When you consider installing a home security system, you may not think about the eco-friendliness of your security strategy. However, technology is allowing people to greatly reduce the amount of energy their homes use—including the energy used to power home security systems themselves and the other security measures commonly used by homeowners. In fact, eco-friendliness and the technology behind many security systems are natural partners.
Here are five tips for making your home security strategy as environmentally-friendly as possible.
1. Use Outdoor Lighting with Motion Detectors
Leaving floodlights on outside all the time may deny intruders the cover of darkness they seek, but this practice is highly energy-inefficient. Motion detector lights are great for home security whether you're home or away because they come on when they detect motion and can startle a burglar into leaving. They're also great if you arrive home after dark because they illuminate your path to the door. When properly aimed, they won't come on every time a stray cat crosses your yard. What's even better is that today you can get motion sensor lights that are solar-powered. They charge up during the daytime and are ready to switch on after dark whenever the motion detector is triggered.
2. Remember: the "Smart Home" Is a More Secure Home
Being able to control home lighting when you're not there is great for home security. It’s also great for minimizing your energy usage. Lighting in the smart home can be programmed to turn off and on at certain times in different rooms. When you're away, having lights going on and off in different rooms at different times makes it less obvious you're away than if you either leave lights on all the time or time them all to go on and off simultaneously. Smart home lighting helps you both curb electricity usage and improve your home security.
3. Use Lighting Efficiently While Away
Using multiple light timers on different on/off cycles can go a long way toward making your home appear occupied. It can also help you save significantly over leaving lights on all the time. You can also make eco-friendly choices in your light bulbs. LED bulbs are far more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs, using 80% less energy and lasting for years. They're more expensive up front, but generally pay for themselves after 18 months, and can continue working for up to a decade after that, keeping your energy consumption for lighting down.
4. Choose a Security System Provider that Uses Recycled Materials
Security companies today are coming around to the wisdom of recycling materials and parts from outdated system components. Reused materials may include:
• Precious metals
• Electronic components
• Repairable parts
When a security system provider has a policy of reusing and reclaiming materials whenever possible, they can keep a significant amount of waste out of landfills.
5. Work with Your Neighbors to Improve Security
Some of the best home security practices don't involve energy usage at all. Having a neighbor gather stray newspapers and door handle flyers while generally keeping an eye out for anything suspicious is about as eco-friendly as it gets. You can also arrange for neighbors to park in your driveway while you're on vacation, or make tire tracks in your driveway if it snows while you're out of town. Usually, the only "cost" for this is being neighborly yourself when they're out of town.
Keeping your home secure doesn't have to increase energy consumption. In fact, many eco-friendly practices can improve home security, and many home security measures can be made energy-efficient.