One of the quickest and easiest ways to deter burglars is motion-activated lighting around the home, illuminating would-be uninvited guests. The aisles of home improvement stores are lined with dozens of inexpensive motion sensor outdoor security lights at reasonable prices.
If installing a completely new security light isn't possible, check out existing lighting and swap it out for a motion-detecting unit at front, side, and back entries. A solar powered light allows for placement nearly anywhere without having to touch any wiring, though costs are higher and illumination less bright than wired models.
- Heath Zenith 110 Degree Motion Sensing Security Light: $12.97
- Nature Power Solar Motion Sensing LED Security Light: $49.99
- More: Home Security: Tips, Ideas & DIY Projects
An audible warning after a locked door is pried opened or window broken might offer a few precious seconds to call the police, or hopefully scare intruders away with the blast of an alarm sound. A professionally installed alarm system isn't the only option – a budget solution: $4.50 glass break detectors on windows. Some models work by detecting vibration, while others activate when contacts are broken, but they're all effective and produce a loud and high pitch alarm. Available as complete kits or individual units, with higher end models offering wireless monitoring/notification.
- Doberman Security SE-0106 Ultra Slim Window Alert: $9.99
- Uxcell Magnetic Entry Warning Alarm Switch: $4.48
- Skylink SC-1000 Complete Wireless Alarm System: $129.95
Oftentimes, burglars aren't even breaking into a home - they're taking advantage of a window left open or door left unlocked. While we can always try to remind ourselves to lock the doors, it's inevitable someone will forget while in a hurry. Install an electronic lock and you'll never have to worry about the kids running out of the house without locking up.
- Kwikset SmartKey SmartCode Electronic Deadbolt: $98.97
- Kwikset SmartKey Powerbolt Deadbolt: $69.97
- MORE: Smartphones to Replace Front Door Keys
Security camera systems aren't just for keeping an eye on the home; they're an effective way to keep an eye on pets and children while away, especially now many systems offer remote wireless/wi-fi accessibility. DIY kits are available online for a few hundred dollars, and existing webcams can be set up for remote monitoring with free software like Yawcam. Some models even allow control of camera movement over the internet!
- Zmodo Internet & Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR w/Night Vision: $181.51
- Wansview Wireless Pan/Tilt/Night Vision Camera w/Microphone: $59.99
- Foscom FI8910W Pan Tilt IP Network Camera: $84.99