You might not realize it, but your garage most likely holds more items of value than anywhere else in your house. An interesting thought to be sure! But when you consider what the average garage holds: a car, a variety of tools, laundry machines, and maybe even some irreplaceable family heirlooms – it starts to add up.
That fancy Tesla Model X can cost $80,000 plus and a good tool set may run several thousand dollars. But even if you aren’t on the high end of those types of things, it’s still beyond inconvenient to be without a car (or a socket wrench) when you really need one. While the average garage itself may not seem especially noteworthy, the things inside of it definitely are (at least to the common thief).
So, how can you go about best protecting the assets your garage contains? Well, one of the answers is easier than you may think – quality outdoor lighting.
Shining a Light on Garage Security
In the long run, investing in the right security lights will save you a bunch of money over having to replace your car, or worse yet, losing a priceless family memento to theft. The right outdoor lighting can be beneficial in deterring theft. A would-be burglar is often looking for a quick “smash and grab” and wants to avoid confrontation. That means a thief is much less likely to make a move on your place if they think you may be home.
Now, while we would all love to flip on our porch light and call it a day, effective, crime-deterring, outdoor lighting doesn’t stop there. Properly securing your garage will require security lights that are dependable and also lighting that is realistic in the way that it can mimic or detect human movements.
To protect your garage, choosing the right outdoor security lighting for your garage is paramount. We have compiled a list of some great lighting options for you to consider, how to best utilize them outside your home, and even some tips on how to properly install them.
Why Should I Use Outdoor Lights to Secure My Garage?
At this point you may be thinking, “I already have a home security system, isn’t that good enough?” And while you would be, for the most part, correct about a security system’s ability to protect your home, most set-ups are woefully inadequate when it comes to securing a garage and its contents. This is due to the fact that many mainstream security systems fail to take into account the needs and risks that are particular to a garage.
For example, the majority of garage door openers can be easily spoofed or replicated with parts found with a few clicks online. How can you combat ne’er-do-well’s intent on breaking into your garage? In short, you can’t entirely. But the best offense is a good defense. And a good defense includes lighting up your garage’s perimeter so that you can take advantage of your community’s observations and criminal’s natural skittishness.
Do Note, Before You Set Up Your Security Lights . . .
An important thing that you should bear in in mind before you begin the hunt is that without a strong relationship with your neighbors, good security lights won’t do much. Security lighting is most effective when there is someone around to notice that the lights have been tripped, or that someone who shouldn’t be there is surveying your doors.
While you may think this requires you to have an odd neighbor that stays up to all hours of the night watching your garage and your garage only, this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, when burglars are casing potential victims, they tend to look for the same simple identifying factors that make for an easy job.
These can include signs such as:
- Lights that stay on 24 hours a day.
- Neighbors that rarely interact or are largely oblivious to their surroundings.
- Sparsely populated areas with few potential witnesses.
- Dark and dimly light areas under which they can move with impunity.
How do you combat these tendencies? Well, the first step is to become a good neighbor. Have the wherewithal to notice when things look out of place or tempting for a break-in. Stay in touch with Frank and Susie across the street. Or start a neighborhood watch. THEN invest in some quality security lighting to brighten those ambiguous corners.
Types of Outdoor Security Lighting
There are a variety of styles to consider when looking to protect your garage with security lighting. This can include anything from new fixtures installed to your existing garage circuitry, or lighting that can operate independently of a stable power supply thanks to batteries or solar. Which is best for you? Take a look at some of the options below and compare features!
Permanent Garage Flood Lighting
Most homeowners consider this option for the longevity and (depending on the fixture) the curb appeal. Installing permanent garage lights on either side of the outside of their garage door has a classic look and makes sense as a first line of defense. The garage door itself can be a point of entry and flooding the area with light is a good way to discourage this from happening. When it comes to installing such lights, however, there can be such a thing as “too much light”.
As a rule of thumb, you should make sure that your lights are evenly spaced to ensure full coverage, and that you also aren’t creating a hazard by flooding the area with too much light.
One set of lights that we love for just such a purpose is this set of lighting fixtures from Onforu. Not only are these lights great for their ability to direct bright LED light exactly where it is needed, but they also come in a 2-pack, which enables savvy homeowners to easily install one on each side of their garage. Besides being waterproof, these lights have the added benefit of being easily installed to almost any pre-existing junction box. An added benefit is that such lights can be easily controlled using a standard light switch or timer.
Garage Side Entry Lights
When it comes to side entry lights, there is a lot to consider. While these lights don’t have to be as flashy or showy as your main entrance lighting, they do nonetheless have to serve their vital security function. If your garage side entry is out of direct street view, it could be a tempting target for forced entry. But even a thief with a pry bar or a lock pick may think twice about that method if the light is on, exposing their every move.
The best part about installing side entry lights is that they can be chosen to match the style of your house. For example, these lighting fixtures will easily install into almost any E26 base and will match most architectural styles naturally.
Those looking for a more refined, almost Italian style of fixture may consider these sconces, which are nearly guaranteed to stop thieves and invite compliments with their scrolling design.
Those with an industrial themed house may wish to consider these security lights.
And if you have a modern ranch or similar style house you can’t go wrong with these outdoor lighting fixtures.
Motion Sensor Lights
For the best of both convenience and security, motion detecting light fixtures are worth looking into. These lights are ideally suited to secure your garage for a number of reasons, least of which is their ability to provide light when it is most needed, i.e., when someone is prowling around your garage.
This needn’t mean that they are only useful for security reasons, however, because motion sensing capabilities are great for hapless homeowners as well, as they help to ensure you won’t be fumbling around in the dark as long as one is nearby.
Do note that fixture models of this type may need to be hardwired into your home’s existing electrical wiring via a junction box. Depending on your electrical installation prowess, you may want to choose a different type of lighting, or plan to hire a professional to have it put in.
Solar Powered Security Lights
If wiring a new fixture into your garage’s circuitry is too much for you, don’t worry, there are a variety of solar powered security lights that take the power-supply step. These generally have the same features as their hard-wired counterparts, with the added peace of mind that if your home lost power, your security lights would not.
Which Type of Security Lighting is Right for Me?
So now the burning question – How will you know which type of lighting will best meet your garage’s security needs? The simple answer – while it depends on your home, a variety of each kind of lighting might be in your best interest. Add those sconces on either side of your garage door, but then position motion-sensing on floodlights near the dark corners. Keep your side-entry light on at night. And remember to keep in touch with your neighbors and secure your garage doors and windows before you turn in for the night.
Like any home upgrade, expect to invest some money into your new lighting. Some models may seem pricey for a light fixture, but their durability and the relaxation that the safety they provide is well worth their cost, and then some!
For more tips from The Garage Junkie check out our other articles. We have info on everything from building your own garage laundry room, to how to properly insulate your garage.
As always, thanks for reading, and be sure to keep it tuned to The Garage Junkie for all of your garage’s DIY, security, and FYI needs.