Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

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Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by Bombastic » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:08 am

If a riot or some other kind of civil unrest occurred, assuming the power was still on, would you disable your motion sensor lights or keep them going? While I think they would possibly scare away a small group of looters I think they might also serve to draw others to your presence. If there's some gang out for blood or (if you're so inclined) zombies hungry for brains your lights will be exactly what they're looking for. On the other hand, if your house if dark and seemingly empty it'll look like a nice target for looters.
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by KS Trekker » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:25 am

I would say to leave your motion-sensing lights functioning as they are, but close your blinds/drapes. Enough light leaks around blinds/drapes to let someone know the house is occupied without giving away your position in the house. I have blinds on all my windows and I close them at night as a security precaution.
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by eatatjoz » Sun Jul 04, 2010 10:59 am

Disable.
Not relevant to normal people, but my motion lights are inside the house. One in the kitchen, and one in the laundry room. These are a dead giveaway that someone is in the house.
If I was a civilized person, and they were outside mounted as intended, I'd just leave them be.

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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by pyratemime » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:18 pm

Leave the lights on as they are intended to work but practice interior light discipline.
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by BrockGrimes » Mon Jul 05, 2010 11:27 am

Replace the exterior lights with LED IR bulbs they flood the yard with IR light which is invisible to the naked eye, but a cam with no IR filter can see like it's daylight outside. A simple cheapy web cam can be modified to view IR.
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Webcam-In ... red-Camera" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by thechin » Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:20 am

BrockGrimes wrote:Replace the exterior lights with LED IR bulbs they flood the yard with IR light which is invisible to the naked eye, but a cam with no IR filter can see like it's daylight outside. A simple cheapy web cam can be modified to view IR.
http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Webcam-In ... red-Camera" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
+10 this is the best solution i've heard. In a PAW, there's nothing that announces "I have powered generators" more than leaving your motion detection lights on that can be seen down the block.
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by BrockGrimes » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:11 am

THe quality will depend on the camera used.
Another how to:
http://geektechnique.org/projectlab/254 ... -ir-camera" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I'll dig up my cam and take some real shots if anyone is interested.

example images:
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by Glennbo » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:47 am

Motion senser lights are supposed to give the impression that someone is there. Why in the world would you want people to know that someone is there in a SHTF situation?

And it's a ostentatious waste of technology.

I walk a lot late at night and trip a ton of these motion sensors (porchlights and garage lights mostly) just by walking on the public sidewalk. It's obvious what they are, they don't fool anyone, and it just makes me realize that the owners of these devices have no idea how vulnerable it makes them seem. The light goes on and off so often that it is eventually ignored by the very people who are supposed to be alerted by it. Unless someone is watching when the light goes on (which is never the case), motion sensor lights do nothing of real value as a defense because it's so obvious what they are to a normal human intelligence. To me it just telegraphs the owner's lazy inattention, exactly the opposite effect of their intended purpose!

You're better off just leaving the light constantly on. That's scarier.
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by Tater Raider » Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:47 am

Wire the motion sensor lights so that there is an on/off switch and a light detection switch in the circuit. Turn some motion sensor lights on while leaving others off, changing which lights are on each night. The light detector switch is to turn the lights off during daylight hours. If you have a security system, wire a seperate switch to to it that turns on all lights regardless as to if you have them on or off.

Now you have lights that go on and off, but only sometimes which, if your home is being scouted, gives the appearance of alertness on a truely paranoid scale rather than "Oh, motion lights. Score." In ZPAW this is a give away that you have electricity, but it also is a warning that you are watchful that is every bit as plain as a sign saying, "If you can read this, you are in range." :shock:

That's just opinion though.

Honest advice? Lighting is just part of home security so talk to a professional. Seriously. Are you going to trust your family's safety to a bunch of guys on the internet you never met or a guy who is licensed, bonded, has excellent references, knows how the criminal mind works, and does home security for a living? :P

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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by Bombastic » Wed Jul 07, 2010 2:48 pm

eatatjoz wrote:My motion lights are inside the house. One in the kitchen, and one in the laundry room. These are a dead giveaway that someone is in the house.
I would have never thought of that, great idea!
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by BigDaddyTX » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:05 pm

Glennbo wrote:Motion senser lights are supposed to give the impression that someone is there. Why in the world would you want people to know that someone is there in a SHTF situation?

And it's a ostentatious waste of technology.

I walk a lot late at night and trip a ton of these motion sensors (porchlights and garage lights mostly) just by walking on the public sidewalk. It's obvious what they are, they don't fool anyone, and it just makes me realize that the owners of these devices have no idea how vulnerable it makes them seem. The light goes on and off so often that it is eventually ignored by the very people who are supposed to be alerted by it. Unless someone is watching when the light goes on (which is never the case), motion sensor lights do nothing of real value as a defense because it's so obvious what they are to a normal human intelligence. To me it just telegraphs the owner's lazy inattention, exactly the opposite effect of their intended purpose!

You're better off just leaving the light constantly on. That's scarier.
My driveway light has 3 bulbs, one pointing to the rear of the house, one pointing to the driveway, and one pointing to the front of the house up the walk. Trust me that I notice when I'm sitting around at night and my lights pop on. Same goes with the one by my bedroom window. It rarely ever comes on, but when it does, I notice.

My MSPaint skills suck and I forgot to note where the driveway is, which is the left hand side of the house.

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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by Glennbo » Wed Jul 07, 2010 3:52 pm

BigDaddyTX wrote: Trust me that I notice when I'm sitting around at night and my lights pop on.
Do you sleep? In any case if your lights get tripped by someone just walking down the public sidewalk you must spend a lot of time looking out the window, unless you live in the boondocks.

As I say, I trip at least a half dozen of these lights every night and I never see anyone checking me out. Zero response. This is at one or two A.M.

I can understand putting them in backyard locations where people shouldn't be. They probably serve their intended purpose in such spots, assuming that you are as attentive as you state. But the ones on the porches and driveways are just ridiculous.

One guy even has his attached to the streetlamp pole facing his garage door with the sidewalk inbetween! I walk past this one a few times a week. He can't see that location from a window even if he was paying attention. It's a total farce. What does he think is going through my mind? "Oooh! Someone just turned on a light, I am being watched!" All it tells me is that the guy is worried about his garage door, so maybe something valuable is in there and is easy to get to.

Ironically the best security device these folks have is ME, a decent honest CCW carrying citizen with a headlamp on and cell phone walking the streets in front of their homes in the wee hours.
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by raptor » Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:24 pm

Glennbo wrote: Ironically the best security device these folks have is ME, a decent honest CCW carrying citizen with a headlamp on and cell phone walking the streets in front of their homes in the wee hours.

I do not disagree with the sentiment. I also really like head lamps since they leave my hands free for other things. However in a SHTF situation where I was out "walking the block" I would not use a head lamp and more than likely I would not have a flash light turned on. A light in particular a head lamp, is a target begging for a round.

I would suggest a weapon mounted light and a plain flashlight in your hand for those circumstances. keep the weapon light off and use the hand flashlight first.
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by Stercutus » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:22 pm

I would turn mine off but I already have night vision cameras installed. This is more than sufficient.
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by S Squirrel » Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:51 am

I would leave the lights off because Zombies/looters wouldn't necessarily be dissuaded from approaching just because of some light.

IR lights and camera does sound like a good idea but there is a long list of stuff that I would buy before I got there. Something more economical I saw at Lowes the other week was a motion sensor/radio transmitter. You could set up for zones so you would be ready and position for when they get close to you home (I am a really light sleeper) Another neat gadget is the chirping frog motion sensor. My friend's father has a frog near the front door so soon as you are getting close to the front door it gives a loud "RRRIIIBBBBIIITT" alerting your to their presence.


Hopefully we had enough time to coordinate within our community because there are 3 entrances/exits that would take less resources but how quickly things digress... Situation dictates but hopefully you have diguised(making your home look like it has been looted) your presence enough that they would move one
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by BigDaddyTX » Thu Jul 08, 2010 1:01 am

Glennbo wrote:
BigDaddyTX wrote: Trust me that I notice when I'm sitting around at night and my lights pop on.
Do you sleep? In any case if your lights get tripped by someone just walking down the public sidewalk you must spend a lot of time looking out the window, unless you live in the boondocks.

Ironically the best security device these folks have is ME, a decent honest CCW carrying citizen with a headlamp on and cell phone walking the streets in front of their homes in the wee hours.
I live on the end of dead end street w/ no house across the street on 3/4 an acre w/ a longass driveway. My lights just don't pop on, and they make a sort of click when they do, which wakes me up as long as I'm not deep asleep.

I agree with the second sort of. I don't really want some guy with a gun walking in front of my house trying to do me a favor unless I know that's what he's about. I get that it wouldn't be obvious w/ the CCW, but it would freak me out more that someone was out there. Again, last house on a dead end street, so not exactly applicable.
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by ZombieGranny » Thu Jul 08, 2010 10:51 am

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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by Finch » Thu Jul 08, 2010 4:18 pm

ZombieGranny wrote:Motion sensor lights in the driveway are quite often just to provide a light for the homeowner's convenience when getting home at night and leaving in the morning, so a light doesn't need to be left on all day; not for security.
excatly

I have my house surrounded with them really just so i have light when i walk around my house.

in addition if there is someone snooping about i will be able to see them better :)

I keep the front and back lights on "dual bright" all night (automatically)

The sides are the only "pop on" lights.
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by BrockGrimes » Fri Jul 09, 2010 3:31 am

I have motion sensors on all 4 corners, with IR bulbs, this gives me complete covereage.
I also have 4 small cameras that can see IR, the motion sensors are also wired to an
alarm in my bedroom, which can be set for various volumes and tones. The cameras
are wired to a video switch that can be viewed on the TV.

If my system goes off I simply flip on the tv and check the 4 picture view of my property.
I've considered installing a loud speaker so I can tell people to bugger off.

I also have 4 flood lights 2 front 2 back controlled by switches by the doors.
I can flip them on as needed.
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Re: Motion Sensor Lights when SHTF

Post by zephir » Wed Jul 14, 2010 1:05 am

If i have motion sensor lights I'd leave it as-is. I would actually add an audible alarm to them so that if someone approached my house in the middle of the night I'd know about it, the trespassers will know about it, and my neighbors will know about it. and if they're breaking in, their dark shape silhouetted against the lit background would tell me where to point my gun.
If the city power is out then I would have no lights, as I do not have a generator. I have a backup power system but its 12 volts DC and not intended for anything more than running a few LEDs and charging my laptop.

but as I don't have a motion sensor light system there's no issue.

the IR lamps idea is a great, but if it is a total blackout anyone with a digital camera or night vision (whatever) would see the IR lights. it would be a dead giveaway. cameras do not have to be specially converted to IR to see IR light, they do detect some normally but its not much. if you have enough IR lamps to light up the yard or a bit more than that any digital camera will see it, it would be very odd for those who don't understand why is that, because they see no light and yet the yard or house is dimly illuminated on camera.

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