How to Effectively Mount Floodlights For the Security of Your Home


Good exterior lighting can ward-off intruders, alert watchful neighbors to their presence, and give owners the ability to see out into the night for added piece-of-mind. We’ll give you some tips on how to effectively mount floodlights for the security of your home.

Good and effective home security is a serious priority for homeowners everywhere. It’s interesting to note that in a modern world full of advanced gadgetry, a relatively basic form of security still delivers better than most. Flood lights aren’t difficult to install and, when placed properly, can shed light on every dark corner and hidden window on your property.

Floodlights are relatively basic fixtures. Most don’t even include a shroud over the bulb, rather leaving the bulb itself exposed. Though upgraded and stylistic models are available, in general, floodlights are relatively utilitarian in design.

Basic Double Floodlight

By far the most common type of flood light is the basic, two-bulb, surface mount outdoor fixture often seen installed under eaves. By using these type fixtures in sufficient quantity, excellent security lighting can be obtained. A few placement tips:
• Placing double-bulb floodlights on exterior corners allows for lighting a large area with one fixture. Good security lighting would include a double-bulb floodlight on each outside corner of your home.
• Additional lights (even a single-bulb version) can be placed at remaining dark spots along the exterior walls of the house. Placement under the overhang (eave) of the house keeps the fixture out of direct rain contact and will extend the life of the fixture. But they can be mounted on a wall if the roof is more than about 12’ above the ground.
• Placement of simple floodlight fixtures in trees or on posts in the yard will extend the lighting available from the house and cover a much larger section of property. In addition to being good for security, this can also serve to improve the night-time usability of exterior areas.
• The spread of light actually cast by these fixtures is often controlled more by the bulb than the fixture. The term “flood” in floodlight really refers to a type of bulb which is designed to cast light over a very large area. In contrast to this would be a “spot” light bulb which is designed to shine directly on one point, much like a flashlight.

Motion Detector Floodlights

A very commonly used advancement in floodlight design is the built-in motion detector. These lights will turn themselves on automatically the second the built-in motion sensor detects movement in a prescribed coverage area.

This type of light works well for scaring-off intruders before they get too close. A would-be burglar sneaking up to the house is much less likely to stay with the plan if a light is suddenly switched on.

Drawbacks to the motion detector floodlights are that they tend to be sensitive enough to be switched on by cats, dogs, or even smaller critters. Even birds and insects flying in front of the motion sensor have been known to activate the light. A situation such as this can be frustrating for a homeowner trying to get some sleep in an adjacent bedroom.

Most motion detector exterior lighting has an adjustment setting that allows the motion sensitivity to be set, however, which can help with the problem of “false alarms”.

Other Types Of Flood Lights

While the standard double-fixture is still the most common, other types of exterior lighting are widely available and are often better choices for particular needs.

For large area lighting, such as a driveway, parking lot, or a large portion of property that will remain lit all night, low-pressure sodium lights, similar to your common street light, are very efficient and cast an easy glow over a large area. Best placed up-high, these can be set to come-on automatically at dark and stay on until daylight. The bulbs often last for years.

Quite a number of other types of lighting are available, such as compact fluorescent fixtures, LED based lighting, halogen bulbs for sunlight-like light and more. No matter which style you choose, the idea of using plenty of exterior floodlights for home security is very effective.

This post was written by

jasonjason – who has written posts on Home Tips Plus.
I'm a father of three, married and a home owner since 2006. I've worked in fixing up homes and rental properties.

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