Should You Leave Your Lights On At Night? It Depends

Anyone concerned about small steps they can make to keep their home safer has had the internal debate over lights, or no lights. It turns out the choice isn’t crystal clear. Yes, there is data to suggest crime activity goes down in regions that are well lit. Also motion detectors that mimic the scheduled routine of residents are generally a good idea. Yet, even with the above proving by and large true. There is another key element, neighbors, or the lack therein. Lights are a deterrent where criminals suspect that they will be seen. Should a particularly determined burglar break a light to facilitate his entrance, it’s far less likely he would get away with his actions in an area that is well-populated. A neighbor is likely to have noticed and called for police intervention. However in areas of low population, such as rural districts, it may be in the best interest of the homeowner to eschew the use of lights outdoors, or altogether, as the lights could actually provide a way in for the criminal.

Key Takeaways:

  • There is data to indicate that well-lit streets and areas are less prone to burglar activity.
  • Motion detector lights that mimic human scheduled activity are also a good idea.
  • In a distant, rural area, where neighbors are unlikely, lights might actually be less useful, giving bad guys needed illumination.

“A good way to reduce home burglaries, according to Felson, is to introduce yourself to your neighbors so they’ll be familiar with who goes in and out of the house.”

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