Landscape lighting offers lots of wonderful benefits. It improves the aesthetic appeal of your property. It increases the value of your property. It makes your property more enjoyable for both family and friends.
But landscape lighting offers another benefit that’s of more value than all the others combined: it can make your family safer.
It’s a Dangerous World…
I think that we sometimes tend to have a head-in-sand attitude about the crime-prevention aspect of landscape lighting. Maybe that’s because it’s none-too-pleasant to think about bad things that could happen. It’s easier just to ignore them, and assume that they won’t happen.
But as we all know, ignorance isn’t bliss. And it’s better to be aware of potential dangers than to ignore them. Facing existing dangers, after all, offer the best hope of avoiding those dangers.
For that reason, I’d like to share with you some of the findings of a study performed recently by the Department of Justice. The purpose of the study was to determine the impact that increased lighting in residential areas had upon crime. And though the study focused upon increased street lighting, I don’t think that many would argue that some of the findings would also apply to landscape lighting.
Here are some of the takeaways from the study:
• Criminals Don’t Want to be Seen
That may seem to be a bit of a ‘Duh!’ revelation, but I’ve heard the argument made that better lighting can help to encourage increased criminal activity because it allows the bad guys to better see what they’re doing. I’ve always considered that to be a nonsensical argument, and this study confirms that what seems logically obvious is, in fact, correct: criminals prefer to operate under the cover of darkness.
• Improved Lighting Increases Outdoor Activity of Residents
Increased lighting around homes means that more people are enjoying outdoor activities during evening hours. That means that there’s a greater chance of criminal activity being noticed and reported to police. And that serves as an additional deterrent to criminal activity in a well-lit area.
• Increased Lighting Can Reduce Crime Even in Daylight
A family or community that spends money on increased lighting delivers a very clear message to criminals: “We’re very aware of the risks of crime, and we’re taking steps to thwart it. The pickings aren’t easy here; you’d best move on.” And that message serves as a very effective crime deterrent 24 hours a day.
• Increased Lighting Can Reduce Crime EVERYWHERE
OK, so increased lighting can reduce the likelihood that a criminal will target your family. So the crook will just choose another target, right?
In many cases, yes, that’s what will happen. But not always. Very interestingly, the study found that some of the crime reduction caused by increased lighting isn’t just limited to the area with the improved lighting. Perhaps some borderline, wanna-be criminals are discouraged from ever taking that first step into criminal activity.
And One Fringe Benefit…
The study also noted one other benefit of increased lighting: a reduction in fear. That’s something that’s difficult to quantify, but there’s no doubt that along with the increased security provided by additional lighting comes an increased sense of security.
Being safer and feeling safer. You could give your family no greater gift.