September 20, 2010
| by Jason Knott
One of the greatest deterrents to nighttime residential crime is illumination. In a well-lit home, a thief cannot use darkness to conceal himself. Plus, lights can spook even the meanest of would-be burglars. Ask your security installer or home systems integrator about tying lighting control into a standard security system – virtually any decent alarm panel can support these features.
Programmable Dimmers/Switches. Upon activation of an alarm, all dimmers and switches can be programmed to automatically go to “full on” levels. All keypads and switches can be automatically locked so the intruder cannot turn off the lights. When the alarm is disabled, control returns.
Flashing Exterior Lights. When a door or window is opened, selected lights in the home can be programmed to flash on and off. Lights for landscaping, front porches, garages and front windows are the best choices because it not only scares the intruder, but it makes it easier for police to find the house and alerts neighbors of a potential problem.
Timed Lighting When You’re are Away. When the system is in “Away” mode, various lights can be timed to go on and off in the house to give the appearance that someone is home.
Pathway Lighting. The system can be programmed to create pathway lighting that is linked to motion sensors. When the system is in “Sleep” mode, the perimeter security is activated while the interior motion sensors are off. This allows you to move around the home at night without tripping an alarm and still have the convenience of low-level pathway light.
Remote Keyfob. A “Welcome” mode can be activated using a remote keyfob, which will illuminate certain lights before the homeowner even gets to the door.
Lights Turn on During Fire. When a fire alarm trips, pathway lighting can guide your family out of a smoke-filled home.
Reduce Cost of Cameras. For homes with surveillance cameras, lights can be used to illuminate the area in question following an alarm. This can eliminate the need for relatively costly night-vision cameras.