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Should You Sleep With a Porch Light On?

In both residential and remote areas, you’ll see houses with porch lights left on at night. Sleeping with porch lights on is often viewed as a home security measure.

However, there are downsides to sleeping with a porch light on. Porch lights on 24/7 aren’t the best deterrent against crime. It also harms the local area and its wildlife.

Keep reading to learn if you should sleep with a porch light on and if it prevents home invasions.

Should You Sleep With a Porch Light On?

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.

Wildlife captured by AlfredCam Plus.

When to Keep a Porch Light Off

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.

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.

AlfredCam Plus being used to monitor the driveway.

Should I Leave My Front Light On at Night?

Leaving a front light on is not as effective in deterring burglars as home security cameras.

AlfredCam and AlfredCam Plus side by side on a white table.
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?

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.

break-in footage captured by AlfredCamera
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.