Installing Outdoor Lighting: 3 Tips To Keep In Mind

Outdoor lighting is perfect for the holiday seasons, and can also be used as a crime deterrent if installed properly. Unfortunately, when installed improperly, outdoor lighting may actually encourage criminal activities, especially if the lighting can help the criminals get a better visual of what they are doing. In fact, studies have shown that when outdoor lighting is installed improperly, the rate of violent crimes went up by 32% and property index offences, like breaking and entering, went up by 77%.

If you've been thinking of installing outdoor lighting, here are 3 tips that you need to keep in mind:

3. The Location of the Outdoor Lighting Installation

Knowing where the lighting should be installed, and whether it should be installed is important. The outdoor lighting should provide sufficient brightness that others passing by can easily get a good idea if criminal activities are happening.

The location where the lighting is installed should offer you a few benefits:

  • make it easier for people passing by to easily identify who may be on your property
  • eliminate dark hiding spots in areas 
  • prevent intruders from being able to get into restricted areas

Most professionals recommend lighting up parking lots and entrances that can be easily seen by others and avoid installing lighting where back doors are, as this could attract criminals.

Quality of the Outdoor Lighting Installation

If you have decided to install outdoor lighting to enhance security on the premises, the wiring will be buried inside a protective tube, use a schedule 80 PVC, which can identified by its grey color, that is buried a minimum of 18 inches underground. This prevents the wiring from being accessible to criminals and protects the wiring from environmental and elemental conditions, so that it lasts longer. 

You can avoid using the PVC protective tubing entirely if you decide to go with UF cables. UF cables have heavy-duty insulation that protects them from getting damaged.

Use Weatherproof Materials and Techniques

Last but not least, account for poor weather conditions. You do not want the electric wiring and circuit short-circuiting because of unexpected contact with rain or water in general. In short, make sure that you speak with an electrician regarding the types of weatherproofing materials and techniques that can be implemented.

Outdoor switches and receptacles must be mounted within waterproof electric boxes. Some of these boxes have a special lid that will allow for the receptacles to still be accessed by the outlets even in rainy conditions. 


Installing outdoor lighting is not as easy as it may look, especially when the electric circuitry and wiring is involved. Consult with an electrician regarding the blueprint of your property to decide where the lighting should be best installed to deter criminal activities, the type of materials that will be used and the techniques that are to be implemented for the best outcome possible.