Porch lights left on overnight give the illusion that someone is home, which prevents burglars from targeting a property.
Lights also make the entrance and parked cars more visible. Should a neighbor look out their window, the lights illuminate anyone on the property. Therefore, someone attempting to break in or steal a car is more likely to be spotted.
When to Turn a Porch Light On
It’s best to turn a porch light on when sleeping, going out for the evening, expecting a package, vacationing overnight, or when family members (like teenagers) are coming home late at night.
Leaving a porch light on overnight is a somewhat effective home security measure. It may help prevent burglars from breaking in, as intruders on the property are visible to neighbors and passers-by.
Outdoor lights left on at night also make it safer for residents when returning home. Leaving a light on before going out makes it easier to find keys in a bag and unlock the doors.
It might discourage criminals from following you to the door, as their presence is more visible to neighbors and home security cameras under the porch lights.
Night vision surveillance from AlfredCam
A porch light’s ability to deter burglars is only as effective as the security camera used alongside it.
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Whenever motion is detected, you’ll receive an immediate alert to your phone as Alfred records what’s happening.
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Wildlife captured by AlfredCam Plus.
When to Keep a Porch Light Off
Leaving a porch light on overnight isn’t the best home security measure for long vacations or if the property is vacant. It’s also wasteful, both in terms of money and energy. If you’re concerned about the impact leaving a porch light on has on the environment (or your electricity bill), install motion detector lights instead.
A light that stays on can in fact make a home a target for break ins, because Eventually criminals assume no one is ever in the property.
It also isn’t a good idea to leave porch lights on if you live in a remote area with no neighbors or high-traffic roads nearby.
In these situations, porch lights will only highlight your property to burglars and make it easier for them to break in, particularly if the home is vacant.
Keeping a porch light on during the day is wasteful and largely purposeless.
Do Porch Lights Deter Crime?
Any lights on a property, including porch lights, can deter crime. Porch lights illuminate a property’s driveway and entrances, so they aren’t targeted as often as dark properties.
However, it’s important to remember that most burglaries take place during the day between 10am and 3pm. Homeowners have less chance of being burgled at night than during the day.
Why do people leave their porch lights on at night?
Most people who leave porch lights on at night do so for security reasons. They either want to prevent burglars from breaking into a property or keep the front of the house illuminated for when they return home at night.
With 20% of burglaries taking place at night, it’s still important to protect a home from break-ins during the late hours.
A better investment in home security is to install cameras on a property. These protect a property both during the day (when no one is home) and at night.
AlfredCam Plus being used to monitor the driveway.
Cameras also prevent car theft, particularly if cars are parked on a driveway or on the street just outside the home.
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Burglary and robbery were among the top 3 most common crimes experienced by Americans in 2022, according to AlfredCamera.
Intruders like an easy target, and cameras alert users to their presence and capture their faces. This makes it easier for justice to be carried out.
Visible cameras installed on a property are the best deterrent against break-ins.
With AlfredCam for interior monitoring and AlfredCam Plus for outdoor entrances, easily monitor the entirety of the home, 24/7.
Leaving a front light on is not as effective in deterring burglars as home security cameras.
Research shows that criminals are three times more likely to walk away from a property if they spot a camera. Since security cameras like AlfredCam and AlfredCam Plus record in darkness using infrared night vision, homeowners should prioritize cameras over lights for security.
AlfredCam (left) and AlfredCam Plus (right).
Lighting is useful when used alongside cameras. Lights increase the visibility of the subject as well as the camera itself, enhancing its ability to deter.
Motion detector lights are a better solution than permanently leaving lights on, which is wasteful and likely to irritate neighbors (and local wildlife).
What is the Best Type of Outdoor Light?
The best type of outdoor light to install is a motion sensor light. These work best for increasing home security, as they turn on when motion is detected on the property boundaries.
They can scare off intruders and alert residents to the presence of someone on the property. Motion sensor lights also save electricity, as the light only turns on when motion is detected.
However, motion sensor lights have their downfalls. They don’t just detect intruders, but animals, too. Should raccoons, cats, and other animals frequently parade the area at night, the lights will turn on and off continuously.
This isn’t just an inconvenience. It normalizes the triggering of the lights, making homeowners and neighbors less likely to wake up or investigate if the light goes on at an unusual hour.
Upgrade to Person Detection Only with AlfredCam
AlfredCam sends alerts to connected smartphones when motion is detected on a property. This helps homeowners monitor who is in the area, so they can tap the Live Feed to view what’s going on.
Because cameras pick up all motion in the Detection Zones, this leads to false alarms. Clouds, animals, shadows, and moving trees can all trigger alerts.
Person Detection is an Alfred Premium feature that only picks up human action. Using AI, the cameras can differentiate between humans and other movements.
When this feature is enabled, users only get alerts when people are detected. This means users are notified when delivery drivers, residents, or intruders are on the property, rather than animals or shadows.
A break-in footage captured by the AlfredCamera app.
Keeping porch lights on at night is a reasonable way to deter crime, but not the best. Energy-efficient lightbulbs keep running costs low, making it an easy, cheap way of protecting a property.
Motion sensor lights are a better solution for those conscious of running costs, environmental impact, and annoying the neighbors and local wildlife.
Outdoor lights also make it easier for residents to open doors when returning home at night and get in safely.
Security cameras installed inside and outside the property are a better deterrent, and are complemented by the installation of outdoor lighting.