Where To Place Security Lights: The Best Places & More

The Best Areas To Place Security Lighting For Your Maryland, DC, Or Northern Virginia Home

The main areas to place security lights are on the house, in the yard, and around the perimeter of the property. Places like pathways, driveways, natural areas, and entrances are especially good for security lights. This is because security lights should also protect guests by allowing them to see where they are walking. Place security lights high enough that they cannot be shut off. 

Keep reading to find out more about where to place security lights for the best coverage.

Dawn needs more light.

She laughs to herself at her own wordplay. Dawn and her husband Ronnie are currently standing outside their house at around 9 at night. 

It is way too dark.

Very dark home in need of security lights

Dawn shifts her feet uncomfortably as she draws closer to Ronnie. The dark isn’t scary, just, well, uncomfortable! She (like almost everyone) likes to be able to see at night. It’s a security issue, in more ways than one.

Dawn thinks about how hard it is for their friends and family to not see where they are going. She wonders if they feel unsafe walking around their home. She knows she does. Pulling up and walking towards a dark home can be…creepy.

That is why they are deciding where they want to put outdoor lights. The research has been done and now they are trying to visualize it.

First, let’s look at 7 tips Dawn found for security lights around the home.

7 Outdoor Security Lighting Tips For Homes

  1. Place security lights high so they can’t be reached
  2. Use brighter bulbs for higher lights
  3. Wires need to be hidden or protected
  4. The electrical box needs protection too
  5. More medium-bright lights are better than a few very bright lights
  6. Security lights are best placed where the light shines down
  7. Make sure to maintain them

Now the couple can really make the outside of their home feel safer. Here are the areas Dawn and Ronnie are thinking about brightening with security lighting.

Placing Security Lights On The House

Neither of the couple wants to recreate National Lampoon’s Christmas.

Dawn doesn’t want her home to look like Disney (that’s waaaaay too much lighting). It would if she decides to place security lights everywhere she can on the actual house. Instead, she is going to choose to place her security lights in a few of these places:

  • Above garages, decks, and patios
  • Over or next to entrances, including windows
  • On the sides of the house (especially with pathways)
Where to place security lights - floodlights near top of house

Flood lights are great for the larger spaces and wall sconces for next to entryways.

Now they move on to where to place security lights in the yard.

Yard Security Light Placement

This is where Dawn can have fun with some design elements.

Security lighting for the yard can also be aesthetic. She and guests can enjoy the nighttime scenery of the backyard too.

The first thing Dawn can, and probably should, light are any paths. Pathway lighting can help people see where to walk when going to the door or around her amazing backyard. Any water features like pools or ponds should have lights around them as well (unintentional swimming is the worst).

Another great place for yard security lights are in natural areas. Places with lots of bushes, shrubs, and plants in general can use security lighting. Don’t want anyone stepping on them!

Where to place security lights for moonlighting

Dawn can also use her tallest trees for landscape moon lighting. It’s a fantastic lighting technique because it mimics the moon. It’ll brighten larger areas of her yard.

Finally the couple moves on to thinking about adding security lights to their boundaries.

Security Lights Around The Perimeter

Dawn could create a moat of light for her home.

But that might be a little extreme (and wasteful). There doesn’t need to be a light every 2 feet for it to provide a good amount of light.

The places Dawn would need to put her security lights around her home perimeter are any wooded areas, fences, walls, and the end of the driveway.

Dawn and Ronnie now have a plan. They know how to and where to place security lights for their home. But how will they control them?

Controlling Security Lights Around The Home

Motion Detectors

Dawn is a big fan of motion sensor activation.

These bad boys work with your lights to expose anything with a heat signature that moves. This can include people walking towards your home and animals (like pesky, trash-digging raccoons). They can work with almost any light.

Motion detector great for security lights

The couple can also use timers.

Time Switches

Timers can switch which lights are on at which time. Dawn can control how she wants her yard to look by having certain lights on at certain times. It can also help reduce lighting costs.

The third way they can control their lights are by photocells.


These are basically on-off switches that use the sun. They are mostly dusk-to-dawn lights, meaning they turn on when it starts getting dark and off when it becomes lighter. Photocells are great because they are automatic and low maintenance.

The only question the couple have left is: who’s going to install their security lights?

Creating Your Own Security

Dawn and Ronnie know exactly how they want to light up their yard. It will help people see where they are stepping and keep them on the paths. It can also make their yard look brilliant! Your yard can too.

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