(6) Sat Sep 04 2004 20:20 PST We'll Leave A Light On For You (But Why?): My neighbors leave their porch light on all night. I am not sure why. Are you supposed to leave your porch light on all night? It seems like a waste of electricity. Does it deter burglary?
The only reason I can think of is if you expect someone to come home late. But motion detector lights would save more electricity for that purpose. It might deter burglary if there's a lot of traffic in the area. Once again, motion detectors. They're a nice invention.
We are enviro-geeks but leave our light on. It may be coincidence, but since starting the practice 7 years ago, we've not had a break in to our vehicle parked outside.
Prior to that, it was only a couple of months after moving in that our then-truck was broken into, all for a couple of empty bottles.
Perhaps we are just smarter about how we leave the vehicles now but its my feeling that our bright light, in this otherwise slightly dark part of our street, encourages neer-do-wells to keep walking on to someone elses dark street corner.
Posted by Brian Danger Hicks at Sun Sep 05 2004 12:37
Well, there are advantages and disadvantages. On the plus side it makes it easier to spot someone trying to break in, but then again that's assuming someone else is watching who will call the police. Or maybe a burglar might just assume that they're being watched in a lit area.
On the minus side it could highlight areas to burglars for break-in that they might not otherwise notice, and the same light might also blind someone who is trying to watch the area.
I was always taught that the porch light means "we are at home now". I think that's part of some old traditions about hosting weary travelers from distant lands who knock on your door.
Keeps the insects on the outside, too.