In the same way a few well-placed lamps can revitalize a room, neighborhoods get a face lift when given the proper lighting. A well-lit, bright street is far more more welcoming than a dark row of creaky houses—but does that make it safer? Is it mother-nature-friendly? Should you leave your porch light on all night?
DON'T leave the light on all night. It's not green.
DO set any overnight nights to a 1/2 power dimmer setting.
DO install motion sensors or infrared sensors to shed some bright light on any unexpected late night/early morning activity.
DON'T forget that motion sensors can lose effectiveness over time. and DON'T forget to test them occasionally.
DON'T leave the light on all day. If you've flipped the switch because you know you won't get home until after dark, you're sending a signal to potential burglars that they've got all day to get to work.
Similarly, DON'T leave the light on during a week-long vacation. You might think it's tough to even tell the light's on during the day, but it's more noticeable than you think.
DO set your lights to a timer or a solar sensor so they automatically flip each day when it gets dark.
DON'T just leave the light on at the specific entryway you know you're coming home through. A back porch light left glowing on a Saturday night tells potential intruders that you're out at the bars and returning home through the back door.
DON'T just turn the light on when you feel vulnerable. Somebody staking out your home might know your spouse is out of town when your home security patterns change.
DO keep to your normal porch-light-schedule, whatever that is. If you turn the light off every night at 11pm before you go to bed, a light left on past midnight sends the message that you're out late. Set it to a timer instead.
DO realize that indoor lights can help with safety, too. A blue light bulb set to a random timer looks like a television being turned on and off inside.