Is you porch light left ON or OFF during the night??

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Posted 10/22/2010 by newlywoods03 in NSBR Board
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Blessed Beyond Measure

PeaNut 243,613
January 2006
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Loc: By the sea shore...

Posted: 10/22/2010 1:03:39 PM
I usually leave it on the days that my DH gets home from work at 6am. The nights that he's home, it's usually turned off unless we forget to.

I ask this, in regards to something that happened last night. Shortly after midnight, we were woken up by yelling. All we hear is " Get down, Or I will shoot." Umm, kinda, really SCARY! We had no idea what was going on.

Come to find out, down the road a bit, someone was attempting to break into cars. The person was caught by the police and admitted to everything.

So my other question is... Do you "feel" or "think" that you are safer when your porch light is left on during the night?

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PeaNut 187,030
January 2005
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Loc: Eastern Shores of Mobile Bay

Posted: 10/22/2010 1:07:31 PM
We always leave ours on at night. We once received a note from the police commending us on the front porch lights, garage door lights and landscaping lights being kept on at night.

I feel safer and believe it deters troublemakers. They do not want to be seen so they will select dark houses instead of well lit yards.

The Banana Under the Couch Pea

PeaNut 295,941
February 2007
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Loc: Somewhere over the rainbow...

Posted: 10/22/2010 1:07:58 PM
We turn our porch light off before going to bed. The remaining 4 lights on the front of the house remain on until morning.

I don't know as though I feel safer... But it does make it a lot easier to look out the window and see what's going on in front of our house.

Our neighbors all leave theirs on as well.


PeaNut 317,184
May 2007
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Loc: Land of Lincoln

Posted: 10/22/2010 1:09:10 PM
It's off. I rarely turn it on except when someone is at the door. My husband likes to leave it on when we leave the house in the evening. To me, this just says: Hello, we're not home!

I definately feel safer with it off.


PeaNut 343,259
October 2007
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Posted: 10/22/2010 1:15:27 PM
I turn them off after everyone is home for the evening. We live in a rural neighborhood. When we lived in town I left them on. I don't know why we just did. Growing up we left the front ones on and had motion detectors on the rest of the house. They were a deterent to people lurking around the house and were needed.

eta What a scary thing to wake up to. I am glad the police took care of the situation.

Pam in Iowa

PeaNut 152,452
June 2004
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Posted: 10/22/2010 1:16:17 PM
I usually leave the porch light off unless we are expecting someone to come to the door. We do have some solar landscaping lights that go up the walkway though. You've given me something to think about.


PeaNut 360,815
February 2008
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Loc: Windsor, CA

Posted: 10/22/2010 1:17:29 PM
Sometimes we leave them on, but usually they are off. 2 of the 4 houses in the court leave theirs on all night. If there has been anything suspicious going on, we leave them on.


PeaNut 171,562
October 2004
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Posted: 10/22/2010 1:17:57 PM
Ours have light sensors built in, so they come on when it gets dark and go off in the daylight. I much prefer having them on and could never remember to turn them on and off before we installed these.


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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 26,836
January 2002
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Posted: 10/22/2010 1:21:40 PM
We don't bother with ours because there is a super bright light at the end of our driveway that does the trick instead.


PeaNut 227,373
October 2005
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Posted: 10/22/2010 1:22:44 PM
Ours our solar, and automatically come on at dark and shut off in daylight.

I don't know that it makes me feel any safer, but I do like having a light on.

Stuck In The Bucket

PeaNut 292,616
January 2007
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Loc: Connecticut

Posted: 10/22/2010 1:23:56 PM
When I lived at home it went off when whoever was the latest to come home. Although I did leave some lights on inside when I was home by myself.

pearl-clutching nitpicker

PeaNut 201,774
April 2005
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Posted: 10/22/2010 1:25:38 PM
I live at the end of a dark court and I always keep my porch and driveway lights on through the night.

I do it for myself (I like living in a well-lit neighborhood), for anyone who may stop by unexpectedly (it happens), and for people walking through my court. Between me and the house next door is a walkway into the open space and the main street behind us, so there are always a lot of people/dogs/kids on bikes coming through.

A porch light left on says "someone is home" to me, not "no one is home."

northern california

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PeaNut 32,623
March 2002
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Loc: Colorado

Posted: 10/22/2010 1:26:04 PM
I turn them on when I close my blinds when it starts to get dark and turn them off when I open my blinds in the morning.

When we bought our first house not long after we moved in there was a perv that was going around the neighborhoods trying to break in and what not. (was caught a year or so later and charged with rape and all sorts of other horrible things!) Anyway, our neighborhood created a neighborhood watch program and had a police office come and give us tips to stay safe. He said one of the easiest things to do was keep your outside lights (front and back) on all night. I've done so ever since and it's pretty much become a habit.



PeaNut 206,926
May 2005
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Loc: NW Missouri

Posted: 10/22/2010 1:34:38 PM
Ours come on at dark and shut off in the morning.


& the Velcro dog

PeaNut 133,429
February 2004
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Posted: 10/22/2010 1:36:38 PM
Off. But, we have motion dector lights that automatically turn on.

When dh & I were first married, my habit was to leave the front light on when he was on cat-eye. Never thought a thing of it. Then a neighbor mentioned to my fil that he always knew when dh was on cat-eye becasue I left that light on.

Well, if the neighbor could figure that out, so could someone looking for trouble. So, I let the motion lights do their job.

The porch light only comes on when I'm expecting guests.

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PeaNut 417,049
March 2009
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Posted: 10/22/2010 1:37:01 PM
We have landscaping lights and one of those 5 light "old street post" decorative lights that are time controlled.

This does remind me that DH needs to reset the timer to come on a little earlier than it has been.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 33,199
March 2002
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Loc: Southern California

Posted: 10/22/2010 1:38:05 PM


Sweet Tea Lovin' Pea

PeaNut 236,282
December 2005
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Loc: North Texas

Posted: 10/22/2010 1:47:39 PM
Off, unless we are expecting visitors after dark. We live on a corner lot and there is a big street light on the corner. It lights up our front and side yard really well on its own.

lover of Mondays

PeaNut 117,081
November 2003
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Loc: Michigan

Posted: 10/22/2010 1:50:04 PM
Our house is just like Motel 6. We leave the light on for ya.

Burning Feather
I conceived but I can't see you

PeaNut 158,336
July 2004
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Posted: 10/22/2010 1:51:23 PM
Ours comes on when it's dark and goes off when it is light automatically (actually, it's just the light on our address, not the full porch light, but it's enough to light up our entire porch and front door).

My theory - no matter how convoluted it is, is that if there are two houses that someone is going to break into and one has a lighted door and the other doesn't, a smart burglar will go for the darkness.

Of course, it doesn't hurt that I have two 100 lb dogs either, although I do wonder if them leaving their teddy bears in the yard really scares anyone away.


Dirty little freaks!

PeaNut 374,795
May 2008
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Loc: too far away....

Posted: 10/22/2010 1:51:37 PM
I turn it off when I go to bed.

Mostly it's just a silly message board. Except when it isn't.

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SweetiePie Pea
a Wild Strawberry

PeaNut 98,374
July 2003
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Loc: Western Washington

Posted: 10/22/2010 2:01:17 PM
I feel somewhat safer in the fact that the area is more visable to me and my neighbors should they need to look out there.

I leave mine on day in and day out. they're never turned off. I have CFL's in them though.


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PeaNut 197,450
March 2005
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Loc: Epicenter of Awesome

Posted: 10/22/2010 2:16:33 PM
We always have ours on at night. It is actually part of our HOA covenant that all porch lights and lamp posts must be turned on at dusk.

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Needs a New Pea Title

PeaNut 44,870
August 2002
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Posted: 10/22/2010 2:48:54 PM
We don't have a porch, but there are several feet of covered walkway before you get to the front door. With the light *off* it's pitch black at night in there and no one would see anyone messing around at our doors. I don't know that it's necessarily safer, but if they can find a darkened doorstep instead, that's the one they'll choose.

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Doxie Pea Mom

PeaNut 52,841
October 2002
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Posted: 10/22/2010 3:16:25 PM
Our front porch light is rarely on. We turn it on when we are expecting guests. The other outdoor lights are dusk to dawn lights and come on automatically. Same with the back. DH converted all of our rear lights to low voltage lights that come on when it gets dark.

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Rick Springfield Junkie

PeaNut 78,429
March 2003
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Loc: Mountain High Pea

Posted: 10/22/2010 3:18:49 PM
I like my light on.. DH tends to turn it off, but if I think about it, I flip it back on.

PEAS Porridge Hot

PeaNut 93,127
June 2003
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Loc: Somewhere over the rainbow

Posted: 10/22/2010 3:19:08 PM
Yes, I keep my own when it is dark outside - It does make me feel safer because (a) it looks more like someone is home then a darker house ( I can see who is out there (c) if I am coming in late then I can see and not be worried about someone hiding in the shadows.

Thinking outside the bucket

PeaNut 80,947
April 2003
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Loc: Sacramento-bouts

Posted: 10/22/2010 3:39:14 PM
Ever since I've read the book about Richard Ramirez "The Nightstalker" ... I have left the outside light on, and we have a motion detector above the garage.
It bugs me when I go out in the afternoon and sometimes see our neighbors porch lights still on.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 196,226
March 2005
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Loc: in the South

Posted: 10/22/2010 3:42:32 PM
My dh turns them out when we go to bed. When he is not home, I leave them all on. My neighbor makes fun of me and always knew when DH would go to Louisiana to work a shut down. He would say I must have to get up 20 minutes earlier, just to turn all the lights off! Pretty much every light in the house stays on too.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 475,028
July 2010
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Loc: Northern VA

Posted: 10/22/2010 3:48:22 PM
We usually leave it on until we go to bed, then dh turns it off. But, when he's out of town I always leave it on. Makes me feel safer. I also leave the back light on over the deck. We do have a dog who would alert us if someone was trying to break in. But that would give me heart failure anyway, so I figure it's best to let the burglars know not even to bother.

Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy

PeaNut 178,445
November 2004
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Loc: Northern California

Posted: 10/22/2010 4:21:36 PM
We leave ours off all the time unless we are
expecting someone.


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Newspaper Pea

PeaNut 219,645
August 2005
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Posted: 10/22/2010 4:24:57 PM
A little of both. We don't really have a routine for it. Keep them guessing is my motto.


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PeaNut 36,466
April 2002
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Loc: upstate NY

Posted: 10/22/2010 4:29:46 PM
Our porch light is only ever on if we're expecting someone. There is a motion detector next to the back door, but we're going to replace it with a regular light.

- Sara


PeaNut 65,877
January 2003
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Loc: So CA

Posted: 10/22/2010 4:37:35 PM
Our porch light is only on if we are expecting someone. We have solar lights up on the walkway.

As for lights - some say just the opposite the lights make it easier for the crook to actually see what they are doing and break in quicker. Not sure what I believe. I think keeping landscaping down is also important do give crooks something to hide behind - this works with or without lights.



PeaNut 439,065
September 2009
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Posted: 10/22/2010 4:41:03 PM
On. It's on a timer and there's no switch for it. I wouldn't feel any more or less safe with or without it, though. But then, I am unphased by most of the things people worry about.

formerly library girl 82

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 87,597
May 2003
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Posted: 10/22/2010 4:51:04 PM
We leave ours off. We're more fearful of our electric bill than of a robber! Just kidding. But if we leave it on, it's too bright upstairs when we are sleeping.

M o l l y
Blue Cow

PeaNut 79,515
April 2003
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Loc: Out, standing in my field

Posted: 10/22/2010 5:09:50 PM
On all night every night. The burglars can go sneak around the dark houses. We have a motion detector light on the back door and the back yard.

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PeaNut 355,768
January 2008
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Loc: KC Metro

Posted: 10/22/2010 5:15:47 PM
The actual porch light only gets turned on if we are expecting someone.
We have lights on sensors though that come on at dusk that light up the walk, house numbers and flag. The porch gets lit by them too.

Macro PhotograPea

PeaNut 15,409
May 2001
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Loc: Queen Anne Hill

Posted: 10/22/2010 5:16:24 PM
The porch light and two lights at out garage are left on all night. We also leave one lamp on in the living room as well. A well lit yard helps deter people who are up to no good.

We have a google group for our neighborhood where we all share info, etc, and just the other night someone was walking around the neighborhood at 4am ringing people's doorbells...asking if he could sleep on their porches Someone finally called the non emergency precinct number and the police came out, gave him a blanket, and sent him on his way....poor guy.

Anyhow....not sure why I mentioned that....


Half of NSBR's favorite power couple

PeaNut 64,257
January 2003
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Loc: Your Mom's house

Posted: 10/22/2010 5:18:05 PM
Ours is off. We have street lights, so we could see something from our window if necessary. I would like to put our front light on a timer, I just keep forgetting to get one.

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PeaNut 183,518
January 2005
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Loc: Big Sky Country

Posted: 10/22/2010 5:21:16 PM

Do you "feel" or "think" that you are safer when your porch light is left on during the night?

The light is left on and the last one in turns it off. Or it stays on all night. No big deal either way. We have a motion light on the side of the house too. The deer and cats set it off regularly.
Do I feel safer with it on? No. We live in a pretty quiet area and my feelings of safty are the same whether the light is off or on.

You call me Pollyanna like that's a bad thing.

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PeaNut 281,551
October 2006
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Posted: 10/22/2010 5:25:47 PM
I've always installed a motion detector light wherever I've lived.

Nicole in TX
The Peas did what we do and went insane over it

PeaNut 16,696
June 2001
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Loc: Not so obvious

Posted: 10/22/2010 5:28:43 PM
I only leave it on if we are expecting someone.


PeaNut 478,947
August 2010
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Loc: Ohio

Posted: 10/22/2010 5:51:50 PM
Off, but I live on a corner and have a street light at the end of my driveway. I also have a merc light on my garage that lights up the garage area, driveway and back porch. Also, my neighbor has a motion light that is easily set off, so we are all lit up.


PeaNut 127,447
January 2004
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Loc: I {heart} NC Mountains!!

Posted: 10/22/2010 5:58:02 PM
We never use our porch light. It maybe gets used 5 times a year?!

~ Kelly C


PeaNut 411,280
February 2009
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Loc: you can take the girl out of the country...

Posted: 10/22/2010 6:05:24 PM
The lights outside the garage and the porch light are all on one switch and are motion-detector lights. The switch is left on all night. If anyone approaches the garage or the front door, they come on. It's not a matter of feeling more safe, just easier to look out if we hear anything at night.


PeaNut 15,311
May 2001
Posts: 2,574
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Loc: illinois

Posted: 10/22/2010 9:31:01 PM
on all night. we have a light with a photo sensor and motion sensor. We have the spiral bulbs in there. the photo sensor is a low light (one bul, when the motion sensor is activated, a second light (not a spiral one) comes on and it is bright.

Mama Lion

PeaNut 103,387
August 2003
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Loc: Chasing one of my three 'cubs' . . .

Posted: 10/23/2010 6:19:02 AM
We have lights on at every egress to the house- front, garage, and back. They stay on all night. My husband is a security freak.

Mom to Maxwell(9), Jacob (7) and Benjamin (5)
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PeaNut 51,429
October 2002
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Loc: Where dreams come true

Posted: 10/23/2010 6:28:37 AM
We don't keep our front or back door lights on throughout the night.

It isn't something that would make me feel any safer. I do have dogs though, who would bark if anyone were to approach the house after dark.

We also live in a neighbourhood where generally a light on at night indicates that someone is not home yet, and is lighting the way for their return.

I would feel as though it was a waste of electricity. And I'm always more concerned about fire than break ins. I'd be more worried it would overheat, or short or something (irrational though that may be) and end up causing trouble rather than preventing it.

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 198,401
March 2005
Posts: 6,878
Layouts: 0
Loc: Wernersville, PA

Posted: 10/23/2010 8:29:18 AM
Just want to say, in your case, if anyone is ever "casing" your
house, you have a set routine and all they would have to do
is watch your house and see your return, know when your dh is
not home and strike.

I do not keep my lights on at night. Why waste the electricity?

We are sleeping. If anyone is going to break into my car, they
will do it whether a light is on or not.

We do however have motion detectors that will come on if their
is movement in my backyard. Now, that I think about it, I
dont' really know why. It is not like I would see anyone because
we do not have a back bedroom window. My mom does live in an
addition on our home that this light is off of,so maybe it was
put in more for her than the main house.
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