The Lights Are On, Is Anybody Home?

A light on in a house is an instant sign that someone is at home.  It’s because of this that we set lights on timers when we’re going away, so that a passing burglar will assume the house isn’t empty and will move on to the next one.  With the rise of smart homes and connected devices, it’s even easier than ever before to use your smartphone to turn lights on and off around your home.  Rather than relying on a timer system, which will come on and turn off at the same time every day, a smartphone controlled lighting system allows you to create a much more natural pattern. 

If we think about which lights we use regularly, we’ll soon see that we don’t use the same lights at the same time every single day.  If your home is an attractive target for burglars, for example a home on an expensive housing estate, one with plenty of cover for burglars to scope the place out, or it’s known that you have items worth stealing, and then you’re not just protecting your home from opportunists, but from committed thieves too.  These burglars are a homeowner’s worst nightmare because they’re determined to get their hands on your stuff and they won’t be put off by a few lights on a timer.  It only takes two or three nights for a burglar to work out that your lights are on a timer and that there’s no-one actually in, so if you are regularly away from home for more than two nights you should be aware of this.

Using a smart connected system to turn your lights on and off in a natural pattern can help confuse burglars scoping out your property, but there are also other clever devices that mimic occupation that you can add to the suite of home security products you already have.  We particularly like TV simulators.  These boxes usually have a sensor that makes them turn on when the light outside starts to fade, mimicking an evening of watching TV.  These lights use less power than a plug-in nightlight, so you don’t need to worry about soaring electricity costs, and they can be plugged into a smart plug so you can also control the device with your phone. 

Using a radio on a similar timer can help add the sound you’d expect from a TV, so if burglars dare creep close enough to hear what’s going on inside they’ll hear voices or music that helps create the impression that the house is occupied.  Newer TVs can be controlled from your mobile phone too, so if you’ve just bought a new model you could skip the TV simulator and actually use your phone to turn your TV on and off from wherever you are in the world.  This is great because, like with lights, we don’t watch TV at the same time every day, so emulating a more natural pattern makes the deterrent much more effective.  If you don’t want the expense of replacing your TV then a simulator is a great option for deterring thieves.  Simply plug it in near your actual TV, so it’s mimicking the TV in the right location and let it do the rest.

If you are regularly away from your home for extended periods then a video doorbell can be a great asset to have, providing not only footage, but two-way communication that will make potential thieves think you’re at home.  Other CCTV products, a visible burglar alarm, motion detecting lights and these smart devices inside your home all work together to create a really strong threshold for your home that burglars won’t want to cross.  If you also add in regular visits from a friend or neighbour to open and close curtains and pick up the post you can create the impression that you’re in the home even if you’re halfway around the world.