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Smart Home Security

A man with a smart light

Does your home feel ‘as safe as houses’? If it doesn’t, we can help!

A lot seems to have happened since our last blog.

Another lockdown’s on the horizon, and the autumn is well and truly here.

We don’t know about you, but here at Oliver Lamps, it feels like we blinked and suddenly the summer disappeared! Now that the clocks have gone back (as if anyone needed an extra hour added to this year!) the days are greyer, rainier, and cloudier, and by 4 pm it’s already starting to get dark. By 5 pm, nightfall has properly set in and seems to last forever, or at least until 6 am the next morning.

That means we’re spending between 12 and 13 hours of every day in significant darkness. That’s daunting enough on a well-lit city street, but when you live in a town, village, or the countryside – where street and external lighting is either non-existent or kept at a minimum – it becomes even more of a problem.

The bottom line is: whether or not you love this time of year (for us, the jury’s still out on that one!), the fact that the nights are getting longer means it’s more important than ever to start thinking about your home security.

Between September 2019 and August 2020, there were 2,439 burglaries, 361 robberies, and 6,569 instances of criminal damage and arson reported throughout Norfolk. You can find a complete list of all the statistics here: https://www.ukcrimestats.com/Police_Force/Norfolk_Constabulary.

We’re not mentioning these numbers to scaremonger you, but because we want to highlight the importance of keeping your home even more secure during these particularly difficult autumn and winter months.

Home lighting and security: what to consider

It’s important to keep outside areas properly illuminated, either with a permanent light or by using lights that are set on a timer and/or can be motion-activated. Entrance doors, side pathways, the forecourt, garage, and above the entrance to a driveway or alleyway are all places to position reliable lighting.

Any area that’s not overlooked by you or your neighbours (like rear doors, outbuildings, and obscured parts of the garden) will also benefit from lighting that is motion-activated or can be controlled via a wall switch from inside the house. Where gardens are concerned, don’t rely on feature lighting. Not only won’t it give you the security coverage you need, but it often has to be turned on and off from inside the garden itself, which defeats the purpose of staying protected. A motion-activated floodlight that’s located high up on the wall of your house and angled so that it completely illuminates your garden is often the best solution.

Inside the house, setting your lights to turn on and off throughout the day if nobody’s home is definitely something to think about. It’s well known that burglars prefer to target empty houses, and they don’t always wait until night-time to do it, so it makes sense always to give the illusion that your home is continuously occupied. Don’t keep your hallway or outside carriage light permanently switched on because that’s a tell-tale giveaway you’re probably not there. Instead, programme the lights to switch on from time to time in individual rooms, so it looks like you’re moving around.

A video doorbell with an onboard light and two-way speaker is another invaluable safety precaution. If you’re home, you can see who’s there without opening the door. If you’re away from home, you can see who’s there and talk to them as if you’re inside the house.

Now that so many of us are working from home the video doorbell’s become an essential household device because it means we don’t have to disturb ourselves to keep answering the door every time the bell rings. We can see who’s there via our phone or tablet and either talk to them remotely, open the door to let them in (if you’ve got that tech installed), tell them to drop the parcel at the back of the house, or completely ignore them.

When you’re looking at the lighting around your home, think like a burglar. Don’t give any unwanted callers a reason to stop and investigate. Your home lighting should be warm and inviting for you, your family and your visitors, but with some careful preparation, it can also be a powerful deterrent to potential intruders.

Get LED smart!

The good news is, with Oliver Lamps’ fantastic range of LED lighting and smart tech products, keeping your home safe isn’t hard to do. It’s also a lot simpler and cheaper than you might expect as well.

At Oliver Lamps, we’re determined to offer you the very best products at the very best prices. That’s why we stock TCP Smart.

TCP (Technical Consumer Products) are an industry leader in high-quality, energy-efficient lighting and smart tech products, and their excellence is recognised all over the world. TCP Smart products are quick and easy to set up and let you take full control of your home lighting, security and power from wherever you are. You don’t need a hub, there are no expensive subscriptions, and your products start working the moment you connect them to your Wi-Fi.

One of the many big pluses of TCP Smart is that you can control your lighting etc. from anywhere in the world through your phone or tablet as long as you have access to a Wi-Fi connection. Potential unwelcome visitors will think you’re home even when you’re not, so they’re much less likely to consider your house an attractive target.

Using your smart device, you can set timers, programme routines, and dim your lighting remotely. You can control your smart lighting with your voice, using Siri or a home assistant like Amazon’s Alexa, and you can even make your lights change colour if your bulbs have that capability.

Here are just a few of the fabulous TCP Smart products we currently offer:

This LED filament bulb (https://www.oliverlamps.com/product/tcp-smart-wifi-led-filament-classic-bulbs/) is a classic design, and perfect for everyday use around the home.

This LED downlight (https://www.oliverlamps.com/product/tcp-smart-wifi-led-downlight/) is a stylish and practical way to illuminate a room, especially a lounge, kitchen and bathroom. It provides localised light wherever you need it and helps to create a fantastic ambience.

This regular colour changing bulb (https://www.oliverlamps.com/product/tcp-colour-changing-smart-gls-smart-bulb-bc/) isn’t just perfect for keeping your home secure (because it will give the impression things are happening inside), it’s also great for lifting your mood on a dreary wintery day.

This Wi-Fi camera (https://www.oliverlamps.com/product/wifi-camera/) will give you peace of mind wherever you are because you’ll always be able to check what’s happening inside your home. When it detects motion, it sends an alert directly to your mobile phone, so you can view live-stream, take pictures and record videos, and speak to your visitor from anywhere with two-way communication. It’s not just excellent for alerting you to intruders; it’s invaluable if there’s somebody at home who’s elderly or infirm and you need to look in on them from time-to-time to check they’re okay.

These are just a few examples of the smart lighting and tech we’ve got available for you every day, here at Oliver Lamps. And the best thing is, all the items we’ve just mentioned in this blog are currently ON SALE AT REDUCED PRICES! If you buy them now, you’ll feel secure anywhere, AND you’ll be saving money.

If you’d like to buy any of these products, you can order them from our website, drop into our lovely shop at 26/28 Oak Street, Fakenham, or give our friendly team of lighting experts a call on 01328 855028. We’re always here to help.

Until next time, stay safe, everybody!

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Get ready for our reopening!

Our Show room

We’re really excited to be reopening on Wednesday July 1st.

We don’t know about you, but it feels like the lockdown lasted forever!

Over the past few days we’ve been working hard to make our shop COVID-19 safe, while ensuring our lovely customers will still be able to browse as comfortably as possible. Passers-by might even have seen us putting stickers on the pavement outside the front door, and carefully rearranging everything inside so that social distancing rules will always be observed. We’ve thought long and hard about our reopening, and throughout the entire quarantine period we’ve been careful to follow only the very best medical advice.

Ever since COVID-19 began, the health and wellbeing of our customers and team has been more important to us than anything else. Even though lockdown has eased and life is slowly returning back to normal(ish) again, that’s still the case. We want all our visitors to walk into our shop knowing they’re in safe hands, so you can enjoy your experience and make the most of all the wonderful lighting and interior design concepts we have on offer.

As a result, you might notice a few changes in our opening hours.

On Wednesday July 1st and Thursday July 2nd, we’ll be open as usual. However, just like many other businesses that are starting to find their feet again, we’re extremely mindful that a lot of people are currently feeling anxious about the easing of the lockdown. As a result, we’re going to keep a close eye on customer demand and adjust our days and hours to match whatever suits you all best. This means that on some days our opening hours may be different, and on occasional days we may not even be open at all.

We hope you’ll bear with us while everything settles down. This is a challenge a lot of businesses are facing right now, and we don’t want to inconvenience anybody. Because our shop is quite limited in size (we like to describe it as “small but perfectly formed”!) we’ve had to reduce the number of team members that are working on site so we can maximise space and keep everybody safe, which also has an impact on how we can run things.

So, if you want to visit us from July 3rd onwards, please give us a quick call before you leave home, just to make sure we’re open. Rest assured that we’ll get back to business-as-usual as quickly as we can.

And now we’ve got that out of the way, let’s talk about the fabulousness that’s waiting for you when you get here!

Our bargain priced GU10 spots were such a big hit during our grand opening in January that we thought we’d celebrate our reopening by doing it all again! For the first few days (or until our supply runs out) we’ll be selling GU10 spots at the unbeatable price of £1.50 per lamp, or 5 for £5.

We’ve also got a fully loaded sale table waiting for you to dive in and grab some incredible deals!

Reopening week visitors will also have first choice of the amazing new stock that came in just before lockdown, especially our wide variety of gorgeous table lamps. We’ve got sleek industrial designs, classy antique styles, and many more. They’re all beautiful, and we’re so happy we’ve finally been able to unbox them and put them on display for you to take home!

In fact, before you come to the shop, why not look back over some of the blogs we’ve published over the past few months and remind yourself of some of the brilliant things you can do when you come to Oliver Lamps? Remember our recent articles about how colour changing LED lights can brighten your mood and jazz up your video calls with family and friends? Well, now we’re reopening you can take a look for yourself and choose the colourful LED lighting system that will totally transform your home and quiz nights! Or what about our pieces on desk lamps and children’s nightlights? You’ll love all the different choices we’ve currently got in stock! Do you recall our blogs about the perfect outdoor lighting for your house and garden and smart tech that will make your home safer? Now that the summer’s here, this is the optimum time to come to Oliver Lamps and make all that a reality! Want to get creative with your interior design as well as your lighting? In that case, you won’t want to miss our especially chosen selection of stylish soft furnishings! Or maybe all you need right now are some batteries for your remote controls? We’ve even got those too, at really reasonable prices.

If you’re a regular reader you might remember how, before the lockdown, we said we hoped to start working with other small businesses in the local area, especially those that produce hand crafted products. Well, we’re making small steps towards that by stocking some wonderful artisan soaps and toiletries. Considering what’s been happening over the past few months, that feels like terrific timing!

Finally, please remember that we’re always here to help or take your orders via phone and email, even on the days when our shop isn’t open. Just give us a call on 01328 855028 or email [email protected].

Stay safe, and we’re looking forward to welcoming you soon!