Have you been told that you need to leave your porch lights on? Or have you been told to turn them off? Do porch lights on deter burglars or just give them a straight path to your front door? Do porch lights on at night disturb the migrating pattern of birds?

There are many reasons to turn the lights on, i.e. waiting for someone to come home, and many reasons to turn the lights off, for instance save electricity. But what is the right thing to do? Sit down, grab something to drink, and keep reading, this isn't such a cut and dry answer.

What's the big deal about turning your porch lights off? 

Southcoast Health via Facebook

The reasons you should have your porch lights off is almost the same reasons as turning them off. If you're at home, the lights on give you the visibility to see who might be on your front porch, but it could also invite visitors to stop by uninvited. Leaving the light on could cost you more in electricity, but then you could stumble up the stairs trying to get into the door, and hurt yourself. But what about the big question, do porch lights being on really deter burglars? 

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Do porch lights being on deter burglars?

Fluorescent Front Porch Light with a blue light bulb.
Lindsay Hamm

Not being a burglar myself, I have to rely on the research of other individuals. The consensus is that the lights do deter burglars, but only when used in conjunction with other lights being on in the home. If the porch light is on, and no other light is on, then a burglar feels its pretty safe that no one is home and that they have the 'all clear' to clean out your home.

What really deters burglars? The whole 'use timers' and vary the times that your lights are on. Then they can't come up with a safe plan to break into your home, because you have rightly kept them guessing.

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