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Safe Spot: “Off or on? That is the question…” Why porch lights are important!

“Criminals don’t want to get caught. When organizations have lights designed to properly illuminate building entrances, parking lots and walkways, criminals are going to be seen trying to break in or mug someone walking to or from the building,” said David Kluskens, a National Council on Qualification for the Lighting Professions (NCQLP) Lighting Certified (LC) design engineer. “Good lighting design is a crime deterrence because the design is engineered to ensure safety by taking into consideration how the space is used, by whom and when.”

So when should you leave them on?

  • When you’re home at night, you should leave it on. It’s a bright advertisement to burglars, “Someone is home!!” It also puts a big spotlight on your front door. Anyone approaching will be easily seen through your window or peephole.

  • Is someone coming home late? This will help them unlock the door and get in quickly.

  • When kiddos are left home alone. The more lights on leads burglars to believe more people are home.

  • Generally, a porch light works best when coordinated with deck, garage, and indoor lights. The pairing creates the appearance that people are home and moving about.

Turn it off when:

  • You are on vacation, it needs to be turned off during the day. A constantly lit porch advertises vacancy. If someone house sits for you, have them turn the light on and off. Various retailers have light timers, too. The preprogrammed settings maintain the illusion someone is adjusting it.

  • You go to bed. Turning off a light regularly shows that the home is in use. Have a light schedule and stick to it!

  • When you feel anxious about being home alone. It's ok to have the light off when you’re home. Did you know burglars often stake out a property for weeks before striking? If they notice you turn on the lights more often when your partner, spouse, or roommate is away, they could decide to intrude during one of those time periods.

One of your home’s biggest safety tools is just a flip of the switch away. Please remember your lights need to be used in a smart way. Keep to your schedule. Any major changes to this, could signal you aren’t home, which gives burglars a green light signal.

Benton Park West has requested to be a part of the 2018 Porch Light Project through Serving with the Badge. We will be collecting names for LED porch lights if chosen. We will also need at least 30 volunteers to distribute the bulbs. Please email to be included on either list.

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