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6 Security Lighting Upgrades to Improve Your Home’s Safety


Safety should be a top priority for every homeowner, but one aspect that often goes overlooked is the strategic use of lighting. Proper lighting not only enhances the beauty of your home but can play a crucial role in boosting your home’s security.

Our team at 4-Star Electric has installed security lighting for homeowners across Calgary, so we’ve seen the difference it can make up close. In this article, we’ll show you six key lighting upgrades that can significantly enhance the safety of your home and bring you peace of mind.

The Benefits of Security Lighting

Improving lighting in and around your home makes your home safer but also more attractive. Security lighting can:

  • Deter Potential Intruders: Well-placed lighting can make it difficult for intruders to approach your property unnoticed.
  • Prevent Accidents: Adequate lighting helps prevent trips, falls, and other accidents by illuminating potential hazards.
  • Enhance Aesthetics: Thoughtful lighting design enhances the beauty of your home and landscaping.
  • Save Energy: Modern lighting technology such as LEDs can provide better illumination at lower energy costs.

Let’s look at some specific lighting upgrades to see how they can contribute to these benefits.

Motion-activated light outside home

1. Outdoor Motion-Activated Lights

Outdoor motion-activated lights are a versatile and powerful tool for home security. When installed in strategic locations, they can:

  • Register Movement: Activating when they sense motion, these lights can deter potential intruders by drawing attention to unexpected movement.
  • Increase Visibility: Lights that activate when you’re outside in the dark can aid in navigation and prevent falls.
  • Save Energy: By only activating when needed, motion-activated lights prevent you from wasting electricity.

How to Set Up Motion-Activated Lights

  • Placement: Position lights near entrances, pathways, and vulnerable areas like windows or dark corners.
  • Sensitivity Settings: Adjust the sensitivity to avoid false alarms from small animals or passing cars.
  • Brightness: Choose lights that provide adequate illumination without overpowering glare.
Pathway and landscape lighting for security and visibility outside home

2. Pathway & Landscape Lighting

Pathway and landscape lighting serves dual purposes:

  • Safety: Illuminating paths helps prevent trips and falls, especially when used near stairs or pathways with twists and inclines.
  • Aesthetics: Thoughtful lighting design can highlight landscaping features, adding elegance to your property.

How to Set Up Pathway Lighting

  • Choose the Right Fixtures: Consider weather-resistant fixtures designed for outdoor use.
  • Lighting Techniques: Utilize techniques like uplighting for trees or cross-lighting to highlight environmental features.
  • Brightness and Color: Opt for warm, soft lighting that guides without overwhelming the eyes.
Person using device to control security lights remotely outside home

3. Timers & Smart Lighting Controls

Timers and smart lighting controls offer a modern approach to safety, offering the following benefits:

  • Automated Lighting: Schedule your lights to turn on and off, giving the impression that someone is home.
  • Remote Control: Control lights remotely via smartphone for flexibility and convenience.

How to Set Up Smart Lighting Controls

  • Choose Compatible Systems: Ensure that timers and controls are compatible with your existing lighting.
  • Set Realistic Schedules: Mimic normal usage patterns to create a convincing lived-in appearance.
  • Integrate with Other Smart Devices: Consider integrating with security systems or smart speakers for enhanced functionality.
Person replacing old light bulb with LED version for extra security and convenience at home

4. LED Lighting Upgrades

LED lighting isn’t just a trend; it’s a significant upgrade with substantial benefits for home safety:

  • Energy Efficiency: LED lights consume less electricity, reducing your energy bills.
  • Longer Lifespan: LEDs last up to 25 times longer than traditional bulbs, minimizing replacement needs.
  • Reduced Heat Output: Unlike traditional bulbs, LEDs produce minimal heat, reducing potential fire hazards.

How to Set Up LED Lighting

  • Match the Fixture: Ensure the LED bulb fits your existing fixtures or consider upgrading to LED-compatible ones.
  • Consider Color Temperature: Choose a color temperature that suits the space, such as warm light for living areas.
  • Look for Quality Labels: Seek bulbs with reputable certifications for quality and efficiency.
Accent lighting on staircase for extra visibility and security at home

5. Additional Lighting in Stairways & High-Traffic Areas

Stairways and high-traffic areas are prone to accidents, particularly if poorly lit. Enhancing lighting in these areas can:

  • Prevent Accidents: Clear visibility reduces the risk of trips and falls.
  • Improve Navigation: Adequate lighting aids navigation, especially for guests unfamiliar with your home.

How to Set Up Stairway Lighting

  • Add Additional Fixtures: Consider adding wall sconces (if applicable) or overhead lighting for clear visibility.
  • Use Higher Output Bulbs: Brighter bulbs can help illuminate larger areas without adding new fixtures.
  • Consider Motion Sensors: Pairing your lighting with motion sensors (see above) in low-visibility areas ensures they are always well-lit when needed.
Lighting around doorway to home for extra security and compliance at night

6. Emergency & Exit Lighting

In emergencies like power outages, emergency and exit lighting can be lifesaving. It can:

  • Ensure Safe Navigation: Emergency lighting provides visibility, aiding evacuation or simply making movement safer.
  • Satisfy Compliance Requirements: If you have a basement or secondary suite, you’ll be required to provide adequate lighting around stairwells, hallways, and exits.

How to Set Up Emergency & Exit Lights

  • Practical Placement: Install emergency lights in bedrooms, hallways, and near exits.
  • Choose Battery-Operated Models: Look for models with battery backups that activate automatically during power outages.

Choosing Professional Electricians for Your Lighting Upgrades

While DIY efforts may seem tempting, you should only ever have your electrical work performed by qualified professionals. Here’s why:

  • Safety Compliance: Our professional electricians ensure that all work complies with local codes and standards.
  • Expertise: Trained electricians understand how to achieve your lighting goals while maintaining safety.
  • Quality Assurance: With our professionals, you can be confident that the job will be done right, providing lasting peace of mind.

Whether you’re considering a simple upgrade or a comprehensive lighting overhaul, we’re ready to help. 4-Star Electric offers expert lighting services to make sure your upgrades are safe, aesthetically pleasing, and energy-efficient.

Contact us today to explore the lighting solutions that best suit your needs and lifestyle—then enhance your home’s safety with thoughtful, innovative lighting that keeps you and your loved ones secure.

Written by Denny Vannus

Denny is a seasoned professional with an impressive 25-year career at 4 Star Electric, a family-owned electrical company with a strong commitment to serving the community. Armed with both a master's and journeyman's license, he is not only an expert in his field but also a proud PEC (Professional Electrical Contractor). Denny's journey in the electrical industry began with a desire to make a substantial impact in his community and provide top-notch services to clients. He's not just about fixing circuits; he's about lighting up lives. Beyond his professional dedication, Denny is a devoted family man. Celebrating 20 years of marriage, he and his wife have an 11-year-old son who keeps them on their toes. When he's not immersed in the world of electrical systems, Denny enjoys kicking back and coaching his son’s soccer games. His unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction and his vision of 4 Star Electric as an extended family for both clients and staff exemplify his passion for creating a harmonious, electrifying world.
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