View Poll Results: Do you keep your front and/or back lights on or off at night (after bed)

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  • Lights on

    8 53.33%
  • Lights off

    7 46.67%
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  1. #1
    Bigbites's Avatar
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    Do you keep your exterior lights on at night?

    Guys.. Im curious what you all do. I tend to leave my porch lights on all night (front and back). Sometimes just the back.. because it's not visible from the street.

    My thought process is that if the front door and back door are well light, some D-bag will be less likely to want to try and break in.
    I know they could easily bust the lights.. but like I said.. I viewed it as a deterrent.

    Im sure any persistent/determined criminal will find a way in.. so Im really just looking for conventional wisdom on this topic.

    What do you guys do?

    ~bites

  2. #2
    paratrooper is offline Senior Member
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    Having been in LE for over 29 years, I'm not sure that there's a preferred method either way. Seems like the criminals tend to do what's convenient for them. Criminals aren't the sharpest pencils in the box, and many break-in to homes in the middle of the day.

    Sometimes, having lights on pretty much makes things easier for them to manipulate, such as locks, doors, windows, etc. Me....I prefer dark as you can get. I know my home better than anyone else in the world. I'm used to using my night vision and I can check on things when I get up in the middle of the night to hit the restroom. Without exterior lights on, I can peer outside and see very well.

    Businesses, that's another story. Insurance pretty much dictates exterior lights, and it makes it easier for LE to conduct perimeter checks while on patrol.

  3. #3
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    The carriage lights on the garage are on a light sensor, on at dusk, off at dawn. The front porch, back porch, and both sides of the house have a motion sensor with a high/low setting. The lights are on low until the sensor is tripped, then it kicks on high. Sadly, as paratrooper stated, many break-ins are during the day.

  4. #4
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Sure do. All seven of my outside lights are on at night, one is a post light. Anything I can do to send a potential burglar to someone's else's house, I'm going to do. May sound cold, but our home and us comes first.

  5. #5
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paratrooper View Post
    Having been in LE for over 29 years, I'm not sure that there's a preferred method either way. Seems like the criminals tend to do what's convenient for them. Criminals aren't the sharpest pencils in the box, and many break-in to homes in the middle of the day.

    Sometimes, having lights on pretty much makes things easier for them to manipulate, such as locks, doors, windows, etc. Me....I prefer dark as you can get. I know my home better than anyone else in the world. I'm used to using my night vision and I can check on things when I get up in the middle of the night to hit the restroom. Without exterior lights on, I can peer outside and see very well.

    Businesses, that's another story. Insurance pretty much dictates exterior lights, and it makes it easier for LE to conduct perimeter checks while on patrol.
    They sure do. Years ago, in another line of work, one of the products we sold was burglar alarms. At the time, mid-70s', most daytime break-ins took place between 11:00am and 3:00pm with 2:00pm favored over the 3:00pm hour due to schools letting out. Don't know what the favored times are now, but I imagine they haven't changed a lot for daytime shenanigans.

    BTW in my state, if someone breaks into your home during daylight hours, they are not a burglar... they are a trespasser and different laws apply with trespassers. After the sun goes down, they would be burglars.

  6. #6
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    Couple schools of thought on this topic. Although 80% (estimate) of home invasions take place during the day... sensor lights as well as dusk til dawn lights are a good idea.

    One reason is to assist patrol cars who drive around at night... helps to expose potential bad guys AND make your address easier to find in the event you need police assistance. Nothing looks more inviting than a pitch black house providing an unlimited amount of time to try windows and doors.

    Locked doors & windows help too... you'd be surprised how many people leave windows open when they leave... to let fresh air in. An open window is an invitation to a potential home invader. Most BG's are lazy and go for easy, quiet entry... nothing easier than an unlocked window. Most won't enter a home if it's occupied.... they don't want confrontation, just your stuff. When they do enter an occupied home, it's usually because they thought it was unoccupied... most are lazy & dumb. Most just try windows on different houses until they eventually find an open one... then bingo!

    I always leave the kitchen light on too, even when home (sleeping) to help ward off potential intruders... giving the impression someone may be awake inside.

    Having a spot light w/motion sensor aimed at your bedroom window is an alternative. BG is on your property, light goes on... illuminating your bedroom. You wake up and are alerted before the BG can even enter your home.. rather than wake up to the sound of breaking glass or someone already IN your home.

    Remember... if someone really wants to break in your home, they will. No amount of lights or security measures can stop a determined BG. You can, however, reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim with a few things to make yourself a not-so-easy target.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    Sure do. All seven of my outside lights are on at night, one is a post light. Anything I can do to send a potential burglar to someone's else's house, I'm going to do. May sound cold, but our home and us comes first.
    That was funny,lol. But true,lol

  8. #8
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pic View Post
    That was funny,lol. But true,lol
    I know it does sound a bit cold but it is reality. I once got in an email argument with an editor with Slate magazine. Now I don't subscribe to that liberal rag and don't recall how it all began but it was over my using a Club on my steering wheel to ward off potential car thieves. They guy thought that wasn't fair to other car owners who didn't have something like a Club on their steering wheels and that I should be ashamed that I was sending BG's to other cars. Now equate that to protecting your home with lights and alarms or protecting yourself with a firearm. Not fair to neighbors or the public at large??? You do have to wonder sometimes.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    I know it does sound a bit cold but it is reality. I once got in an email argument with an editor with Slate magazine. Now I don't subscribe to that liberal rag and don't recall how it all began but it was over my using a Club on my steering wheel to ward off potential car thieves. They guy thought that wasn't fair to other car owners who didn't have something like a Club on their steering wheels and that I should be ashamed that I was sending BG's to other cars. Now equate that to protecting your home with lights and alarms or protecting yourself with a firearm. Not fair to neighbors or the public at large??? You do have to wonder sometimes.
    Unbelievable , that's a good one. I' m gonna use that story this Saturday for a good laugh with my friends. Thanks

  10. #10
    Bigbites's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.. all good info.. !!

  11. #11
    Tip
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    I have a couple of exterior lights that are of the dual level motion sensor variety. On at low level and triggered by motion to high level. Okay, but I've also taken one more step -- slaved to the motion sensor on each is a time delayed (variable time setting that I constantly vary) relay that triggers a couple of interior lights (I also routinely vary which interior lights).
    Basically, the motion triggers the outside to high level and within a minute or two an interior light snaps on. I usually walk by and give the time variable knob a small twist 2-3 times a week and flip the switch controlling which interior lights come on randomly 3-4 times a week. I've also been known to plug a radio into the relay circuit from time to time....

  12. #12
    Bigbites's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tip View Post
    I have a couple of exterior lights that are of the dual level motion sensor variety. On at low level and triggered by motion to high level. Okay, but I've also taken one more step -- slaved to the motion sensor on each is a time delayed (variable time setting that I constantly vary) relay that triggers a couple of interior lights (I also routinely vary which interior lights).
    Basically, the motion triggers the outside to high level and within a minute or two an interior light snaps on. I usually walk by and give the time variable knob a small twist 2-3 times a week and flip the switch controlling which interior lights come on randomly 3-4 times a week. I've also been known to plug a radio into the relay circuit from time to time....
    How much of a pain in the ass is something like that to set up?

  13. #13
    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tip View Post
    I have a couple of exterior lights that are of the dual level motion sensor variety. On at low level and triggered by motion to high level. Okay, but I've also taken one more step -- slaved to the motion sensor on each is a time delayed (variable time setting that I constantly vary) relay that triggers a couple of interior lights (I also routinely vary which interior lights).
    Basically, the motion triggers the outside to high level and within a minute or two an interior light snaps on. I usually walk by and give the time variable knob a small twist 2-3 times a week and flip the switch controlling which interior lights come on randomly 3-4 times a week. I've also been known to plug a radio into the relay circuit from time to time....
    Wow man, that's next level stuff. Fortunately I live in a condo. Do you guys have video surveillance at all? I bought one of those FOSCAM cameras off amazon for like $70, great for surveillance and to check on your dog. Anyhow, check out these cams. I need to get on some more outdoor lighting on the balcony however.

  14. #14
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    i've got a dusk-to-dawn light illuminating my flag pole out in the yard, but no other lights on.

  15. #15
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    Dusk to dawn yard light on the side and front and back deck lights on. I live in the country and am away during the week, so the lights help the neighbors aim better.

    I also have a couple lights inside that come on and off at random times during the night. I can pull up the security camera on my phone and see what's going on if my system sends me an alert.

  16. #16
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    At one time leaving lights on might have been a deterrent but it seems not so much anymore....

    The new breed of criminals just do not seem to care about anything.... Case in point: They go rob banks knowing they will be caught on camera.... And as someone stated they break into homes in broad day light.........

  17. #17
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    Breaking into homes during the day is on the hopes of the homeowners being at work.
    Breaking into your home at night, might suggest a little more desperation . Maybe a more dangerous person at night. Keeping lights on, window shades closed. Cut down any bushes against the house to a low enough level to eliminate a hide behind area near windows or entrance ways. Good dog always helps

  18. #18
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    We have automatic lights, which respond to motion, at all entrances.
    We are both light sleepers.

    The motion-sensor lights mostly react to raccoons and deer.

    Some years ago, when I ran a neighborhood watch program in a big city, we found that night lights at doorways were the best deterrent against burglaries.
    That has probably changed.

  19. #19
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    A friend of mine who lived alone, was supposed to be at work the day the intruder bludgeoned him to death with a claw hammer. He lived in a nice area, a little secluded. Perfect house to target. My friend was unprepared.

  20. #20
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLAGuy View Post
    Wow man, that's next level stuff. Fortunately I live in a condo. Do you guys have video surveillance at all? I bought one of those FOSCAM cameras off amazon for like $70, great for surveillance and to check on your dog. Anyhow, check out these cams. I need to get on some more outdoor lighting on the balcony however.
    I live in a still young development. We had our home built in 1999 in the last section available. Not long after moving in we found out that on one street not far from us, a man had outside cameras installed in strategic locations around his home. A few years later we also found out some very interesting goings on with this guy. Directly across the street from him lived a couple and the lady was very attractive. Seems our camera guy had aimed one of his cameras at her bedroom window and would record her dressing and undressing.

    Man you just never know what is going on in your neighborhood. And there was even a more bizarre thing that happened at a home about 100 yards away from his. The sort of stuff that TV movies are made from.

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