Growing up, we were taught that when you're leaving a room and not going to return, turn the light off. The same was said for the porch light. Turn it on when you need it, then turn it off when it's no longer needed—a pretty simple concept that I still live by today.

If you've driven around Casper at night or early in the morning, you've probably noticed many porch lights left on all night. My day begins around 1:30 am, and I leave for work at 3 am. Over the last couple of weeks, I started noticing the porch lights.

I counted that there were 35 porch lights on within ten blocks and started wondering if I had missed the memo about why people were leaving on the lights. Seeing the lights on didn't bother me; it just made me curious, and I wondered why. I started researching why so many lights were left on all night.

Many people leave a light on for safety, to deter animals that may be prowling around the neighborhood, and many do it to show their support for a specific cause, but a poll by X user @notmythirdrodeo said that most people only turn the porch light on as needed.

Safe has a list of reasons to leave the porch light on and reasons to turn the light off.

When to have your porch light on.

  • When you're home at night.
    • The light lets people know you're home and keeps a spotlight on your front door.
  • When leaving and not returning until later in the evening.
  • When the kids are home alone.
    • The kids can see without worrying about odd shadows with the light on.
  • When you're expecting delivery.
    • Not only will having the light on help the driver find your house, but it'll also help you see who is approaching your door.

When to turn your porch light off.

  • When leaving for an extended period.
    • If your light is constantly on, you're painting a target on your home.
      • Smart bulbs and other smart devices will allow you to set timers for your lights.
  • When you go to bed
    • With your porch light on, it could be an invitation to others that someone in your home is awake.
    • If late-night safety is your concern, consider a motion-detecting light.
  • If you're anxious about being home alone.
    • Burglars will commonly stake out homes to figure out patterns. If they notice you leave the light on when everyone else is gone, it may give them information on the best time to hit your house.
  • If you Live in a rural area with minimal lighting.
    • If darkness surrounds your home, the porch light can help an intruder see around your house. With no light to help them see and cause them to make more noise and alert

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Gallery Credit: DreDay

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Gallery Credit: Drew Kirby/Canva

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