Police say porch lights can help ward off burglars

Leaving front porch light on all night adds about $3 a month to energy bill

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Police said there is one really easy way to prevent crime at home. It doesn't involve fancy gadgets or specials apps -- instead, it's as simple as the flick of a switch.

Police said having a light on in the front of a house all night long is an effective way to ward off would-be burglars.

Miami-Dade Sgt. Joseph Bermudez showed Local 10 News several options for lights that can be mounted on a front porch or near the main entrance to a home.

One option is a simple porch light.

"If you look here, you have fixtures like this where they incorporate 'dusk 'til dawn,' which means the light will turn on automatically and turn off automatically," Bermudez said.

There are also security-specific lights that can be mounted in other areas in the front of a home.

While motion-sensor lights are also good options, Bermudez said they're better paired with a fixed, bright, light. A would-be intruder is turned off by a light that's on.

Experts agree that the cost of leaving a light on is minimal.

According to Florida Power & Light, leaving a standard 60-watt bulb on for 12 hours every day would add less than $3 to a monthly power bill.

"The funny thing is that we'll spend $5 on a latte every day (and) you can't spend $3 on lighting for your safety?" Bermudez said.

A more expensive LED light costs even less in the long run.

A spokesperson for lighting company Osram Sylvania said a 60-watt replacement LED bulb left on for 12 hours a day would only cost about $4.10 per year.

"With the current retail prices, the energy savings cover the cost of the LED lamp in just a few months," said company spokesperson Glen Gracia.

"Criminals -- what they want to do is get in and out and not be seen," Bermudez said. "So, if you have a dark house a dark area, that's where they tend to gravitate to. So you want to have as much light as possible so it deters them from approaching your residence."