for the householder.

In conclusion, for security purposes, and from the Remote my Home perspective, the first choice in security lighting is the low energy photo-electric cell controlled L.E.D. light. Whilst there is a place for PIR controlled lighting, many domestic versions on sale do not operate well in the hostile external environment and therefore may not function as well as expected.

Drawbacks of conventional Halogen PIR Floodlights:

• Illuminate only when the criminal has picked a house and crossed its boundaries. This is too late and does not deter criminals when it matters most, namely when they are selecting a house.

• Emit a harsh, intrusive and environmentally unfriendly light that is often a serious nuisance to neighbours (The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health reports increasing complaints of nuisance from this type of lighting). Lights where the PIR can be overridden to be switched on permanently can also cause nuisance.

• Instantly switch on a powerful white light, resulting in a ‘flash factor’ that disturbs rather than aids human vision. When located near roads, this can be positively dangerous. Equally, badly adjusted and aimed lights can cause dark shadows due to their high intensity light.

• Are extremely energy inefficient • Require regular bulb replacements

• Are easily interfered with unless installed at the recommended height of more than 10′

• Can be so unreliable that they are quickly discredited by householders and neighbours – common sense suggests that few people will check why a light has activated, assuming they have seen it activate

• Can increase the fear of crime amongst the most vulnerable by regularly activating for no apparent reason.