Does Outdoor Lighting Deter Crime?

Can outdoor lighting really improve security? We have this perception of criminals lurking in the shadows of night. But will security outdoor lighting enhance security and catch the bad guys? The answer to this question is not as simple as you may think. There are many who say lighting is an ineffective deterrent. There are others who say it’s important. So who is right?

The reality is that security lighting can be effective when coupled with other security solutions. On its own, security lighting is not that effective. In fact, many crimes happen during the daylight hours. Most home burglaries happen between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., according to studies conducted on the subject.


According to the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University, security lighting is only effective if someone actually sees the criminal activity actually taking place. Otherwise, it really doesn’t prevent crime. A criminal can easily disable the lights if they know the owner is not on the property. This is not to say that you shouldn’t use outdoor lighting.

It has some benefits including:

  • Helping visitors find their way through a property at night.
  • Making a dark place feel more comfortable for owners.
  • Letting people know that they have a visitor at night.

If you want security lighting to work for you, it needs to be paired with a security system or even security camera surveillance systems. Studies show that these types of systems significantly reduce crime.