Husband 0, Lights 3

If you have not heard of Vienna, Virginia, now you have. It is a small town in Fairfax County that is home to my family and friends. Despite our size, we don’t lack for fine food. While I like to cook for my family (including a husband and three kids), we also adore eating out. It’s not easy with fussy children, but we eschew the fast food restaurants in preference for something quaint and local. This way the kids will learn to appreciate more than a hamburger or hot dog. Life is all about family on every level. We do as much as we can together. The family that plays together stays together is true in our case.

One of our favorite things is to eat in the backyard and enjoy the new barbecue. My husband’s job is to do the grilling while I make the side dishes and set the table. It’s a fair deal. I also make him clean up. The children carry paper plates to the trash can. It’s clearly a family affair. Being outside has made my husband and I aware of the vulnerability of our yard—anyone can climb over the fence or smash the lock on the garden gate. We decided to install outdoor motion sensor lights. Yes, they will go on like mad as the kids run around the yard, but they will also protect us as an efficient security system. You can turn the system off if it is annoying. The point is to use it every night after we return inside. It is a matter of habit and we don’t forget.

My poor husband had a bit of trouble with the installation as he wanted the lights high up, either on the roof or a large tree. In fact, he tried three times with this one light on a phone pole before he achieved success. He’d read about how to do it from Outdoor Light and Sound and was determined to do it himself. We all watched in amusement and amazement. These motion sensors are great when they are finally in their proper locations. It should not have been such an ordeal. They come with instructions to clip them on or nail them if you want a stronger bond. You can also use wire. They also aren’t so heavy that they pose a risk to those down below. It is all about state-of-the-art technology in a tiny package.

We opted not to install cameras as they are cumbersome and expensive. You must look at the video after the fact and they don’t deter invaders and vandals. A flashing light does. You can buy motion sensors that blink, stay on (very bright) or emit an accompanying sound. You can select the size of the light and the corresponding bulb. If you have a vast space, a larger light is required.

While Money Magazine calls Vienna, Virginia one of the 100 best places to live, it doesn’t mean we don’t have a little crime. I feel safer now that we have opted for motion sensors.