What are Security Flood Lights and Do they Deter Burglars?

There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of our loved ones and us. And there are not many things that are more unpleasant than finding out that your home has been robbed by some stranger or even a group of them. That is why taking care of the security of your home should be among top-priorities when moving into a new house. You might think that you live in a safe and quiet neighborhood but in reality for professional thieves there are no „good” or „bad” districts, there are just houses that can be broken into a lot easier simply because of poor security equipment.

One of the features many house owners like to use to increase the safety and prevent burglars from unwanted visits is solar security light. This article will solely focus on this particular security technology and will reveal you more details about the dual effects that flood light might have once it has been faced by a potential burglar.

The main question that shall be explored in this article is “Do security flood lights actually deter burglars?” as this has been an object of curiosity by many house owners that have not made up their minds yet on whether to purchase security flood lights or not.

What are security flood lights?

Security flood lights do not notably differ from regular flood lights apart from the purpose of the lighting. This accordingly means applying a bit different approaches once it comes to installation of security flood lights.

Flood light is artificial light source with a particularly wide light beam which means that it can illuminate comparatively large areas such as football courts, parking lots, entrances of buildings etc. While some flood lights indeed are made to provide lighting for particular events such as sports games or outdoor concerts, more and more private house owners are asking for flood lights to be installed in front of their houses as an extra safety tool. Since environmental design is known to be crucial aspect in crime prevention, lighting can also play an important role in maximizing the security of your home and avert it from potential thefts.

However there are many mistakes that people tend to make when installing flood lights for security purposes.


Security flood light

One of the most common of the mistakes is incorrect and rash installation of the lights by choosing lights with inappropriate features and parameters. First of all, there are three main aspects that have to be considered when purchasing a flood light, namely:

  • Brightness – not all the flood lights produce brightness needed for security. Some of the flood lights are made to simply illuminate a pathway or steps but if you want to use flood light as a safety tool then most surely go for at least 300 watts lamps;
  • Detection zone – the width of area that should be covered;
  • Range – the distance of the objects you want to illuminate.

This simply means that it will not be enough by just installing any flood light in front of your house. The lighting has to be very carefully designed in order not to create a glare that might actually cause a counter-effect obstructing one’s vision and decreasing the visibility of any motion going on in a particular area. Many thieves are smarter than you think and they will surely abuse the situation once they find out that the lights actually can help them out in doing their job. Apart from choosing proper parameters of your security flood light, another thing you should consider is installation of extra sensors.

Sensors in security flood lights

By installing appropriate sensors you will be able not only to increase the safety but also to ensure that the flood lights will not make your monthly electricity bill to significantly rise.

Mainly people are using motion sensors that make the lights to switch on once a motion has been recognized. You will see plenty of different motion sensors available and you should choose accordingly with your functional and aesthetic needs related with security flood lights. The main types of sensors obtainable are:

  • Passive motion sensors. Detects only body heat.
  • Active motion sensors. Detects any type of movement.
  • Dual motion sensors. Known to be the best of options to prevent any false alarms. Dual motion sensors switch the lights on only when both motion and body heat have been detected. However the main downside of this sensor is that it does not work if the burglar has managed to trick one of the detectors (passive or active) and it means that the lights simply won’t turn on even if one of the detectors will be recognized.

Motion detectors

Do flood lights actually deter burglars?

This is the main question most of the customers, that want to be consulted about security flood lights, ask. It has to be admitted that a very little research has been conducted thus far to explore whether flood lights deter burglars from committing a crime or on the contrary – motivate them to break in.

Some case studies have been done but they do not show the overall tendency. For instance, a study conducted in Sweden concluded that switching off lights halved the number of thefts and burglary in Övertorneå Sweden. A similar test done in West Sussex UK concluded that adding all-night lighting in some areas made the residents feel more secure but the crime rates in the respective areas actually increased by 55%.

Although this might make you reconsider your purchase, remember that the situations and circumstances are very varied.

First of all, incorrectly installed flood lights can actually help the criminals and experienced burglars are aware of these mistakes.

Secondly, keep in mind that flood light alone cannot function as the main security tool that has to protect your home from burglaries. It works only as extra equipment that can increase the safety which means that you have to pay more careful attention to other security features such as proper locks and good alarm system.

Burglars do not work in one fixed pattern. While some prefer to steal during the night-time, others mainly choose to do their job during daylight. Hence combining different security technologies, which would work during every time of the day, is a key-aspect to making sure that burglars find your house the least attractive one.

So the answer to the big question is – the flood lights that have been carefully designed can surely add up to the security of your property; nevertheless it cannot be the only safety device.


Blogger, editor, developer who loves green living. Interested in photovoltaics and solar lighting. Reviewing solar products since 2013.

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