Should I Leave My Porch Lights on at Night?

Police officers and security companies agree that a porch light may discourage criminals from breaking into your house at night. Porch lights can assist you to avoid falls and fumbling with keys when you arrive at your door. Lights allow your neighbours to see if a stranger is at your door.

Motion Sensor Lights Provide More Security

Many of the same sources agree that always leaving the porch light on at night, or just leaving it on when you leave, will alert criminals that you are gone. Leaving a light burning all night long wastes energy. Another concern is that some people find it difficult to sleep if there is a light coming through the window at night.

Bottom Line

If you want to use a porch light to deter criminal activity, use lights with a motion sensor. This solution wastes less energy because the light is only on when something is moving. If there are lights on in the house, even if they are on a timer, it suggests someone may be home. Criminals are more likely to bypass the house with motion sensor lights than a house where the lights are on only when you are gone or a house where the porch light is always on.

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About the Author

Rev. Kathryn Rateliff Barr has taught birth, parenting, vaccinations and alternative medicine classes since 1994. She is a pastoral family counselor and has parented birth, step, adopted and foster children. She holds bachelor's degrees in English and history from Centenary College of Louisiana. Studies include midwifery, naturopathy and other alternative therapies.