Basic light timers are surpassed by smart lights as home security tools

Smart lighting simulates human behavior to make homes appear occupied.

Here’s a warning from home security professionals: you’re doing it wrong if you leave the lights on all the time while you’re not home or rely on conventional light timers with fixed, predictable schedules to deceive attackers. These home security methods, according to NPR, not only fail to deter criminals, but they also draw their notice.

Smart lights outperform those antiquated methods by transforming standard light bulbs into cutting-edge security apparatuses. By simulating how people actually use light, they can give your house the appearance of being inhabited.

A home security tactic that has been handed down the years is leaving the lights on. And there is little doubt that research backs up the idea that well-lit locations discourage criminal activity at night. The Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice, the New York City Housing Authority, and the Crime Lab recently collaborated on research that indicated that outside illumination reduced crime in a public housing area by 39%.

But here’s the thing: In the US, a burglary occurs every 18 seconds. A third of these thefts are well-planned, with burglars canvassing neighborhoods in search of vacant targets while locals are most likely at work, school, running errands, or on vacation. Additionally, leaving lights on continuously or according to a set schedule to deter criminals may have the opposite effect from what was intended. It is obvious from these patterns that the home is empty.

Of course, a gloomy residence at night can make a good target for burglars. Finding homes where they may enter fast and exit with their plunder is the most common burglary method used. Targets with barriers that make it impossible to carry out that agenda, such as homes with obvious security systems and residents who can easily call the police, are typically avoided.

Lighting can be a useful crime deterrent—but only if it gives the impression that there is a real person behind it, according to convicted thieves interviewed for a report that was broadcast on 7KTVB News of Boise, Idaho. That implies that the modest light in the bedroom may turn on just before the porch lights outside turn on in the early evening and go out at bedtime. The ideal indoor lighting scenario would be for lights to sometimes turn on and off in various rooms to simulate movement.

When to utilize a timing light: how to do it correctly

Home security is only slightly improved by conventional light timers. In essence, they work like electrical circuits with a built-in clock that turn lights on and off according to predetermined times.

Smart lighting provides far greater personalization and control. Through an app or voice instructions to a virtual assistant, you may dim or brighten your house at any time from anywhere using smart light bulbs or wireless light controls. Additionally, smart lights can be programmed to follow as many different schedules as you choose, automatically turning on and off various lights in various rooms. This prevents a pattern from emerging that makes it clear that the lights are being controlled by a timer.

Smart light bulbs feature the same fundamental electrical components as any LED light and have the same appearance as regular light bulbs. They screw into any existing socket like a conventional bulb, making installation just as easy. What makes a difference, then? Each smart bulb features an integrated Z-Wave receiver and transmitter. Smart devices can communicate with one another wirelessly using the Z-Wave protocol via safe radio frequency waves.

With a greater range than Bluetooth, Z-low-energy Wave’s frequency doesn’t conflict with Wi-Fi or other home appliances. People may manage their smart gadgets from anywhere in the world thanks to a central control panel that uses Z-Wave technology. This panel receives commands and directs them to the appropriate smart lighting or other devices. 

The potential to transform any lamp or small appliance into a smart device is provided by smart wireless light controls, which are essentially “smart plugs” with Z-Wave functionality. In order to remotely control any of your current lights or devices, just plug the wireless light control into an electrical outlet.

Once installed, smart lighting fixtures can be turned on and off manually, automatically at dusk, or in an apparently random order. So that no day repeats and no regular pattern develops, you can change the timings at which the lights are turned on and off throughout the week. Small appliances like radios and TVs can also be plugged into wireless light switches, so they can be used as part of a trick, with the TV turning on in the living room for a few hours before turning off when it’s time for bed.

There are really no restrictions on the adjustments you can make; you can even configure a bedroom or bathroom light to turn on briefly in the middle of the night to make it appear as though someone has woken up.

For increased convenience and security, pair smart home security systems with smart lighting.

When smart lighting equipment are linked to a smart home security system, their functionality is increased, and they can collaborate with other smart home gadgets. Even though they can assist prevent break-ins on their own, smart lights perform best when they are connected to a home security network.

Intruders may be deterred from entering your home by activating an intrusion alarm, motion sensor, or home security camera, for example, which might cause Z-Wave Hub to order lights to flood the room. Additionally, lights can be set up to switch on if heat and smoke sensors sound an alarm, illuminating the way to safety.

Smart lights can also be used in conjunction with other connected devices to simplify daily tasks. For example, a smart lock can lighten the house when you go home, and a motion sensor can dimly light the way to the toilet if you get up in the middle of the night.

Smart lighting makes sure that you never have to come home to a dark house or drag yourself out of bed when you suddenly remember that you forgot to turn off the basement lights because there are so many options to remotely or automatically manage lights. 

Smart light timers might make your home appear occupied to criminals.

Consider the viewpoint of burglars who assess their target to see if anyone is home the next time you’re trying to create that “lived-in look” when your home will be empty. Traditional light timers that operate automatically or lights left on all the time can give away a vacant space. Smart lights that are set to resemble human behavior without any visible pattern are essential for optimal security.