I pulled up to my appointment this morning, got out of the car and I hit the lock button before double checking the door is locked. I headed off on the 100-meter walk to the property I was meeting at but I notice that I have left my iPad on the seat and go straight back in to put it out of sight in the glove box. Constantly looking around me to see who was watching me put it there, I stare out a man with a dog before I place the i-pad in the glove box console, eyes locking and never blinking or looking away, it was intense. I mean, who knows who is lurking around waiting to rob me right??

Now, for those of you who know me, you will know that I grew up in a tough neighbourhood. Theft, violence and crime in general were all part of everyday life. It’s just the way it was and so there’s probably a part of me which will be forever programmed to be cautious and aware of my surroundings. However, what are talking about now happened in very different surroundings. There were no crims waiting to jump me for my i-pad, no alcoholics laying in the gutter, and no violence of any kind. All there was actually was, were rows of mansions, flash cars and a smiling elderly gentleman walking his dog, (who probably went on to call the police and report my suspicious behaviours) I was in postcode 2027. The Sydney suburb of Point Piper……. (for those of you not from Sydney, or from over the bridge, Point Piper is the most affluent suburb in Australia)

The reason for my appointment was to offer suggestions and provide costings for the job. The job brief “beefing up security using lights” in a young family’s home. An interesting concept in such an upmarket part of town in which one wouldn’t expect much criminal activity, and in a home already fitted with a burglar alarm system. It got me thinking, that in this day in age, no matter how secure we think we are, there’s always an element of doubt that something isn’t covered. This is particularly true in young families where our primal instinct is to protect the young and secure the den.

We came up with some pretty simple and cost effective ideas to increase the security in your home using lights and because I’m a top bloke, I will share them with you now:

#1- Ensure the property and surrounding area has adequate lighting at night: The lights should be light enough to discourage unwanted people from loitering but not so bright to make it easy for undesirables to scope the place out and plan their criminal activities.

#2- Install motion activated security lighting around the property:

There are various types on the market including standalone LED flood lights with integrated sensors. These are good when installed in the correct application, the issue with them is that they only light up the area where motion is detected. Another suggestion is to have standalone sensors on each corner of the property linked to lights all around the perimeter so that whenever motion is detected anywhere, the entire surrounds of the property are engulfed in bright white criminal deterring lights. It can also be overridden and turned on when you like too.

#3- Install timers on lights throughout your property:

Having lights in different areas of the home on timers and setting them to come on and off at strategic times gives the appearance of an occupied home to anyone passing by. This can be a great deterrent if you are not going to be home for a few days or so or are away on holiday. Making the set on/off times random and sporadic daily adds to the authentic appearance of an occupied building.

#4- Love thy neighbour:

That is if you are lucky enough to have a neighbour that you know well and trust. If you do, then make them aware of the sensor lights and what they mean. Let them know that if a certain light goes on past a certain time that there is someone lurking where they shouldn’t be. Whatever way your sensors and timers are set up, let them know what it means so that they can check up when something isn’t right.

#5- Get a smart security camera/light/intercom unit:

This one verges off topic a little but it’s still relevant. Hear me out. There are various security camera/intercom systems which are integrated into and look like lights. Essentially, they are a light but they can detect movement and when they do, they ping a message to your phone or tablet to let you know. From there, you can see and speak to the person at the door via the camera. A notable example of these are the range from Kuna.

I hope you have enjoyed reading and I hope I was able to provide you with something of value. I would love to hear your feedback and invite you to leave a comment in the comment box below.

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Warmest Regards,
Scott McLaren
Local Electrician @ Scott Electrics

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