This article was originally published on September 2, 2021 and updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.

Want to know the importance of a security system protecting your business after hours? Here's a quick look at the numbers: 60% of commercial burglaries happen after business hours.

Adding a couple of high-powered LED or floodlights may be a cheap no-brainer to help protect your business. But do motion sensor lights deter crime? And is it a good idea to have a couple of lights be your business’s sole protector?

Continue reading to learn more about how motion sensors work the role they play in a business’s security system.

How Do Motion Sensors Work?

To better understand a motion sensor’s role in a security system, first you must know they work. A common question we get is “do motion sensors have cameras?” Most motion sensor models do not have a camera attached. Instead, they use infrared technology to detect movement.

Think of it this way: the motion sensor is like a flashlight. Whenever somebody walks in front of the sensor, they create an invisible shadow behind them because the infrared waves can no longer go through, which triggers the sensor. Motion sensors can work during both the day and night. However, most people automate their lights with the motion sensor at night.

Impact and Efficacy: Do Motion Sensors Lights Deter Crime?

Lights can deter crime, but only for a small number of criminals. Multiple factors play into a burglar’s decision to attack a business. And leaving your lights on only has a marginal impact on their decision.

Most businesses are located away from residential areas. So, if there are lights on to spot suspicious activity, will there be anyone around to report it? The answer largely depends on the business’s location.

Best Practices for Motion Sensor Lights

If you’re going to use lights as a deterrent, there are a few best practices you should follow to maximize their effectiveness. For example, leaving your lights on all night can actually make it easier for a burglar to navigate the area and find entry points.

Instead, invest in motion sensor lights. When triggered, business owners can receive alerts that someone or something is nearby. Not to mention, the sudden flash of light might catch burglars off guard and prompt them to leave the area immediately.

Likewise, you can use automated light timers both inside and outside the building to mimic human behavior. When burglars believe people are occupying the building, there are far less likely to burglarize it.

How Lights Play a Part in a Business’s Security System

The best security deterrents are systems with multiple layers. Rather than solely relying on lights to deter crime, they should be an additional layer in your business’s security system.

Pairing your motion sensor lights with an alarm system is a great way to deter burglars and receive immediate alerts for suspicious activity. And covering your main points of entry with security cameras ensures you always have a birds-eye view of your business.

Want to learn the best way to build a security system that works for your business? Feel free to contact Vector Security today.