Options for Installing Security Lighting


Exterior Security Fixtures

In many situations, when a home was constructed as a spec home, or the budget demanded only code requirements, the exterior lighting surrounding the perimeter of the home is lacking and not up to contemporary standards. This is especially prevalent when the home is occupied by more urban or elderly individuals who may demand better security and lighting around the home.

There are two basic methods of providing additional spotlights, security lighting or simply additional illumination around the home.

1.) The traditional method of accomplishing additional lighting around the home is to hire a professional electrician who will purchase and install light fixtures as required.

This will involve the following:

a.) Find an electrician that is available as well as willing to provide you with a reasonable price for the furnishing and installation of the lighting required. We recommend that a written scope of work, identifying the required work, be developed by you, the homeowner. This written scope of work will ensure that the electrical subcontractors providing a value for this work, all have priced the same amount of fixtures, the same type, etc. It is recommended that you attempt to find more than one electrical subcontractor to provide an estimate for the work. In many parts of the country, especially with work being so plentiful, this is not an easy task.

b.) Once you have decided on the electrical subcontractor that you will contract to perform the work, this electrical contractor will need to be scheduled to coincide with your work, school or other personal commitments. Once again this can be a difficult scheduling issue and will require some patience and coordination to make it all work.

c.) Upon arrival to the site by the electrical subcontractor, if they have not already performed their investigation during the bidding process, they will need to identify how the power will be provided to the additional light fixtures required. This is not always an easy task, due to the limited electrical power that is normally provided into the upper attic spaces of the home. The electrical contractor will need to either feed the new lighting from the ceiling fixtures within the floor space of the attic, or will need to run a specific power feed to the attic spaces. The reason that power is required to the attic space, is due to the placement of the security lighting within the eaves of the home which are immediately off the attic space.

d.) Once the power feed to the lights has been determined, then the switching must be provided. This switching will once again require an analysis of the existing home, as well as a discussion with the electrical subcontractor as to how the switching will be accomplished. Remember, if there is not adequate switching already provided within the walls of the home, either walls will need to be opened up, surface wires installed, or the electrical lines snaked through the existing walls. All of this will require a patient electrical contractor, as well as a very realistic homeowner that understands the limitations of installing new lighting within an existing space.

e.) Upon final resolution of each element of this electrical installation, the electrical contractor will perform the work. In most cases, the original scope of work, as well as the pricing, will be exceeded due to the many unknowns encountered by the electrical contractor as they perform the work.

2.) In our opinion, the more practical and technically advanced method of providing security lighting around the home is as follows;

a.) Select a fixture that is battery powered and solar enhanced. What this means is that there is no need to find the power for the fixture, nor is there any need to replace the batteries, due to the ability of the small solar panel provided. This solar panel will keep the batteries fully charged for more hours than we need to worry about.

b.) In most instances, the installation of these simple fixtures can be performed by a moderately talented homeowner. Of course, safety is the prime consideration, therefore if the mounting of the fixture is uncomfortably high, then the hiring of a qualified handyman is all that is required to accomplish the installation.

c.) The switching is accomplished by a photo cell and / or motion detector, depending on the fixture you choose. In this manner, there is again, no need to run a wire to accomplish the turning on and off of the light fixture.

d.) After further research, you will find that there are also fixtures that are blue tooth compatible. These fixtures can be controlled with your smart phone by simply downloading the app and following the instructions.

In summary, the installation of exterior lighting has become extremely simple and easily handled by the homeowner. Search the internet and decide which of the most advanced fixtures suit your needs.

The advancement of this technology has made the selection of exterior lighting fun and fulfilling.

If there is any safety concerns or issues, please do not hesitate to call your local handyman for a safe and professional installation.