Do Outdoor Lights Keep Animals Away?

Home is where you do many things – eat, sleep, have fun, take care of your pets, maybe grow your own food, and so on. Typically, it should just be you, your family, and your pets (if you have any) on your property. But, sometimes animals will wonder up and, in the case of you having an extensive home garden or outdoor space, they may damage your plants or even outdoor furniture. In a bid to find the proper means to keep these miscreants away, you might want to know if outdoor lights will do the job.

Outdoor lights will deter animals, and especially motion sensor lights. Animals can get used to them, so a flashing or motion-sense light will be more effective. You can also keep animals away by other means using water jets/sprinklers, clearing your area of food or debris, and putting up fencing.

Some animals can prove stubborn and resilient and choose to come back even after being scared away the first time. This is why it takes more than simply installing an outdoor light to keep them in check. Let’s look at how you can successfully keep animals away from your property through outdoor lights and other means.

Will Outdoor Lights Deter Animals?

Light bulb decor in outdoor party

If you live near woodland areas, then you must have some visitors of the four-legged variety. Most times, they’re unwanted and usually visit your property in search of food and perhaps even shelter. Animals like deer, possums, skunks, raccoons, and sometimes bears are at the top of the list.

Seeing as these animals are mostly nocturnal, you can expect to see them on your property at night. And since they’re unwanted, all you want to do is get them out of your sight and away from your environment. Raccoons and possums might look sweet (Ok, not possums…), but you won’t care much about that after they ruin your garden or overturn your trash can. So, it’s understandable that you would want to do just about anything to scare them off.

How do you do that? Many homeowners have used many tricks to get these animals far away from their houses, but these critters can prove to be quite stubborn. Yelling at them doesn’t cut it since you can’t always stand guard and wait for these animals to appear. Thankfully, there’s a solution – outdoor lights. Not just any kind, the motion sensor kind. This light is integrated with a system that suddenly comes on once movement or motion is detected in the area.

One thing that these four-legged miscreants hate the most is detection, and that’s why they use the cover of night to hunt for food. So, imagine their shock when they arrive at a supposedly dark and quiet area, and there’s an unexpected blast of blinding light. They’ll definitely get startled and scurry away.

Using Flashing Lights to Deter Animals

Once you have motion sensor lights installed around your house, you can kill two birds with a stone – keep the animals away while you enjoy your sleep without having to worry about any animal wreaking havoc on your property. A note of caution, though: Sometimes, these lights don’t remain effective. All it takes for the motion light to lose its effectiveness is repeated visits from the critters.

You might be lucky and not have the animal return after it gets scared the first time. However, if the more resilient and stubborn ones decide to come back, they’ll most likely discover that there’s nothing scary about the motion sensor. It’s just a harmless light, not different from the others. Once they make that discovery, it won’t stop them from returning your property.

But, this doesn’t mean there’s no way around it. Motion sensor lights can deter animals for a long time, as long as you know the best way to use them. For one, you can get a motion sensor strobe light – the flashing light will be more effective than the regular one. Besides that, get rid of things that will attract animals to your environment. Once there’s no reliable food source on your property, coupled with the flashing light, then the late-night visitors will see no reason to come back.

And since your purpose is not just lighting the space, you may be open to other product options like the ZOVENCHI Ultrasonic Animal Repellent (on Amazon), which combines a flashing light with a motion sensor, as well as solar power and an ultrasonic alarm animals hear but which you can’t! This sort of device can be super handy to place near the ares of your yard you want to protect, but also around the areas you expect animals to enter the yard through.

What Animals Stay Away from Lights at Night?

Since nocturnal animals are more active at night, that’s usually the best time for them to hunt for food. Then, they don’t have to worry about exposure – their biggest fear – once the world is asleep.

This is why an excellent way to keep them away is by installing motion sensor lights around your house. They hate that stuff. Motion-activated outdoor lights are enough to keep animals like skunks and possums away. Deer are highly skittish animals, and anything that looks like danger, including a sudden blast of light, will have them running for the hills.

Raccoons can prove to be more resilient than other animals, so you might have to use other tricks besides motion lights to scare them off. One other thing you can do to deter raccoons is to use hot pepper spray in their desired area or rig their entry point with ammonia. They hate that stuff. You can also protect your trash, clean up your yard, remove food, and fence your garden.

Predators like coyotes and foxes, and sometimes bears, can prey on the animals in your garden. This is even more likely if you have domestic animals around. To protect your pets and livestock, install outdoor lighting and other security systems like jets of water or sirens. These will definitely scare those predators away.

Will Outdoor Lights Keep Animals Away from My Garden?

When animals visit an area or house, their favorite spot is usually the garden. That’s usually where the good things are – plants, fruits, different things to eat, and sometimes your domestic animals. Deer are particularly attracted to that part of your house because they get to eat many fruits there (apple is their favorite).

So, if you own a garden, you should also consider installing motion-activated lights there too. It works the same as having the light installed around your house. Motion sensor lights will keep animals away from your garden because of the fear of exposure. You can also add other things to make the light more practical, like sirens, water sprinklers, and so on.

Do Outdoor Lights Deter Rodents Such as Possums?

Decorative outdoor string lights hanging on tree

It’s safe to say that possums are one of the most destructive animals to have on your property. These pests eat just about anything they see in your garden, from vegetables to fruits and tiny animals like birds. These cat-sized omnivores might even attack you if they feel cornered.

That’s not to say that you can’t deter them from your home. In fact, there are several ways to keep them away from your garden, and it’s usually advised to use more than one scare tactic. This is so that they won’t get used to them and render those tactics ineffective.

One significant way you can keep possums away is by using motion-activated deterrents. These deterrents will surprise them, and they’ll try to get away as fast as they can. One of such deterrents is the motion-activated light that will suddenly come on as they approach.

As nocturnal animals, they need the element of darkness, and seeing so much light will have them running for cover.

Also, motion-activated sprinklers can serve as a deterrent to possums. They’re harmless but will release a scary spurt of water when the possum comes close to it. You can also play sounds in your garden to scare away the rodents.

Besides these deterrents, you can also set up barriers to stop possums from gaining access to their food source. Here are some that will help.

How to Deter Possums From Your Garden

  • Make sure that your garden plants, particularly the edible ones, are surrounded by chicken wire or poultry wire fences of four feet or more. You can prevent possums from climbing over the top by bending it outward.
  • If these critters try to climb existing wood or stone fences, rub a little vegetable shortening on the top of the barriers to make them slip off.
  • Cover the plants that the possums are attacking with bird netting so they can’t reach the leaves and fruits. Garden pests can be deterred with netting.
  • Sprinkle cayenne pepper or chili powder on your plants. If you own bird feeders around your yard, mix the powder with the birdseed. Neither the spicy flavor nor the chili powder is offensive to birds, but it is unpleasant to possums who would be attracted to the feeders.
  • Place a few cloths soaked in ammonia on plates around your garden. Humans don’t just find ammonia unpleasant-smelling, but possums do too. Possums should be scared away by the ammonia fumes, and the plates should prevent your plants from being harmed by it.

You can also use these methods on raccoons and other rodents that visit your garden.

Do Outdoor Lights Keep Stray Animals Away?

Stray animals, like cats, can also wander into your living area. No one should be fooled by their seemingly innocent appearance. These critters can wreak as much havoc on your property as any other animal that lives in the woods. This even gets worse once they get used to staying on your property.

Still, you can also ensure that stray animals don’t touch your garden and other items in your area. Outdoor lights can come to your rescue again. It’s even better that homeless animals are usually already skittish. Some doses of outdoor motion sensor light are enough to send them on their way.

You can also discourage stray animals like cats away from your garden by blocking off the area or making the place uncomfortable to stay in. Cats especially love soft, cozy spaces, so some twigs and prickly items here and there will make them move on to more comfortable locations.

You can also spray the area with predator urine. When the stray pet smells it, it will believe that it’s in a larger predator’s territory and move on from there. Cats also hate the smell of citrus, scented herbs, tobacco, and so on, so you can put any of these in your garden to stop stray cats from making a home there.

Generally, keeping an animal away from your home doesn’t take much. In the first place, they come around because of different things that encourage them – food, darkness, possible shelter, etc. Take most or all of these things away, and it’s only a matter of time before they move on to “greener pastures.”

While outdoor lights may not be a fool-proof method of repelling animals, it’s still one of the best ways to do that. Invest in some high-quality motion sensor lights, and you’ll be glad you did.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *